Level 1 Lesson 15 / Sino-Korean Numbers / 일, 이, 삼, 사 ….

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In this TTMIK lesson, we are talking about numbers. In Korean there are two sets of number, one is native Korean numbers and the other set is sino-Korean numbers. Sino-Korean numbers are numbers that are based on the Chinese language (therefore if you speak Chinese, you will find that the sino-Korean numbers are quite similar to the Chinese numbers), and in this lesson we are introducing numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 100, and 1,000.

Numbers are not always easy to memorize, especially if you don’t have to use them often, so be sure to practice using them every chance you get!


You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.

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  • Boris

    I wonder, when you walk through Seoul, where i right now am, you always see streetsigns like ” blabla 3(sam)-ga”. Why both numbers and letters? Not that I mind, it helps me learn the numbers, but it is dubble. Btw, this is really a great city, much better as expected.

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      Well, I hope you to know that English and Korean are quite different so sometimes, it is hard to understand each other when someone try to understand the other one with his/her native grammar structure.
      Anyway, the “ga” you mentioned is like a concept of “street”, “region” in English.

  • Emily

    When do you use 륙 and 육?

    • Alex

      You use 륙 when counting after 5. For example, 일이삼사오륙. When using six by itself, you use 육.

  • Rachel

    There is no zero for the Sino-Korean Number stated in PDF. I wonder if they are 영 and 공 in the audio recording?

  • diwesh87

    Hello again ,

    Thanks for sharing this number audio . Coming to how to say big numbers , i guess it wasn’t difficult for me , once i learnt the numbers 1 to 10 and then 100 1000 and so , i could just make any number myself , surely i used to pause a little , but that was just because of lack of practice , but the rule is quite simple . I am not sure of any other countries education system , but i am from India , and forming big numbers used to be the chapter in my maths book in i guess the 3rd or the 4th grade .

    the logic is simple ,

    Any number counting from the right goes like unit , ten , hundred , thousand , and so on ..

    so the number 3 = 3 (unit) = 3 x 1 = sam
    32 = 3 x 10 ( ten) + 2 x 1 (unit) = sam-ship + ee = samshipee
    325 = 3 x 100( hundred) + 2 x 10 (ten) + 5 x1 (unit) = sam-chan + ee-ship + o
    = samchan-eeship-o

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  • Paul Johnson

    Hello, how can I get a digital version of workbook 1? Thanks!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kristinejoy.catan.7 Kristine Joy Catan

    Annyeong haseyo. I’m from the Philippines and my phone number is 09465889912. Should I say “yeong gu sa yuk o pal pal gu gu il ee”?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Great job! Perfect!

    • https://www.facebook.com/kristinejoy.catan.7 Kristine Joy Catan

      감사함니다 선상님! ^_^

  • Houyam

    hello,An-nyeong-ha-se-yo !

    I’ve a question : 20=십십 ?

    • Seokjin Jin

      20 = 이십


    • Houyam

      oh sorry
      감사함니다 :)

  • William Lynch


    Is this right?

    63 육십삼
    2748 이첨칠백사십발
    10,234 십첨이백삼십사
    55 오십오
    37 삼십칠
    274 이백칠십사
    212 이백십사
    13 십삼
    371 삼백칠십일

    • http://twitter.com/jetz531 jetz

      Some corrections^^ –
      2748 이첨칠백사십발 – 이천칠백사십팔

      This wasn’t in the lesson but 10000 is 만
      10,234 십첨이백삼십사 – 만이백삼십사
      212 이백십사 – 이백십이

    • Seokjin Jin

      Awesome! Thanks for your correction.

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  • Paradise

    The lesson was amazing ,I loved it.
    감사함니다 !

    • Seokjin Jin

      Thanks for your comment. 감사합니다. :)

    • Paradise

      You’re welcome :)

  • Linda Zze

    i love korean numbers *o* thank you for this lesson !

    • Chae


      However, when stating 0,

      please use 공 instead of 영 for phone numbers :-)

    • Linda Zze

      ahhh i seee! THANK YOU ^^

  • Raelin

    Could I say 1,111 as 일천일백십일?

    • Seokjin Jin

      You don’t have to say 일 except on the first digit, like 천백십일.

  • Audrey Lee

    1) 영 or 공, what is the difference? is there any specific rules to use 영 or 공?
    2) if i want to include the country code, let’s say the country code is +603, how should i say the “+” ?
    3) if my phone number is 1234-5678, how to say the “-“?

    • Chai Amberlene

      If i am not mistaken,

      1) When appearing in telephone numbers, 공 is used (never use 영 as it it strictly for other counting purposes)
      2) 국가 코드 (country code) ; +603 will be 국가 코드 (pause) 육공삼
      3) written as 의 but pronounce as 에. some people say 다시 too. You can omit them out, it doesn’t really matter as it’s understandable.

      Have a lovely day ahead :-)

    • Seokjin Jin

      Wow, awesome! Thanks for your great reply!

    • Chae

      If i am not mistaken,

      1) When appearing in telephone numbers, 공 is used (never use 영 as it it strictly for other counting purposes)
      2) 국가 코드 (country code) ; +603 will be 국가 코드 (pause) 육공삼
      written as 의 but pronounce as 에. some people say 다시 too. You can omit
      them out, it doesn’t really matter as it’s understandable.

      Have a lovely day ahead :-)

  • Anon57


    How do you say 999,000 in Korean?
    Is gooshipmahn goomahn goochun correct or is it gooship goomahn goochun because I learned you need to drop the first mahn?


    • Chae

      The correct one is your second answer, 구십구만 구천 .

      Always remember large numbers in Korean are read based on units of ten thousands (만) & not thousands (천).

      354,790 is interpreted as 35,4790 -> 35만 4790 (삼십오만 사천칠백구십)
      6,354,790 is interpreted as 635,4790 -> 635만 4790 (욕백삼십오만 사천칠백구십)

      999,000 is interpreted as 99,9000 -> 99만 9000 (구십구만 구)

      Have a lovely day ahead :-)

  • sam tailer

    On Kdramas, when they take photos and are counting it sounds like they are saying 발 구 십 is this correct?

    • Safae

      I think they use the other system wich is native-korean numbers so they say 하나, 두, 세 instead

    • Seokjin Jin

      Well, in that situation, we often use native-Korean numbers so I would say 하나, 둘, 셋.

  • Joshua Grootveld

    Just ordered the new book Survival Korean! Can’t wait for it to arrive.. While i’m waiting for that, i guess i’ll try to level up with these amazing audio lessons :D

    • Seokjin Jin

      Yeah! Awesome! I hope time will go fast when you study with us! :)

  • Vergil

    How do you say the year in korean? Do you say two thousand and fourteen or twenty fourteen? (이천십사 or 이십 십사)

    • Seokjin Jin

      We say 이천십사 for the year. :)

  • Djilian Foster

    this is the easiest lesson :p I have already learn them .. <3

    • Seokjin Jin

      Awesome! :) You can go to next round!

    • Djilian Foster

      Oh Yes !! Sure … <3

  • 요가


    이거는 맞아요 ?

    • Seokjin Jin

      아니요. 틀렸어요. ㅎㅎㅎ

      육이팔구육팔육오오공공육구 예요.

    • Guest

      아이고, 그래요
      아마 제 눈이 조금 아파요

    • 요가

      아,그레 ㅎㅎㅎㅎ
      아마 제 눈이 조금 아파요


  • Catia

    2,458 = 이전사백오십사
    2,014 = 이전십사
    4,001 = 사전일
    9,173 = 구전백칠십삼
    3,333 = 삼전삼백삼십삼
    598 = 오백구십팔
    2,000 = 이전
    1,955 = 전구백오십오
    Is that correct?

    아마 제 머리이 조금 아파요 ^_^

    • Juanis

      2,458 = 이전사백오십사 Is wrong since that means 2,454

      it is: 2,458 = 이전사백오십팔 <<<< This is the correct way!

  • Fatimah Akhir

    Wow I enjoyed learning all this num even tho idk how to spell it hehe (^o^) kamsahamnida seonsaengnim ^♥^

  • mariam

    I feel in love with the korean language after watching a bunch of their movies and i started learning korean which is amaizing due to great lessons given hope to prosper

  • sol

    Hello! First of all thank you so much for these lessons!
    If I want to say 32567 for example, should I say 삼십이만오백육십칠 or 삼이만오백육십칠? I feel like neither of them are right haha.
    Thank you!

  • Zineb

    I was born in 1995 (천구백구십오) so I am 19 (십구) years old !! :D

    Thank you for this lesson I truly appreciate your time and effort ^_^ You’re the best ♥ 감사합니다!

  • Nehemiah

    09989789439 is 농구구팔구칠팔구사삼구?


  • Aileen

    I’m from the US, but Chinese was my first language. I feel like that has helped me a bit since some Korean words are similar to Chinese ones. The number system is really similar too. Also, Hangul was so easy to learn compared to the Chinese writing system… Anyway, I love your lessons because they’re really fun to easy to understand! Thank you so much ^^

  • Mini Konkhmer

    Could you tell how to speak the words ” Korean number and Shino number” in Korean language? Thanks in advance… :)

  • Magdalena Plazola

    thanks for this lesson! my phone number is 2242533491 which in korean is i-i-sa-i-o-sam-sam-sa-gu-il!
    and I’m 30 which is sam-sip-yeong and my birthday is the 13th of Febraury and 13 is sip-sam! and my year is 1984, which is il-gu-pal-sa. Say, is there a lesson on how to say the months of the year and days of the week in korean on here?

  • Fer

    Hi!! I get a little confused.. If I want to say number 12 I should say 10 + 2 , but if I want to say #20 it would be 2+10 right??
    감사합니다 !!