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Below is an extract from some blog I was reading today:

'십몇 년 살면서'

I'm curious about the usage of 몇 here. Does this literally mean 'whilst living for over ten years'? In which case can 몇 be used similarly in other cases to mean 'more than'?

Many thanks!

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  • Simply put, you can think of it as something like 'few' in a few hundred years – Young May 25 '20 at 19:43
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That 몇 is an indefinite numeral determiner placed before or after one of definite numeral determiners such as 십, 백, 천, 만, 억, and 조, taking the place of what can be attached to or included in a definite numeral determiner. It is useful when you do not remember one or more place values and when you hide one or more place values.

  • 십몇 refers to a number between 십일(11) and 십구(19) inclusive (I use 십몇 to mean a number between 11 and 14 inclusive).

  • 몇십 usually refers to 이십(20), 삼십(30), ..., 구십(90) because 10 is mostly called 십.

  • 백몇: A number between 101 and 199 inclusive (I use 백몇 to mean a number between 101 and 109 inclusive).

  • 백십몇: 111, 112, ..., 119.

  • 백 몇십: (110,) 120, 130, ..., 190.

  • 몇백: (100,) 200, 300, ..., 900.

  • 이백몇: A number between 201 and 299 inclusive.

...

  • 몇천: (1000,) 2000, 3000, ..., 9000.

  • 몇천구백: (1900,) 2900, 3900, ..., 9900.

  • 천 몇백: (1100,) 1200, 1300, ..., 1900.

  • 이천삼백삼십몇: 2331, 2332, ..., 2339.

...

You should note that some of these determiners do not always indicate the numbers listed above. When someone says 몇백, for example, the exact number may have the value other than zero in its tens or ones place. Of course, the exact number may not be an integer, which is not so important.

You should also note that spaces determine the meaning of these interrogative sentences:

  • 백몇 명이 왔어? (You are asking whether the number of people who came was between 101 and 199 inclusive. This is a yes or no question.)

  • 백 몇 명이 왔어? (You are asking how many people more than 100 came. You know the number does not exceed 199. The answer will include a number between 101 and 199 inclusive.)

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