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First, Second, Third.. In Korean | Ordinal Korean Numbers

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

안녕 여러분! Koreanstudyjunkie입니당~

This lesson is about "ordinal numbers". In English these are numbers that tell the position of something (usually in a list). Numbers like 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.

In English we usually just add a -th once you get to numbers like six, seven, eight, and up. (Sixth, seventh, eighth..) And it's actually VERY similar in Korean! You will add ~번째 to your NATIVE number. (View Lesson - Sino numbers vs Native numbers: When To Use).

When counting things we use native numbers, so it's the same case here.

Ordinal Numbers:

The first number is a bit different from the rest (similar to the first couple of numbers in English)

첫번째 = 1st (first)

두번째 = 2nd (second)

세번째 = 3rd (third)

네번째 = 4th (fourth)

다섯번째 = 5th (fifth)

여섯번째 = 6th (sixth)

일곱번째 = 7th (seventh)

여덟번째 = 8th (eighth)

아홉번째 = 9th (ninth)

열번째 = 10th (tenth)

It follows this same pattern, all the way up to... FOREVER basically.

열한번째 = 11th (eleventh)

열두번째 = 12th (twelfth)

열다섯번째 = 15th (fifteenth)

열아홉번째 = 19th (nineteenth)

스무번째 = 20th (twentieth)

Notice that certain numbers are shortened, because we have a counter after it (번째).

Not 하나, but 한.

Not 둘, but 두.

Not 셋, but 세.

Not 넷, but 네.

And lastly, 스물 becomes 스무 when a counter is next to them.

These are the only ones you need to know of.

This will continue on into higher numbers as I said. Once you get to 100 and up you use sino numbers and keep adding -번째. (Native numbers 1-99 Quizlet here)

서른번째 = 30th

마흔번째 = 40th

쉰번째 = 50th

백번째 = 100th

천번째 = 1000th

만번째 = 10,000th


Depending on what you are talking about the counter could change from 번째, to 회 for example. 회 is used to count the number of times.

I made a quizlet set for ordinal numbers, and you can study it here.

I hope you liked this post! Feel free to heart it, comment, or leave a review.

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