Counting Words 2 – Korean Numbers #9

개 is used to various pieces of items. You should not use 개 with a set of items. It should be a piece in a set. It's the most general word. If you don't know what to use, it's usually correct to use 개.

사탕 한 개 먹어도 돼?
Is it OK to eat a candy?

접시가 세 개 있는데 숟가락은 5개야. 왜 2개가 더 있는 거지?
There are 3 plates, but there are 5 spoons. Why are there 2 more spoons?

사과 한 개랑 배 두 개 주세요.
One apple and two pears please.


When you are talking about the types of something, you can use 가지.

It is also used when you want to describe some various actions or methods.

제작하는데 여러 가지 도구가 필요했다.
It needed various tools to finish.

한두 가지 예로는 아직 부족한가?
Is it insufficient with one or two examples?

한 번에 한 가지 일만 해!
Do one thing at a time!

여러 방법을 다 써 봤는데, 이게 제일 낫더라고.
I've used a lot of methods, but this one was the best.


When you count pencils, pens or brushes, you should use 자루.

학교 다닐 때 연필 세 자루를 가지고 다녔다.
When I was in school, I always brought 3 pencils.

한 자루만 가지고 다니면 잃어 버릴 수 있으니까 한 자루 더 준비했다.
If I bring only one pen with me, I might lose it. So, I prepared one more.

볼펜이 한 자루밖에 없어서 빌려 줄 수가 없네. 미안해.
Because I have only one ball point pen, I cannot lend it to you. Sorry.