U+C138, 세
Composition: +
Dubeolsik input:t-p

Hangul Syllables



Cognate with Korean (sae).


IPA(key): /se/



  1. (seamen's) east, east wind



  1. new


Etymology 1Edit

서 ←→ 셔



  1. A Hangul syllabic block made up of and .

Etymology 2Edit

First attested in the Yongbi eocheonga (龍飛御天歌 / 용비어천가), 1447, as Middle Korean 세〯 (Yale: sěy).

Beyond Middle Korean, the reconstruction of the ancestral Koreanic root for "three" is difficult. See a list of relevant attestations and forms in Appendix:Historical Koreanic numerals#Three.


  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [sʰe̞(ː)]
  • Phonetic hangul: [(ː)]
    • Though still prescriptive in Standard Korean, the great majority of speakers (in both Koreas) no longer distinguish vowel length.
Revised Romanization?se
Revised Romanization (translit.)?se
Yale Romanization?sēy
Korean numbers (edit)
 ←  2 3 4  → [a], [b], [c]
    Native isol.: (set)
    Native attr.: (se), (seok) (dated), (seo) (archaic)
    Sino-Korean: (sam)
    Ordinal: 셋째 (setjjae)



  1. (native numeral) three (before a noun or classifier)
    haksaeng se myeong
    three students
    비둘기 마리
    bidulgi se mari
    three pigeons
Usage notesEdit

In modern Korean, numbers are usually written in Arabic numerals.

The Korean language has two sets of numerals: a native set of numerals inherited from Old Korean, and a Sino-Korean set which was borrowed from Middle Chinese in the first millennium C.E.

Native classifiers take native numerals.

Some Sino-Korean classifiers take native numerals, others take Sino-Korean numerals, while yet others take both.

Recently loaned classifiers generally take Sino-Korean numerals.

For many terms, a native numeral has a quantifying sense, whereas a Sino-Korean numeral has a sense of labeling.

  • 반(班) (se ban, three school classes, native numeral)
  • 반(班) (sam ban, Class Number Three, Sino-Korean numeral)

When used in isolation, native numerals refer to objects of that number and are used in counting and quantifying, whereas Sino-Korean numerals refer to the numbers in a more mathematical sense.

  • 하나 주세 (hana-man deo juse-yo, Could you give me just one more, please, native numeral)
  • 더하기 ? (Il deohagi ir-eun?, What's one plus one?, Sino-Korean numeral)

While older stages of Korean had native numerals up to the thousands, native numerals currently exist only up to ninety-nine, and Sino-Korean is used for all higher numbers. There is also a tendency—particularly among younger speakers—to uniformly use Sino-Korean numerals for the higher tens as well, so that native numerals such as 일흔 (ilheun, “seventy”) or 아흔 (aheun, “ninety”) are becoming less common.

Etymology 3Edit

Korean reading of various Chinese characters.



  1. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiᴇiH))
  2. :
    (MC reading: (MC seiX))
  3. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiuᴇiH))
  4. :
    (MC reading: (MC seiH))
  5. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiᴇiH))
  6. :
    (MC reading: (MC siuᴇiH))
  7. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiᴇiH))
  8. :
    (MC reading: )
  9. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiuᴇiH))
  10. :
    (MC reading: (MC d͡ʑiᴇiH))
  11. :
    (MC reading: (MC seiX))
  12. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiuᴇiH))
  13. 𡜧:
    (MC reading: 𡜧)
  14. :
    (MC reading: (MC d͡ʑiᴇiH))
  15. :
    (MC reading: (MC ziuɪH, ziuᴇiH))
  16. :
    (MC reading: (MC t͡sʰiuᴇiH, ɕiuᴇiH))
  17. :
    (MC reading: (MC siuᴇiH))
  18. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiuᴇiH))
  19. :
    (MC reading: )
  20. :
    (MC reading: )
  21. : Alternative form of
    (MC reading: (MC ziuᴇiH))
  22. :
    (MC reading: (MC ziuɪH))
  23. :
    (MC reading: (MC ɕiuᴇiH))
  24. :
    (MC reading: (MC jiᴇiH))
  25. :
    (MC reading: )
  26. :
    (MC reading: (MC ziuᴇiH))
  27. :
    (MC reading: (MC ziuᴇiH))
  28. :
    (MC reading: (MC siᴇt̚))
  29. :
    (MC reading: )


  • Supreme Court of the Republic of Korea (대한민국 대법원, Daehanmin-guk daebeobwon) (2018). Table of hanja for personal names (인명용 한자표 / 人名用漢字表, inmyeong-yonghanjapyo), page 24. [1]
  • 국제퇴계학회 대구경북지부 (國際退溪學會 大邱慶北支部) (2007). Digital Hanja Dictionary, 전자사전/電子字典. [2]