Native Korean Numbers

On this post, I wanted to focus more on the Native Korean numerals which is surprisingly up to 99 only.  As mentiond in the Korean Number section for numbers above 99 the Sino-Korean are used.   The formula is also provided in that page.

There are peculiarities in using the Native Korean numbers.  하나 (hana), 둘 (dul), 셋 (set) and 넷 (net)  which are 1..2..3…4 respectively drops the last sound before the word it counts.  Note that the character ㅅ in 셋 (set) and 넷 (net) are pronounced as ‘t’ when it occurs as final consonant.  As an example, instead of saying 하나 잭 hana chaek , you will only hear ha chaek which means one book.  This goes the same for 둘, 셋 and 넷 which will be written and pronounced du, se and ne.  This rule applies to count number 20 스물 (seumul) which drop the sound ‘l’ as well when used right before the word that its counting.

Furthermore, 셋 (3)  and 넷 (4)  are pronounced as sok and nek respectively if the noun or counter it follows begin with ㄷor ㅈ.

There are also counters that is being used along with Native Korean numbers.  Counters are like identifiers of the item being counted, its hard to tell the counterpart for in some there is non.  Like we can say 3 chickens or 3 head of chicken in English but in  Korean its just 3 chicken –>닭 세 마리 (dal se mari) literally this is chicken (닭) 3 (세, remember the rule drop the last sound).  Now 마리 (mari) is actually a counter or classfier. This is something which do not have counter part in English maybe comparable to school as in school of fish or herd of cows etc.  This classifier is used for counting animals and fish.

There are a lot of classifiers or counters that goes with Native Korean numerals I will discuss this in my next post.

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Dealing with Numbers

My post for new year  of 2008 was mainly numbers in Korean.  I specifically learned to count 1 to 10 and suceeding numbers in mutiples of 10 such as 20, 30, 40 etc.  I was a bit reluctant to to learn further on numbers as I am more interested in learning the parts of speech, particles and rules.  There is one chapter of the book Elementary Korean that deals with number.  I did not know what I am missing until I read this chapter.

The first set of numbers I have learned are the native Korean numbers.  So if there is native way of numeral expression then there is borrowed which is the Sino-Korean.  This form of counting is borrowed from Chinese as the name Sino suggests.

Some general information on numeral expression, first, the native Korean numbers are up to 99 only anything up is counted or expressed using the Sino-Korean numbers.  Due to the list of numbers, i have decided to put up a separate page for this numbers.   Just click on the link to see the numerals.

The page also explains the system or pattern in stating and writing compound numbers like 101, 32 or 1450.  Numbers are important, when I went to Korea last April, I was foolish not to give importance to this so I end up doing sign language when paying food or merchandise on the street/market.  Keeping in mind the Sino-Korean numbers are helpful as money is counted using this.