Korean Numbers | How to Count in Korean

Korean numbers

The Korean language has two separate number systems. The first is called the Sino-Korean number system, which is based on Chinese numbers. The other is the native Korean number system. This article will teach you how to count in Korean with both Sino-Korean and native Korea number systems, and everything you need to know about when and how to use Korean numbers in conversations.

How to Count 1-10 in Korean

 Let’s first take a look at the 1-10 in Sino-Korean.

  • 1—일 il
  • 2—이 i
  • 3—삼 sam
  • 4—사 sa
  • 5—오 o
  • 6—육 yuk
  • 7—칠 chil
  • 8—팔 pal
  • 9—구 gu
  • 10—십 sip


Korean Numbers 11-99

The general rule to form a double-digit number is number + 십(sip) + number, reading the numeral from left to right:

  • 24 = 이사 (two-ten-four)
  • 92 = 구이 (nine-ten-two)

For numbers 11-19, it’s just 십(sip) + number:

  • 11 = 일 (ten-one)
  • 16 = 육 (ten-six)

If the number is the multiples of 10, it’s number + 십(sip):

  • 30 = 삼 (three-ten)
  • 90 = 구 (nine-ten)

Important note: the rules for 10-99 will be used again if you encounter them in larger numbers above 100. 

Now let’s enjoy a song of Sino-Korean numbers!

What’s Hundred, Thousand and Ten Thousand in Korean?

The number units 백(baek), 천(cheon), and 만(man) can be used directly for 100, 1000 and 10,000:

  • 100 = 백 (baek) means “hundred”
  • 1000 = 천(cheon) means “thousand”
  • 10,000 = 만(man) means “ten thousand”

Korean number digits 10 to 100 million

Counting 100~999 in Korean 

To form any number between 100~999, the general rule is number + 백 + number+ 십 + number, reading the numeral from left to right:

If the number is 100~199, start with 백 directly:

  • 113 = 십삼 (hundred-ten-three)
  • 189 = 팔십구 (hundred-eight-ten-nine_

Counting 1000~9999 in Korean

To form a four-digit number, the general rule is number + 천 + number + 백 + number + 십 + number, reading the numeral from left to right. For example:

If the number is 1000~1999, start with 천 directly: 

  • 1199 = 백구십구 (thousand-hundred-nine-ten-nine)
  • 1812 = 팔백십이 (thousand-eight-hundred-ten-two)

Counting in Korean vs Counting in English

만(man) is an important word in Sino-Korean numbers because the Korean number system uses increments of 10,000 rather than 1,000

For example,

  • 10,000 만(man) — ten thousand
  • 1,000,000 —”백만(baekman) — million
  • 10,000,000 — “천만(cheonman) — ten million
  • 100,000,000 — 억(eok) — billion

(which turns into the new increment for the numbers over this one)

Why Do Koreans Use Two Systems for Counting?

Before King Sejong created Hangul in 1443, Koreans had to use Chinese characters for writing, and many Korean words, such as numbers, were influenced by the Chinese language. After Hangul was born, Koreans have developed two number systems with distinct usage over the years.

When to Use Which Korean Number System

Native Korean numbers are used for quantifying items, expressing age, the hour or counting months. On the other hand, Sino-Korean numbers are used in more specific cases, such as dates, telephone numbers, addresses, and counting days or money.

Sino korean numbers vs native Korean numbers

Sino-Korean Numbers with Hanja Counters

Sino-Korean numbers are known to have inseparable friendship with some Hanja counters. “Hanja” means that these count words originated from the Chinese language. Here are some common Hanja counters that are used after a Sino-Korean number: 년(nyeon), 월 (wol), 일(il), 분(bun), 초(cho), 원(won), 주일(juil), 층(cheung), and 인분(inbun).

List of Hanja counters with Sino-Korean numbers

How to Count in Korean with Native-Korean Numbers

  • 1 — 하나 hana
  • 2 — 둘 dul
  • 3 — 셋 set
  • 4 — 넷 net
  • 5 — 다섯 daseot
  • 6 — 여섯 yeoseot
  • 7 — 일곱 ilgop
  • 8 — 여덟 yeodeol
  • 9 — 아홉 ahop
  • 10 — 열 yeol

Do you know that Minions talk numbers in Korean?

List of "Minions" language in English

Counting up to 99 with Native Korean Numbers

Unlike Sino-Korean numbers, the native Korean numbers have different names for each of the tens, and they are used to create any other number between 20 and 99.

  • 20 — 스물 seumul
  • 30 — 서른 seoleun
  • 40 — 마흔 maheun
  • 50 — 쉰 swin
  • 60 — 예순 yesun
  • 70 — 일흔 ilheun
  • 80 — 여든 yeodeun
  • 90 — 아흔 aheun

If you want to make a native Korean number from 11 to 19, the rule is: 열(ten) + number between 하나(one) and 아홉 (nine) inclusive. For example:

  • 11 = 열하나 (ten-one)
  • 18 = 열여덟 (ten-eight)

If you want to make native Korean numbers from 21 to 99 excluding multiples of tens, you need to combine a number for the tens and a number between 1 and 9 inclusive. For example, the tens number for 21~29 is 스물 (twenty). To make a number from 21 to 29, the rule is 스물(twenty) + number between 하나(one) and 아홉 (nine) inclusive. For example: 

  • 25 = 스물다섯 (twenty-five)
  • 23 = 스물셋 (twenty-three)

Native Korean numbers from 31 to 99 are made in the same manner. Here are more examples of numbers from 31 to 99:

  • 35 = 서른다섯 (thirty-five)
  • 43 = 마흔셋 (forty-three)
  • 58 = 쉰여덟 (fifty-eight)
  • 66 = 예순여섯 (sixty-six)
  • 71 = 일흔하나 (seventy-one)
  • 89 = 여든아홉 (eighty-nine)
  • 94 = 아흔넷 (ninety-four)

Now let’s enjoy another song of Native Korean numbers!

Counting above 100 with Native Korean numbers?

👉The maximum that the native Korean number can reach is 99. For any numbers starting from 100, the Sino-Korean number system is used.

Specify Quantities with Native Korean Numbers

The general usage is Noun + Number + Count word in a sentence.


사과 네 개가 있어요.

There are four apples. 

Like Hanja counters with Sino-Korean numbers, native Korean numbers are also used with collocative count words to specify quantities of items. 

The most common counter is 개(gae), which can be used in most situations when counting items. Here are some more examples: 개(gae), 달(dal), 시(si), 시간(sigan), 명(myeong), 살(sal) and 마리(mari). 

Korean count words with native numbers

Native Korean has five numbers that take a short form before a count word: 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷 and 스물. Here they are, followed by 살 (years old) as examples. 

Native Korean numbers in different forms


How to Use Korean Numbers in Real Life?

Asking Number-Related Questions with 몇 and 얼마

Use the question word 몇(myeot) when the answer involves counters such as 시 (time), 살 (years old), 명 (persons), etc.


몇 살이에요?
How old are you? 

내일 사람 몇 명 만나요?
How many people will you meet tomorrow? 

내일 몇 시에 일어날 거예요?
What time are you going to get up tomorrow? 

Use the question word 얼마 (eolma) when you ask for the amount, price and degree that you do not know exactly.

가격이 얼마예요?
How much is the price? 

여기서 얼마나 멀어요?
How far is it from here? 

How to Say Zero in Korean

There are two ways of saying zero in Korean: 영 (yeong) and 공 (gong). 

is used in arithmetic:

  • 0 X 1 = 0 → 영 곱하기 일은 영 (zero multiplied by one is zero)
  • 0.35 = 영 점 삼오 (점 means dot) 
  • 0.0002 = 영 점 영영영이

is used for phone numbers or other occasions in which people say numbers digit-by-digit. The digit 0 is then pronounced as 공. 


  • 010 0101 1234 = 공일공 공일공일 일이삼사


Ask and Talk About Date and Time in Korean

You can ask the date of a day like this: 

오늘 몇월 며칠이에요?

What’s today’s date?

Expressing the date in Korean is in year-month-day format,: from the biggest and down to the smallest unit. You can say 년(nyeon), 월(wol), and 일(il), (which is year, month, day respectively)after the numbers, as Sino-Korean numbers. 


오늘은 7월(칠월) 12일(십이일)이에요.

It is July 12th today.

Korean months are named after their numeral sequences in a year with Sino-Korean numbers. They don’t have individual names in the same way as English. 

The names are formed with the number + 월 (wol). Notice that the numbers in 유월 (June) and 시월 (October) undergo a form change. 

Months in Korean
Sequence in year English Korean
1st January 일월 ilwol
2nd February  이월 iwol
 3rd March 삼월 samwol
 4th April 사월 sawol
 5th May 오월 owol
 6th June 유월 yuwol
 7th July 칠월 chilwol
 8th August 팔월 palwol
 9th September 구월 guwol
 10th October 시월 siwol
 11th  November 십일월 sibilwol
 12th December 십이월 sibiwol

To ask the time, you can say:

지금 몇 시예요?

What time is it now? 

When we tell the time in Korean, we use both Sino-Korean numbers and native Korean numbers. 

We use native-Korean numbers in front of 시 for the hour, and Sino-Korean numbers in front of 분 for the minute. 

  • 3:15 = 세 시 십오 분
  • 7:05 = 일곱 시 오 분
Clock with Korean numbers
image source: harbringerofpeace on MemRise

Ask and Talk About Prices in Korean Numbers

When you want to know the price for something, you can ask: 

(이거) 얼마예요?

How much (is this)?

To say the price, you just add the money unit “won” after a Sino-Korean number. But you need to remember the Korean won comes in 만(man, 10000) increments, as the price increases.

For example: 

  • 500 won = 오백 원
  • 9,000 won = 구천 원
  • 12,000 won = 만이천 원
  • 369,900 won = 삼십육구천구백 원
  • 5,000,800 won = 오백팔백 원

Ask and Talk About House Numbers and Phone Numbers in Korean

When you ask about one’s address, you can say:

몇 동 몇 호에 사세요?

What is your house number? 

동 is a unit for building number and 호 is for room number. 

To answer, you can just add the count word after sino-Korean numbers. 

  • 백이 동 천일 호 = Building 102 Room 1001 
  • 사 동 오백이 호 = Building 4 Room 502 

To ask the phone numbers, you can say: 

전화번호가 어떻게 되세요?

What is your phone number?

To say a phone number, you just need to say it digit by digit as Sino-Korean numbers:  

  • 010-1234-5678 = 공일공 일이삼사 오육칠팔

Using Numbers When Ordering Items

When you order something, you just need to say the items and quantities, usually as native Korean numbers. 

When ordering one item, you can omit the count words:

아이스아메리카노 하나 주세요.

Please give me one iced Americano. 

아이스아메리카노 한 잔 주세요.

Please give me one glass of iced Americano.

You can use the most common count word 개 in most cases, even if you don’t know what the collocative count word for the item is. 

공책 한 권 주세요 = 공책 한 개 주세요.

Please give me one notebook. 


Exercises for Native Korean Numbers

Try to read some phrases containing native Korean numbers. 

Highlight to see the answers!

Four dogs = 강아지 네 마리

Twenty hours = 스무 시간

Nine people = 아홉 명

7 o’clock = 일곱 시

9 months = 아홉 달 

Exercises for Sino-Korean Numbers

Part 1: Try to read the following numerals as Sino-Korean numbers. 

Challenge yourself – do not peep the keys! 










Part 2: Try to say some phrases containing Sino-Korean numbers. 

35,000 won  

3 weeks 

No. 100 

15th floor 

10 portions/servings 



Part 1: 

37 = 삼십칠

70 = 칠십

498 = 사백구십팔

5,500 = 오천오백

60,081 = 육팔십일

812,345 = 팔십일이천삼백사십오

1,003,567 = 백삼천오백육십칠

21,250,000 = 이천백이십오

934,714,575 = 구삼천사백칠십일사천오백칠십오

Part 2: 

35,000 won = 삼만오천 원  

3 weeks = 삼 주일

Number 100 = 백 번

15th floor = 십오 층

10 servings = 십 인분 



Through this article, you have learned how to use the two Korean number systems, how to count numbers for different purposes and how to use numbers in various daily conversations, so now it’s time to level up the challenge with exercises! LingoDeer’s Korean course includes 3 lessons to cover all aspects of Korean numbers and provides you a variety of exercises to strengthen what you have learned. For better language learning, start with LingoDeer from today!

There’s also a free video by LingoDeer about the two number systems in Korean


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Korean Age: How to Calculate and Talk About It
3 years ago

[…] This article provides you with a complete guide to Korean numbers systems and how to count in Korean. […]

2 years ago

Your article says 억 is 100,000,000, a billion. Is this a typo? 100,000,000 is 100 million.

2 years ago
Reply to  MsChou

억 is 100 hundred million. 1 billion would be 십악

Aye Khant Mom
Aye Khant Mom
2 years ago

Thanks.You explained a lot which I want to know before.Now I knew well how and when to count numbers.

1 year ago

I think it’s a pretty accurate and useful blog. I really would recommend this. Thanks!

1 year ago

Hi! Dear,
Thank you for all the great information.
I am a native Korean speaker and currently teach Korean to students who were born in America. I found this site while looking for class material. This site is so impressed. Contents is very well organized.

But there are some mistake in the chart of
the Common Count Words with Native Korean Numbers.

wrong part are
사 시 should be 세 시

소 세 마리 should be -> 3 cows
or 소 다섯 마리 is correct

I leave comments hoping people don’t get misinformation.
and thank you again for great quality information.