Learn Korean Language Lesson 24 – Korean Counting Units
Continue from Lesson 23 – Korean Conjunction – And. Today we come to Learn Korean Lesson 24 – Korean Counting Units. In this Learn Korean Language Lesson, we will learn Korean Counting Units. This counting unit changes depending upon the thing that is being counted. Korean numbers 1 to 4 and 20 change forms a bit before counting units. You must learn this lesson in order to shopping in Korea. Before we look at Korean Counting Units, let’s do some revision of pure/native Korean numbers.
Korean Counting Units
There are brief explanation of Korean numbers previously in Emagasia. The Korean numbers system have two sets of numbers, the native Korean number system and a number system that has its roots in Chinese, called the Sino-Korean numbers (Chinese derived numbers). When counting, use Korean native numbers, below are partial list of Korean numbers, view Korean numbers for others.
|1 하나 [ ha-na ]||11열하나 [ yeol-ha-na ]||30 서른 [ seo-reun ]|
|2 둘 [ dul ]||12 열둘 [ yeol-dul ]||40 마흔 [ ma-heun ]|
|3 셋 [ set ]||13 열셋 [ yeol-set ]||50 쉰 [ swin ]|
|4 넷 [ net ]||14 열넷 [ yeol-net ]||60 예순 [ ye-sun]|
|5 다섯 [ da-seot ]||15 열다섯 [ yeol-da-seot ]||70 일흔 [ il-reun ]|
|6 여섯 [ yeo-seot ]||16 열여섯 [ yeo-ryeo-seot ]||80 여든 [ yeo-deun ]|
|7 일곱 [ il-gop ]||17 열일곱 [ yeo-ril-gop ]||90 아흔 [ a-heun ]|
|8 여덟 [ yeo-deol ]||18 열여덟 [ yeo-ryeo-deol ]||100 백 [ baek ]|
|9 아홉 [ a-hop ]||19 열아홉 [ yeo-ra-hop ]|
|10 열 [ yeol ]||20 스물 [ seu-mul ]|
Therefore, Korean Counting Units is place after the native Korean number. When counting things or the number of people, put the object first, the native Korean number, followed by a counting unit. The Korean Counting Units varies depending on the noun it follows. For instance, 권 follows books, 개 follows balls, 잔 follows a cup of coffee, 병 follows a bottle of beer. In addition, when numbers and counting units are used together, numbers take different forms. Without counting units, they are 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷, 스물, but with counting units, they are changed to 한, 두, 세, 네, 스무 when placed in front of a counter. The same rules applies to higher numbers such as 열하나, 열둘, 열셋, 열넷 etc, etc. See examples below.
- 하나 – 한 개 [ han-gae ]
- 둘 – 두 개 [ du-gae ]
- 셋 – 세 개 [ se-gae ]
- 넷 – 네 개 [ ne-gae ]
- 다섯 – 다섯 개 [ da-seot-gae ]
- 스물 – 스무 개 [ seu-mu-gae ]
As what stated above, native Korean numbers will be used with counting units. Without the Korean Counting Units, Korean numbers 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷, 스물 will be used for counting people or things in Korean. Therefore, the order of the sentence will be the number of people, or the object first, then the native Korean number. Adding 주세요 after the noun means requesting something for the speaker (Korean Requests, Suggestions, or Commands). See examples below.
- 공책 하나 주세요. [ gong-chaek-ha-na-ju-se-yo ] – Give me one notebook, please.
- 사과 하나 주세요. [ sa-gwa-ha-na-ju-se-yo ] – Give me one apple, please.
- 맥주 둘 주세요. [ maek-ju-dul-ju-se-yo ] – Give me two beers, please.
- 오렌지 둘 주세요. [ o-ren-ji-dul-ju-se-yo ] – Give me two oranges, please.
- 커피 셋 주세요. [ keo-pi-set-ju-se-yo ] – Give me three cups of coffee, please.
- 콜라 넷 주세요. [ kol-la-net-ju-se-yo ] – Give me four cola, please.
However, please remember that 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷, 스물 are changed to 한, 두, 세, 네, 스무 when placed in front of a counter. 병, 개, 잔 are counting units. In Korean, there is a variety of counting units to count objects. Each counting unit is used for a specific category of nouns. 개 is used widely to count general inanimate items, 병 is used for bottles, 잔 is used for cups or glasses, 마리 is used for animals (view Korean Vocabulary – Animals), 벌 is used for clothing, 켤레 is used for footwear, 대 is used for bigger things such as Home Electronic Appliances, car etc, etc. Here are only some examples of Korean counting units. For those not here, consult with a Korean speaker and/or an English-Korean dictionary.
|Korean Objects||Native Korean Numbers||Korean Counting Units|
|공 [ gong ] – ball||한 [ han ]||개 [ gae ]|
|맥주 [ maek-ju ] – beer||두 [ du ]||병 [ byeong ]|
|커피 [ keo-pi ] – coffee||세 [ se ]||잔 [ jan ]|
|사진 [ sa-jin ] – photo||네 [ ne ]||장 [ jang ]|
|책 [ chaek ] – book||다섯 [ da-seot ]||권 [ gwon ]|
|꽃 [ ggot ] – flower||여섯 [ yeo-seot ]||송이 [ song-i]|
|호랑 [ ho-rang ] – tiger||일곱 [ il-gop ]||마리 [ ma-ri ]|
|셔츠 [ syeo-cheu ] – shirt||여덟 [ yeo-deol ]||벌 [ beol ]|
|양말 [ yang-mal ] – socks||아홉 [ a-hop ]||켤레 [ kyeol-le ]|
|컴퓨터 [ keom-pyu-teo ] – computer||열 [ yeol ]||대 [ dae ]|
- 한 개에 얼마예요? [ han-gae-e-eol-ma-ye-yo ] – How much is it for one?
- 두 병에 천오백 원이에요. [ du-byeong-e-cheon-o-baek-won-i-e-yo ] – It’s 1500 won for two bottles.
Now, you can try to make your own Korean sentences with Korean Counting Units, Korean numbers and what you have learned from the previous Learn Korean Lessons. Don’t forget to memorize the Korean Verbs and Korean Adjectives, with Korean Sentence Ending Form. Try Korean Language Exercises 7 and continue to Learn Korean Language Lesson 25 – Korean Currency.