Sino Korean Numbers And Native Korean Numbers

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Sino And Native Korean Numbers

Learn Sino Korean numbers and native Korean numbers with this complete guide to numbers in Korean. Did you know that in the Korean language, there are two number systems? These are Sino Korean numbers and native Korean numbers, and these are used in different situations.

In this lesson, you will learn how to count in Korean using both Sino Korean numbers and native Korean numbers. For convenience, the Korean numbers in this lesson are written in both Korean characters and in English letters. If you would like to learn how to read Korean characters, check out our complete guide to how to read the Korean alphabet.

Sino-Korean Numbers

Sino-Korean numbers are really easy to learn. Once you learn the first 10 numbers, you can easily count to 99 in Korean. Sino Korean numbers are used for money, dates, phone numbersaddresses, minutes, and numbers above 100.

Here is a list of Sino Korean numbers 1 to 10. Try to read each number out loud and then play the audio to see how to pronounce numbers 1 to 10 in Korean.

Numbers 1 to 10

EnglishKoreanListen
one [il]
two [i]
three [sam]
four [sa]
five [o]
six [yuk]
seven [chil]
eight [pal]
nine [gu]
ten [sip]

Numbers 1 to 100

Once you have memorized the first 10 numbers, you only need to know the word for ‘hundred’ to be able to count to 100 in Korean. Hundred in Korean is [baek]. Listen to the audio below to check how to pronounce 100 in Korean.

EnglishKoreanListen
100 (hundred) [baek]

You can now say any number between 1 and 100 by simply combining the numbers you have just learned. For example, to say 11 we simply say 10 () followed by 1 (). So 11 is 십일 [sip-il]. To say 12 we simply put together 10 () followed by 2 (). So 12 is 십이 [sip-i]. This is the same up to 19, which is 십구 [sip-gu]. Easy right?

Can you guess how to say 20 in Korean? To say 20 we simply put together 2 () and 10 () to make 이십 [i-sip]. You can think of it as 2×10=20. And, this is the same for 30 (삼십), 40 (사십), 50 (오십), 60 (육십), 70 (칠십), 80 (팔십), and 90 (구십). And then to say 100 we use the word 백.

Armed with this knowledge you should be able to say any number between 1 and 100 in Korean. Let’s look at a few examples:

  • 21 is (2)(10)(1) = 이십일 [i-sip-il]
  • 35 is (3) (10)(5) = 삼십오 [sam-sip-o]
  • 97 is (9)(10) (7) = 구십칠 [gu-sip-chil]

Numbers 100 to 10,000

Now that you can count to 100 in Korean, you only need to know how to say ‘thousand’ and ‘ten thousand’ to be able to count to 10,000 in Korean. See the table below.

EnglishKoreanListen
thousand [cheon]
ten thousand [man]

To say any number between 100 and 10,000 you can just combine the numbers you have already learned. Let’s look at some examples.

  • 9000 is (nine) (thousand) = 구천 [gu-cheon]
  • 9900 is (nine) (thousand)  (nine) (hundred) = 구천구백 [gu-cheon-gu-baek]
  • 9980 is   (nine) (thousand)  (nine) (hundred) (eight) (ten) = 구천구백팔십 [gu-cheon-gu-baek-pal-sip]
  • 9987 is (nine) (thousand)  (nine) (hundred) (eight) (ten) (seven) = 구천구백팔십칠 [gu-cheon-gu-baek-pal-sip-chil]

Numbers 10,000 to 1 Billion

Korean numbers higher than 10,000 start to get a bit difficult for English speakers. Not because the words are difficult, but rather the number system is a little different to what they are used to.

Korean numbers between 10,000 (ten thousand) and 100,000,000 (one hundred million) are counted in increments of 10,000. So, whereas in English you would say 100,000 as “one hundred thousand”, in Korean we would say 십만 [sip-man] which means 10() x 10,000(). 

Numbers from 100,000,000 (one hundred million) and above are counted in increments of one hundred million. 100,000,000 is [eok] in Korean.

As you have already learned the numbers to count from 1 to 10,000, you only need to learn six more words to be able to count to 1 billion in Korean. See the table below.

EnglishKoreanListen
10,000
(ten thousand)
[man]
100,000
(hundred thousand)
십만 [sip-man]
1,000,000
(million)
백만 [baek-man]
10,000,000
(10 million)
천만 [cheon-man]
100,000,000
(100 million)
[eok]
1,000,000,000
(billion)
십억 [sip-eok]

Congratulations! You have now learned all the numbers you need to know to count to 1 billion in Korean. Obviously it will take time and practice to master Korean numbers, but if you memorize the following 18 words you’ll be able to make any number using Sino-Korean Numbers:

EnglishKorean
1 (one) [il]
2 (two) [i]
3 (three) [sam]
4 (four) [sa]
5 (five) [o]
6 (six) [yuk]
7 (seven) [chil]
8 (eight) [pal]
9 (nine) [gu]
10 (ten) [sip]
100 (hundred) [baek]
1000 (thousand) [cheon]
10,000 (ten thousand) [man]
100,000 (hundred thousand)십만 [sip-man]
1,000,000 (million)백만 [baek-man]
10,000,000 (10 million)천만 [cheon-man]
100,000,000 (100 million) [eok]
1,000,000,000 (billion)십억 [sip-eok]

Download PDF

To help you learn these words, you can download a PDF list of Sino-Korean numbers and printable flashcards below.

Review Quiz

Think you’ve mastered Sino-Korean numbers? Then try this Sino Korean Numbers Quiz and see how many you can remember.


Native Korean Numbers

Next, let’s look at the other Korean number system which is native Korean numbers. The first thing to know about native Korean numbers is that they only go up to 99. For any number higher than that, Sino-Korean numbers are used.

Native Korean numbers are only used for certain things. Native Korean numbers are used for age, counting things, counting people, and just counting. If you’ve ever seen a Korean person taking a photograph you’ve probably heard them count to 3 before taking the picture by saying “하나, 둘, 셋“.

To tell the time in Korean, both native Korean numbers (for hours) and Sino-Korean numbers (for minutes) are used. So, it is important to learn both number systems to talk about time, age, and counting things in Korean. Let’s first learn numbers 1 to 10 in native Korean numbers.

Numbers 1 to 10

Here are native Korean numbers 1 to 10. Try to read each word and then click on the audio to check the pronunciation.

EnglishKoreanListen
1 (one)하나 [ha-na]
2 (two) [dul]
3 (three) [set]
4 (four) [net]
5 (five)다섯 [da-seot]
6 (six)여섯 [yeo-seot]
7 (seven)일곱 [il-gop]
8 (eight)여덟 [yeo-deol]
9 (nine)아홉 [a-hop]
10 (ten) [yeol]

Let’s Practice

Check out this video from our YouTube Channel and see how many of these native Korean numbers you can remember.

Now that you know the first ten native Korean numbers, counting to 19 is really easy. Again, just like Sino-Korean numbers, you simply combine the numbers you have just learned. To say 11 simply put together (10) and 하나 (1) to make 열하나 (11). To say 12 simply put together (10) and (2) to make 열둘 (12). This is the same up to number 19.

Numbers 20-99

Unlike Sino-Korean numbers, numbers 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 have their own special word. Once you learn these words you can then easily say any Native Korean number between 1 and 99. Try to read the native Korean numbers below and then listen to the audio to check the pronunciation.

EnglishKoreanListen
10 (ten) [yeol]
20 (twenty)스물 [seu-mul]
30 (thirty)서른 [seo-reun]
40 (forty)마흔 [ma-heun]
50 (fifty) [swin]
60 (sixty)예순 [ye-sun]
70 (seventy)일흔 [il-heun]
80 (eighty)여든 [yeo-deun]
90 (ninety)아흔 [a-heun]

Let’s Practice

Check out this video from our YouTube Channel and see how many of these native Korean numbers you can remember.

You have now learned all the native Korean numbers you need to know to count to 99. To say any number simply combine the numbers you have just learned. For example, to say 35 simply put together 서른 (30) and 다섯 (5) to make 서른다섯 (35). To make 99 simply put together 아흔 (90) and 아홉 (9) to make 아흔아홉 (99). Easy right?

Download PDF

To help you learn these words, you can download a PDF list of Native Korean numbers and printable flashcards below.

Review Quiz

Think you’ve mastered Native Korean numbers? Then try this Native Korean Numbers Quiz and see how many you can remember.


I hope you found this guide to Sino and Native Korean numbers useful. If you want to learn more about numbers and counting in Korean, check out these related lessons:
When To Use Sino And Native Korean Numbers
How To Count Money In Korean
Korean Counting Units

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