In this post, you’ll learn all about Korean numbers, including how to count to 1,000+ in Korean.
Numbers are used so frequently in everyday life and are a great place to start when learning a foreign language. After all, when we learn a language, we need them for all manner of things, from telling the time to paying the bill at a restaurant.
Korean is one of the most popular languages to learn right now, due in large part to its increased popularity and the worldwide fascination with Korean pop culture.
So, let’s get started and find out not only how to count in Korean, but also why Korean numbers are the way they are.
How's it going? I'm James, a lover of travel and languages. So much so that I blog about them on this site. I hope you find this information useful! 😊
Korean Number Systems: READ THIS FIRST!
Before we begin to count in Korean, you have to learn about the two Korean number systems in the Korean language.
They are called the Sino Korean numbers, (or the China system), and Native Korean numbers.
If you are not a native Korean speaker, this may be a bit tricky to understand. You may be asking yourself: Why are there two different systems for numbers in Korean and what is the difference between the two systems?
Below, you will find descriptions of both systems and how and when to use them.
Sino Korean Number System
This first system is called Sino numbers and is derived from Chinese characters. After all, China had a big influence on the Korean writing system.
As you may know, China was very involved both politically and culturally in Korean everyday life. Before Korea developed its own system of writing, called Hangul, they used Chinese characters to write.
Sino numbers can use Chinese characters, but in modern times, they are usually written in Hangul.
Modern Koreans use the Sino numbers in Hangul, but use characters that allow the numbers to be pronounced how they would have been with the Chinese numbers.
Although the Korean language has, in large part, moved away from Chinese characters, there are still vestiges of the Chinese language in the Korean alphabet and especially in its numbers system.
The Sino Korean system and Sino numbers are used to do the math, measure things, write out Korean phone numbers, count up money (Korean won), and count months, days, and years.
The Sino-Korean system is also used for naming the months of the year. Pretty cool, right?
Native Korean Number System
The native Korean system uses numbers in the native Korean writing system known as Hangul.
This number system was developed after the Sino-Korean numbers system but is just as commonly used in the Korean language today.
One major difference between the Sino Korean numbers and native Korean numbers is that the number zero does not exist as one of the native Korean numbers.
Despite this, there are still two different ways to say zero in the Korean language, 영 (Yeong) and 공 (Gong).
The native Korean counting system and native Korean numbers are used not only when counting things like most inanimate objects, but also when counting people, telling the time, and telling someone’s age.
There are also only 99 numbers in Korean in this system.
How to Count in Korean
In order to count in Korean, you have to learn both how to write the Korean words that symbolize the numbers and how to pronounce each of them.
Below, I will show you the numbers followed by either the Sino numbers or the native ones.
Then, you will find the pronunciation of each number, so that you can practice pronouncing these numbers in Korean.
Numbers 1-10 in Sino Korean Number System
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)
Numbers 1-10 in Native Korean Number System
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)
Numbers 10-19 in Korean
Now that we have the basic numbers in Korean, we will move on to the teens.
The process of counting in Korean is to combine two or more number characters together to make a new number.
This process of character combination is called stacking.
With the teen numbers, all you have to do is take the character for 10, (Sino Korean system: 십 or native Korean system: 열), and add any number from 1-9 to the right of it to make the numbers in Korean.
Let’s start with an easy one: 11 in Korean
With the Sino Korean numbers, 1o is 십 (sip) and 1 is 일 (il), so when we combine the two it will look like this: 십일 (sipil).
We can apply the same rule to the native numbers by combining 10 or 열 (yeol) and 1 or 하나 (hana) to make 열하나 (yeolhana).
Following this rule, the rest of the teens look as follows:
Sino Korean numbers and Native Korean Numbers
12 십이 12 열둘
13 십삼 13 열셋
14 십사 14 열넷
15 십오 15 열다섯
16 십육 16 열여섯
17 십칠 17 열일곱
18 십팔 18 열여덟
19 십구 19 열아홉
For each number, I have put the ten in bold so that you can see the distinction between the two in each Korean word.
Korean Number Pronunciation
All of the Sino Korean numbers will start with sip, so they are as follows:
All of the native Korean numbers will start with yeol, so they are as follows:
For the following groupings, I will put the pronunciations next to each character so that you can see them side by side with the characters.
Numbers 20-29 in Korean
Just like with the teens, the only character that changes in the group of 20s is the last one in the combination.
The number 20 in the Sino numbers is written like this: 이십 and the pronunciation is isip.
As you can see, a new character was added to the front of the ten or sip character.
This new character and the sip character will remain buddies for the whole 20s grouping and will serve as the constant.
The same goes for the native numbers in Korean.
The native Korean word for 10 has stayed the same and a new character has been added to the front. The native Korean number 20 is 스물 and the pronunciation is seumul.
Numbers 21-29 in Korean
21 이십일 (isipil) 21 스물하나 (seumulhana)
22 이십이 (isipi) 22 스물둘 (seumuldul)
23 이십삼 (isipsam) 23 스물셋 (seumulset)
24 이십사 (isipsa) 24 스물넷 (seumulnet)
25 이십오 (isipo) 25 스물다섯 (seumuldaseot)
26 이십육 (isipyuk) 26 스물여섯 (seumulyeoseot)
27 이십칠 (isipchil) 27 스물일곱 (seumulilgop)
28 이십팔 (isippal) 28 스물여덟 (seumulyeodeol)
29 이십구 (isipgu) 29 스물아홉 (seumulahop)
Numbers 30-39 in Korean
30 삼십 (samsip) 30 서른 (seoreun)
31 삼십일 (samsipil) 31 서른하나 (seoreunhana)
32 삼십이 (samsipi) 32 서른둘 (seoreundul)
33 삼십삼 (samsipsam) 33 서른셋 (seoreunset)
34 삼십사 (samsipsa) 34 서른넷 (seoreunnet)
35 삼십오 (samsipo) 35 서른다섯 (seoreundaseot)
36 삼십육 (samsipyuk) 36 서른여섯 (seoreunyeoseot)
37 삼십칠 (samsipchil) 37 서른일곱 (seoreunilgop)
38 삼십팔 (samsippal) 38 서른여덟 (seureunyeodeol)
39 삼십구 (samsipgu) 39 서른아홉 (seureunahop)
Numbers 40-49 in Korean
40 사십 (sasip) 40 마흔 (maheun)
41 사십일 (sasipil) 41 마흔하나 (maheunhana)
42 사십이 (sasipi) 42 마흔둘 (maheundul)
43 사십삼 (sasipsam) 43 마흔셋 (maheunset)
44 사십사 (sasipsa) 44 마흔넷 (maheunnet)
45 사십오 (sasipo) 45 마흔다섯 (maheundaseot)
46 사십육 (sasipyuk) 46 마흔여섯 (maheunyeoseot)
47 사십칠 (sasipchil) 47 마흔일곱 (maheunilgop)
48 사십팔 (sasippal) 48 마흔여덟 (maheunyeodeol)
49 사십구 (sasipgu) 49 마흔아홉 (maheunahop)
Numbers 50-59 in Korean
50 오십 (osip) 50 쉰 (swin)
51 오십일 (osipil) 51 쉰하나 (swinhana)
52 오십이 (osipi) 52 쉰둘 (swindul)
53 오십삼 (osipsam) 53 쉰셋 (swinset)
54 오십사 (osipsa) 54 쉰넷 (swinnet)
55 오십오 (osipo) 55 쉰다섯 (swindaseot)
56 오십육 (osipyuk) 56 쉰여섯 (swinyeoseot)
57 오십칠 (osipchil) 57 쉰일곱 (swinilgop)
58 오십팔 (osippal) 58 쉰여덟 (swinyeodeol)
59 오십구 (osipgu) 59 쉰아홉 (swinahop)
Numbers 60-69 in Korean
60 육십 (yuksip) 60 예순 (yesun)
61 육십일 (yuksipil) 61 예순하나 (yesunhana)
62 육십이 (yuksipi) 62 예순둘 (yesundul)
63 육십삼 (yuksipsam) 63 예순셋 (yesunset)
64 육십사 (yuksipsa) 64 예순넷 (yesunnet)
65 육십오 (yuksipo) 65 예순다섯 (yesundaseot)
66 육십육 (yuksipyuk) 66 예순여섯 (yesunyeoseot)
67 육십칠 (yuksipchil) 67 예순일곱 (yesunilgop)
68 육십팔 (yuksippal) 68 예순여덟 (yesunyeodeol)
69 육십구 (yuksipgu) 69 예순아홉 (yesunahop)
Numbers 70-79 in Korean
70 칠십 (chilsip) 70 일흔 (ilheun)
71 칠십일 (chilsipil) 71 일흔하나 (ilheunhana)
72 칠십이 (chilsipi) 72 일흔둘 (ilheundul)
73 칠십삼 (chilsipsam) 73 일흔셋 (ilheunset)
74 칠십사 (chilsipsa) 74 일흔넷 (ilheunnet)
75 칠십오 (chilsipo) 75 일흔다섯 (ilheundaseot)
76 칠십육 (chilsipyuk) 76 일흔여섯 (ilheunyeoseot)
77 칠십칠 (chilsipchil) 77 일흔일곱 (ilheunilgop)
78 칠십팔 (chilsippal) 78 일흔여덟 (ilheunyeodeol)
79 칠십구 (chilsipgu) 79 일흔아홉 (ilheunahop)
Numbers 80-89 in Korean
80 팔십 (palsip) 80 여든 (yeodeun)
81 팔십일 (palsipil) 81 여든하나 (yeodeunhana)
82 팔십이 (palsipi) 82 여든둘 (yeodeundul)
83 팔십삼 (palsipsam) 83 여든셋 (yeodeunset)
84 팔십사 (palsipsa) 84 여든넷 (yeodeunnet)
85 팔십오 (palsipo) 85 여든다섯 (yeodeundaseot)
86 팔십육 (palsipyuk) 86 여든여섯 (yeodeunyeoseot)
87 팔십칠 (palsipchil) 87 여든일곱 (yeodeunilgop)
88 팔십팔 (palsippal) 88 여든여덟 (yeodeunyeodeol)
89 팔십구 (palsipgu) 89 여든아홉 (yeodeunahop)
Numbers 90-99 in Korean
90 구십 (gusip) 90 아흔 (aheun)
91 구십일 (gusipil) 91 아흔하나 (aheunhana)
92 구십이 (gusipi) 92 아흔둘 (aheundul)
93 구십삼 (gusipsam) 93 아흔셋 (aheunset)
94 구십사 (gusipsa) 94 아흔넷 (aheunnet)
95 구십오 (gusipo) 95 아흔다섯 (aheundaseot)
96 구십육 (gusipyuk) 96 아흔여섯 (aheunyeoseot)
97 구십칠 (gusipchil) 97 아흔일곱 (aheunilgop)
98 구십팔 (gusippal) 98 아흔여덟 (aheunyeodeol)
99 구십구 (gusipgu) 99 아흔아홉 (aheunahop)
Numbers 100 and above in Korean
After 99, you don’t have to worry about the native numbers anymore.
From this point, all you need to focus on after this point is the Sino-Korean system.
Since you now know how to count in Korean in the double digits, you can use the same tools to count in the triple digits and beyond.
Just like above, the bigger the number, the more to combine. As you stacked the characters for the 10s through 90s, you’ll now stack even more characters to create bigger numbers.
Hundreds and thousands in Korean
The Sino Korean number for 100 is 백 or baek.
For each number in the 100’s, you will add the smaller number in front of the 백. I will put a few more examples of the triple digits below:
300 셋백 (sambaek)
400 사백 (sabaek)
500 오백 (obaek)
1,000 in Korean 천 (cheon)
The same rules that apply to the 100s apply here.
10,000 in Korean
The Korean number for ten thousand is 만 or man.
This is an important word because after this number, thousands of numbers in Korean that are bigger than this use the 만 symbol.
Such numbers include:
100,000 (십만 or simman)
1,000,000 (백만or baekman)
10,000,000 (천만 or cheonman)
Phone Numbers in Korean
Phone numbers are different in every country and it gets even more complicated when different languages use different characters.
In English, we are used to using the Arabic numeral system to count.
However, in Korean, telephone numbers are written out in Sino numbers.
Follow the rules above for bigger numbers to write out phone numbers in Korean.
Summing Up: How to Count to 100+ in Korean
After reading this post, I hope you can feel confident about your Korean skills and feel ready to show off how to count in Korean at your next gathering.
Korean can be harder than other languages but can be so rewarding if you work on it and start to feel good about your language learning.
Good luck and please feel free to try Lingopie to learn Korean. Lingopie is an online platform that enables you to learn Korean (not just Korean numbers) through video, including TV shows and movies.
The link below will give you a 7-day free trial. Good luck!
James is the founder of travel-lingual.com. He is a tutor of English, Spanish, and Italian. Furthermore, he has visited 35 countries and has tried dozens of language courses to date.
He has worked as a language teacher in France, Spain, Argentina, and Costa Rica. His love of languages led him to create this blog, to share best practices in language learning and inspire others to learn!