as well as 개 – 'things' in general - there are lots of specific counter words in Korean, e.g.

곡 – pieces of music
명 – people
장 – sheets of paper

In most cases, I think using 개 rather than the correct counter would be grammatically incorrect.

Are there any/many counter words that are sufficiently obscure that the average adult Korean speaker might not know them? Or do they represent a limited and fairly well-known set?

1 Answer 1

  • 고등어 한 손 - two mackerels

  • 장작 한 가리 - twenty pieces of firewood, used for things tied together

  • 새끼 한 고팽이 - one roll of rope, only used for rope

  • 북어 한 쾌 - twenty dried pollacks, only used for dried pollacks

  • 오징어 한 축 - ten squids, only used for squids

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