Counting units and Collective nouns

The topic of numbers has certainly given me plenty of things to learn.  One of those things is counting units.  For example, years 년, months 월, days 일, minutes 분, seconds 초. There is the generic counting term 개 and then specific terms like bottles 병, cups 전, bowls 그릇, books 권, songs 곡, and animals 마리.

bowl of mindpasta


I wondered what you would call a group of people from Mindpasta.  What is the collective noun? English has a crazy number of collective nouns.  knot? colony? herd? family? clutter? brood? clutch? pack? mob? school? team? rabble? swarm? horde? tribe? band? stable? cackle?party? pride? tittering? mischief? chattering? wisdom? cohort? dazzle? There is even a list of collective nouns for D&D monsters compiled by a Geek in Korea.  LOL

Korean Collective Nouns

Here are some Korean collective nouns.

beol (벌) — items of clothing, pairs; kyeolle (켤레) — pairs shoes, socks
beon (번) — times
bun (분) — people (polite), myeong (명), saram (사람) — people (informal)
cheok (척) — boats and ships
chae (채) — houses
dae (대) — vehicles and machinery (incl. computers)
dong (동) — buildings
gae (개) — ‘things’ in general
geuru (그루) — trees
gwa (과) — lessons
gwon (권) — books
jang (장) — sheets of paper
jul (줄) — literal meaning: line. things aligned in a row (gimbap, desks, chairs)
mari (마리) — animals
sal (살) — years (with Native Korean cardinals)
se (세) — years (with Sino-Korean cardinals)
shi (시) — o’clock
shigan (시간) — hours
song-i (송이) — picked flowers, bunches of grapes
tol (톨) — grains of rice (not cooked), stones
tong (통) — letters, telegrams, telephone calls, and e-mail


Sentence Patterns

I’ve started to think of sentence patterns.  I might not be ready to make my own sentences, but I can take sentences other people wrote and substitute in words.  Call it the travel-phrasebook stage of my learning.  Training wheels, because I am not ready to write my own sentences.

1.  제 이름은 (name) ~예요.    My name is __________.

2.  (time) ___ (hour native) ___ (minute Sino korean) ___ (second) ___

time sentence pattern


3. number ___ counting unit     Ex. 3 people:  사람, 세 명, 세 

4. noun ___ number ___ generic counting unit 개   Ex.: 11 chairs:  의자 11 개 

5. noun ___ how many 몇 counting unit ___ verb ___

책 몇 샀어요? How many books did you buy?

6. place ___ particle ~에서   place ___ particle ~까지  transport ___ particle ~로  how many 몇 time counting unit 시간 verb take/last 걸려요

서울에서  부산까지  KTX로  몇 시간 걸려요?

How many  hours from Seoul to Busan by  KTX train  does it take?

For more about numbers, try Talk To Me In Korean basic numbers and Level 2 Lesson 9 – counters.


P.S. I am resisting the urge to dive into Korean Blog List that I discovered. Why don’t I do more Korean studying? Because it is such an INTERESTING world out there on the Internet. I could indulge my curiosity all day and get nothing done! Haha

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One Response to Counting units and Collective nouns

  1. Pingback: Telling Time | Hanguk Babble

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