|서 ←||→ 셔|
세 • (se)
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: [세(ː)]
- Though still prescriptive in Standard Korean, the great majority of speakers (in both Koreas) no longer distinguish vowel length.
|Revised Romanization (translit.)?||se|
|← 2||3||4 → [a], [b], [c]|
| Native isol.: 셋 (set)|
Native attr.: 세 (se), 석 (seok) (dated), 서 (seo) (archaic)
Sino-Korean: 삼 (sam)
Ordinal: 셋째 (setjjae)
세 • (se)
- (native numeral) three (before a noun or classifier)
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.
- 개 한 마리 (gae han mari, “one dog”, native numeral)
- 나무 두 그루 (namu du geuru, “two trees”, native numeral)
Some Sino-Korean classifiers take native numerals, others take Sino-Korean numerals, while yet others take both.
- 종이 두 장(張) (jong'i du jang, “two sheets of paper”, native numeral)
- 이 분(分) (i bun, “two minutes”, Sino-Korean numeral)
- 서른/삼십 명(名) (seoreun/samsip myeong, “thirty people”, both sets possible)
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.
- 세 반(班) (se ban, “three school classes”, native numeral)
- 삼 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.
- 하나만 더 주세요 (hana-man deo juse-yo, “Could you give me just one more, please”, native numeral)
- 일 더하기 일은? (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.
Korean reading of various Chinese characters.
- 篲: Alternative form of