Classifiers – Markers for Counting

I have been mentioning about markers on my previous posts regarding numbers.  This is one characteristics of the Korean Language.  They use certain markers to classify what is being counted.  They are normally called Classfier, Counter or Marker.  Today, I am posting about these markers and some of the rules to follow in using it.

It’s really hard to explain the counterpart in English as some do not have any equivalent.  Like when you want to say 5 dogs, that is it in English but in Korean it can be expressed as  개 다 마리 (kae da mari) which is directly translated as dog 5 mari.  Mari is the classifer which do not have an English counter part.  As mentioned in my previous post on Native Korean numerals, mari is used to indicate that animals or fish is being counted.

Below are Classifiers used with Native Korean Numbers, note that those preceeded with (-) cannot used independently as noun the other therefore can be used as a stand-alone noun if needed:

For the above mentioned classfiers, Sino-Korean numbers can also be used for numbers 20 and above, therefore, one can encounter 60 bottles as either 예순 병 (yesun byong) or 육십 병 (yokship byong).

Below are Classifiers used with Sino Korean Numbers:

It’s good to note that in both cases the classifier -분  can be used with Native or Sino-Korean number, the meaning (minutes or esteemed person) can be derived based on the content of the sentence.


6 thoughts on “Classifiers – Markers for Counting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s