What is the proper expression when asking for a plastic bag, for example, at a shop?

Would it be 봉투 하나 주세요? or 봉투 한 장 주세요?

  • Is the proper expression "Give me a sheet of paper," or "Give me a piece of paper"? Personally I think it is the same case here.
    – Vladhagen
    Aug 9, 2016 at 19:38
  • 1
    There should be a space between 한 and 장. For example, 한 장, 두 개, 세 명, and so on. A word to express quantity and a noun comes after should be written leaving space.
    – jungyh0218
    Aug 10, 2016 at 10:49
  • 1
    @jungyh0218 Please don't hesitate to edit a post when you find a typo. Editing a post helps the community.
    – user7
    Aug 10, 2016 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


Unless there were any reason to assume a number other than one, just saying 봉투 주세요 would be fine. 봉투 하나 주세요 is also fine, and removes any doubt that only one is needed. 봉투 한 장 주세요 is the most 'proper', but even in Korean, sometimes most proper isn't the most common or appropriate - it could sound like you are over-egging the pudding.

When a number is needed, you might even hear Koreans just saying 봉투 두 개 주세요, even though 개 isn't the most specific 세는 단위 (counting unit) for 봉투.

  • Hi, topo morto. I understand what you are trying to mean, but I think it is a little misleading to say "even though 개 isn't the right 수사" as '수사' means '사물의 수량이나 순서를 나타내는 품사. '개' has nothing to do with '수사' in the first place. Also, there should be a space between '한' and '장' and '두' and '개'.
    – user7
    Aug 10, 2016 at 13:56
  • @Rathony perhaps I should have said "not the right 수분류사" - would that make more sense? Aug 10, 2016 at 14:57
  • Well, it makes sense, but I don't see the word '수분류사' in a dictionary. It would make more sense if you use "세는 단위 (literally, counting unit)" in place of '수사'. '개' is a '의존명사 (dependent noun)' in terms of part of speech.
    – user7
    Aug 10, 2016 at 15:01
  • @Rathony I hope my edits are an improvement but feel free to tidy up if not. Aug 10, 2016 at 15:43
  • It reads better than before. However, I would be reluctant to say "개 is not the right 세는 단위" as '개' is the most broadly used 세는 단위 in Korean and '봉투 한 개 or 두 개' is perfectly idiomatic. I don't see any difference between '봉투 한 장' and '봉투 한 개'. It's just my opinion and I don't think it is appropriate to edit your answer based on my opinion.
    – user7
    Aug 10, 2016 at 15:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.