Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
U+B137, 넷
Composition: + +
Dubeolsik input:s-p-t

Hangul Syllables

너 ←→ 녀


Alternative forms[edit]

  • (ne) (for counters)


Cognate with Korean (net).




  1. four


See also[edit]


  • ” in Jeju's culture and language, Digital museum.



Korean numbers (edit)
 ←  3 4 5  → 
    Native isol.: (net)
    Native attr.: (ne), (neok) (dated), (neo) (archaic)
    Sino-Korean: (sa)
    Ordinal: 넷째 (netjjae)

First attested in the Seokbo sangjeol (釋譜詳節 / 석보상절), 1447, as Middle Korean 넿〯 (Yale: něyh). A form similar to the Middle Korean is first attested in the twelfth-century Jilin leishi, which gives the Korean word for "four" as */nai/.

Beyond the Leishi, the reconstruction of the ancestral Koreanic root for "four" is difficult, although Alexander Vovin (Vovin 2010, p. 181) posits *neki as the direct antecedent (via metathesis) of Middle Korean něyh, on the strength of the Middle Korean form 넉〯 (Yale: něk, “four”, determiner form taken before certain classifiers). See a list of relevant attestations and forms in Appendix:Historical Koreanic numerals#Four.


  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [ne̞(ː)t̚]
  • Phonetic hangul: [(ː)]
    • Though still prescriptive in Standard Korean, the great majority of speakers (in both Koreas) no longer distinguish vowel length.
Revised Romanization?net
Revised Romanization (translit.)?nes
Yale Romanization?nēys



  1. (native numeral) four (as a noun)
    Synonym: () (sa, four, Sino-Korean numeral)

Usage notes[edit]

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.

Related terms[edit]

  • (ne, four, determiner)
  • (neo, four, determiner before certain words, fossilized)
  • (neok, four, determiner before certain words, fossilized)

See also[edit]