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

Jeju ᄋᆢᄉᆞᆺ demonstrates that the immediate pre-fifteenth century form was *ᄋᆢᄉᆞᆺ (*yosos) or *ᄋᆢ슷 (*yosus). The Seoul dialect underlying the Middle Korean corpus had a merger of ᄋᆢ (yo) and (ye) which was still relatively recent by the invention of the alphabet in the 1440s. Beyond this, the ultimate reconstruction of the ancestral Koreanic root for "six" is difficult. See a list of relevant attestations and forms in Appendix:Historical Koreanic numerals#Six.


Revised Romanization? yeoseot
Revised Romanization (translit.)? yeoseos
McCune–Reischauer? yŏsŏt
Yale Romanization? yeses


여섯 (yeoseot)

  1. (native numeral) six
    Synonym: /() (yuk/ryuk, six, Sino-Korean numeral)

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 주세요 (hanaman deo juseyo, Could you give me just one more, please, native numeral)
  • 더하기 ? (Il deohagi ireun?, 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.