**Native Korean Numbers vs Sino-Korean Numbers **

The Korean numbering system is unique in that it utilizes two distinct sets of numbers: Native Korean numbers and Sino-Korean numbers. Each set is used in different contexts, and understanding when to use each is of the utmost importance, even for beginner Korean learners. This article will help you learn Korean online by explaining both numbering systems, providing examples of each, and clarifying their usage.

**Native Korean Numbers**

Native Korean numbers are primarily used for counting objects, people, and ages. They are also used for hours in telling time and for some units of measure.

**Numbers 1 to 10 in Native Korean:**

- 하나 (hana) – One
- 둘 (dul) – Two
- 셋 (set) – Three
- 넷 (net) – Four
- 다섯 (daseot) – Five
- 여섯 (yeoseot) – Six
- 일곱 (ilgop) – Seven
- 여덟 (yeodeol) – Eight
- 아홉 (ahop) – Nine
- 열 (yeol) – Ten

For numbers beyond ten, the native Korean numbers have specific words for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 80 as follows:

- 20 is 스물 (seumul)
- 30 is 서른 (seoreun)
- 40 is 마흔 (maheun)
- 50 is 쉰 (swin)
- 60 is 예순 (yesun)
- 70 is 일흔 (ilheun)
- 80 is 여든 (yeodeun)
- 90 is 아흔 (aheun)

To express numbers such as 11 or 21, combine the specific words for 10 or 20 then add the word for 1.

- 11 is 열하나 (yeolhana)
- 21 is 스물하나 (seumulhana)

**Usage Examples:**

**Counting Objects:**세 개 (se gae) – Three items.**Age:**스물다섯 살 (seumuldaseot sal) – 25 years old.**Hours (Time):**세 시 (se si) – 3 o’clock.

**Sino-Korean Numbers**

Sino-Korean numbers are derived from Chinese and are used in contexts such as dates, money, addresses, phone numbers, and minutes and seconds in time.

**Numbers 1 to 10 in Sino-Korean:**

- 일 (il) – One
- 이 (i) – Two
- 삼 (sam) – Three
- 사 (sa) – Four
- 오 (o) – Five
- 육 (yuk) – Six
- 칠 (chil) – Seven
- 팔 (pal) – Eight
- 구 (gu) – Nine
- 십 (sip) – Ten

For numbers beyond ten, Sino-Korean numbers follow a more straightforward decimal system:

- 11 is 십일 (sipil)
- 20 is 이십 (isip)
- 21 is 이십일 (isibil)
- 30 is 삼십 (samsip)
- 40 is 사십 (sasip)

**Usage Examples:**

**Dates:**2024년 6월 2일 (i-cheon-i-sip-sa nyeon yug-wol i-il) – June 2, 2024.**Money:**오천 원 (ocheon won) – 5,000 won.**Addresses:**일곱번지 (ilgop beonji) – House number 7.**Phone Numbers:**이삼사-오육칠팔 (i-sam-sa o-yuk-chil-pal) – 234-5678.**Minutes and Seconds (Time):**십오 분 (sibo bun) – 15 minutes.

**When to Use Each System**

In summary, here are which numbering system to use and their examples:

**Native Korean Numbers:**- Counting objects (e.g., three apples: 사과 세 개)
- People (e.g., five people: 다섯 명)
- Age (e.g., 25 years old: 스물다섯 살)
- Hours in time (e.g., 3 o’clock: 세 시)

**Sino-Korean Numbers:**- Dates (e.g., June 2, 2024: 2024년 6월 2일)
- Money (e.g., 5,000 won: 오천 원)
- Addresses (e.g., house number 7: 일곱번지)
- Phone numbers (e.g., 234-5678: 이삼사-오육칠팔)
- Minutes and seconds in time (e.g., 15 minutes: 십오 분)

Whether you’re discussing the time of day or counting the number of friends coming to dinner, knowing which number system to use will help you avoid common mistakes when communicating in Korean.