Episode 7: 3 Most Useful Counters

October 8, 2015

안녕 친구들! 마가리타입니당~!

 

Ugh I hate being sick... some people say raspy voices are sexy but I just sound like a man when I have a cold... grrrrr

 

Anyhow, this week we're kind of concluding the counting chapter for now with an episode about a special aspect of Korean language, which some of you may find to be totally foreign and new and that is COUNTERS :) I know there are a few more things I would like to talk about regarding numbers and counting in Korean but I'll give you guys a break and talk about something new next week!

 

3 MOST USEFUL COUNTERS*:

* These guys will allow you to count pretty much ANYTHING in Korean even if you may not know a specific counter for whatever you are talking about (how cool is that?!) 

 

1. - counter for things and any inanimate object (from chairs to apples)

 

2. - counter for people (doesn't matter old/young, male/female, etc.)

* - formal counter for people (used when speaking respectfully to elders or someone of a higher social status) 

 

3. 마리- counter for animals (please refrain from using this when referring to humans, because that's very rude)

 

HOW TO UE COUNTERS IN A SENTENCE:

It's great to know counters but it's even better to know how to use them in a sentence! All counters can be used in two ways with no difference in meaning: 

사람 두 명 or 두 명의 사람 --> two people

펜 다섯 개 or 다섯 개의 펜 --> five pens

 

Phrases above are still not complete sentences though and they lack the subject, object and the action of the sentence. When we include counters in a sentence, they go after the number of things you are counting like, [thing] --> [number] --> [counter] -->[particles]. 

 

나는 펜 네 개를* 샀어 - I bought four pens

*Did you notice how in this sentence the pens are an object of the sentence so we add the object marking particle after the counter
나는 햄버거 두 개를 먹었어 - I ate two hamburgers
나는 어제 친구 다섯 명을 만났어 - I met five friends yesterday

 

SPECIAL NUMBERS:

Numbers 1,2,3,4, and 20 change a little bit when used with counters

1 = 하나 --> 한
2 = 둘 --> 두
3 = 셋 --> 세
4 = 넷 --> 네
20 = 스물 --> 스무

 

EXAMPLE SENTENCES: 

사과 다섯개 있어요 (There are 5 apples) 

나는 어제 친구 여섯명을 만났어요 (I met up with 6 friends yesterday) 

방에 고양이 두마리가 있어요 (There are 2 cats in the room)

세 분이세요? (Are you a group of three people?) 

 

Hope this helped you guys. If you have any further questions, let me know :)

Much love,

x

 

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