Lesson 5 - 제5과
Grammar & Translation

  Grammar explanation


A - Numbers continued: pure korean numbers

After studying sino-korean numbers in the previous lesson, let’s learn korean numbers.

Pure Korean numbers, as their name suggests, were the first series of numbers used in korean, long before any Chinese influence. With time they were replaced by Sino-korean numbers in many cases but didn’t disappear and still remain used prominently. For now we will learn to count up to ten (in brackets are the Sino-korean numbers we already studied for your reference):

123 456 789 10
하나 다섯여섯 일곱여덟아홉
(일)(이)(삼) (사)(오)(육) (칠)(팔)(구) (십)

Another aspect worth noting: when followed by a word (usually a classifier, we’ll soon study what they are), some numbers use their contracted forms: 하나 becomes , becomes , becomes , becomes .

That's already a lot to take in, so we will study these later. ;)


B - Demonstratives 이, 그, 저

Korean uses three demonstratives: (this), (that) and (that over there). While there is no equivalent in English, those of you who learnt Spanish will perhaps remember: "eso" (), "esto" (), "aquello" (); those of you familiar with Japanese will recognise "これ", "それ", "あれ".


사과. = This apple.

사과. = That apple.

사과. = That apple over there.

Demonstrative pronouns are formed similarly: the noun "" (which means "thing") is added after the determiner.


이것은 무엇이에요? = What is this?

그것은 무엇이에요? = What is that?

저것은 무엇이에요? = What is that over there?


C - Adverbs of place여기, 거기, 저기

These adverbs are formed from the demonstratives, however they have some phonetic differences.

becomes 여기 (here, next to the speaker), becomes 거기 (there, next to the addresse), and becomes 저기 (over there, far from both the speaker and the addressee).


도서관은 여기에 있어요. = The library is here.

도서관은 거기에 있어요. = The library is there.

도서관은 저기에 있어요. = The library is over there (far away).


D - Classifiers

Classifiers are words used to add a notion of quantity to the noun they are next to. As a comparison, there are in English nominal classifiers, like "a dozen of", "a piece of", "a box of", etc.

This concept is simple. The real difficulty lies in choosing the set of numbers to be used with each classifier. Indeed, some of these classifiers are used with pure Korean numbers, while others are used with Sino-korean numbers.

1/ Examples of classifiers used with pure Korean numbers

: common classifier, can be used with a majority of nouns

Let's take the sentence 사과를 사다, which means "to buy apples".

사과다섯 사요.
Apple + o.p.  five + c.  buy

(He) buys five apples.

: classifier meaning "bottle"

Vocabulary: 우유 = milk

우유 사요.
Milk + o.p.  three + q.  buy

(He) buys three bottles of milk.

In the examples above, you notice the object particle is before the group noun + classifier. This is not a rule, but an arbitrary decision. We can also see 우유 세 병 사요, the object particle being hence omitted.

2/ Examples of classifiers used with sino-korean numbers

: classifier which means and reads "Won", the Korean currency

그책 이에요.
Book + t.p.  10 000 + c.  is

This book costs ten thousand won.

These classifiers are just examples. A page will soon get into the details, with a dozen of the most commonly used classifiers. That's about enough for this lesson...


  Translation of the text


Lee Hyeon-ae: Aunt (Madam), how much for these apples?

Saleswoman: These cost 700 won.

Lee Hyeon-ae: How much for those apples?

Saleswoman: (Those) are 900 won.

Lee Hyeon-ae: Give me six of those apples.

Saleswoman: (That) is 5400 won.

Lee Hyeon-ae: The money is here (= "Here it is")

Saleswoman: Good bye. Come back (whenever you want).

Lee Hyeon-ae: Good bye.