Lesson 23 (Beginner 1B L7): And I Thought We Were Done with Numbers...

Test Results

We got back the test today, and everyone did very well. We all scored more than 90 out of 100. This is apparently quite high (I guess comparing with their past classes, at least according to the teacher). The teacher commented that when she was marking our tests she didn't believe it because we were saying it was hard and stressing out about it. To my utter surprise, I got full marks for oral. Actually, I got full marks for everything except writing, which I lost 0.5 marks on, so my total score was 99.5.

As a side note, I... actually recall this happening for my French and German classes in uni. That I would do a lot better than I expected. (And usually have people getting envious because I'd tell them about this mistake or that mistake that I made... and then it turns out I did make those mistakes, but those were probably the only ones I'd made. And of course bell-curved grades so my higher score wasn't exactly welcome since it also affected them.) Especially in the later years... I would think that I didn't do as well as I initially thought, but then the score turns out better. French 6 oral, for sure. But generally for the written components too (German 1 and 2 didn't have oral tests). I'm not sure if that means that I hold myself to too high a standard? Or if I have a really bad case of imposter syndrome? Both?!

The thing is, I'm not intentionally lying or trying to be falsely modest when I expressed anxiety about the tests (this one and the ones before it). I really believed that I did badly. Am I a perfectionist? I don't think so. I don't need 100 to find it "acceptable". I don't impose some crazy Asian tiger parenting standards on myself (and neither did my parents impose such things on me). 99.5 in this context is a very good score. If I have any feelings about that score now, it's that I don't deserve it. Now, I can't argue for the listening/reading/grammar components as those are not subjective, but objective. But I would say that definitely I thought I did poorly for oral and that it certainly didn't deserve full marks, and my writing as well should have gotten more than a -0.5 penalty (especially considering the very careless/stupid nature of the mistakes).

But back to this test, I know my friend got around 95 or 96, as did the other girl who usually sits next to me. When you're talking about a 3 marks difference, though, it's really not that much, so I don't know why they make such a big deal out of it (that I got close to full marks)? And she even reminded everyone that I knew 6 languages. >.> (That is the number I'd give, I wouldn't count say Japanese/Greek/Cantonese for various reasons even though I know some of the former two and understand the latter pretty well.)

My reflection on this test experience is that for the writing, I saw some really obvious grammar mistakes that I could have definitely caught and fixed, had I not rushed. I panicked when everyone submitted their papers and left and so opted not to check through. In that sense I was very fortunate that I didn't make any silly mistakes in the reading and grammar portions of the paper.

The listening component is out of 30 marks although there were only 20 questions - some were apparently worth 1.5 marks.

We were not given the main paper back (we could request to see it, but could not keep it - the teacher doesn't seem to have made any markings on my paper at all) - we got only the sheet for writing and a printed report sheet attached behind. The printed reported sheet basically mentions which questions you got wrong and what is the correct answer. (For listening, it seems like you get the transcript as well if you got it wrong.)

Unfortunately, the only real feedback I got was for oral, I did have one thing she noted where I said 에 instead of using 에서 for the place. She didn't comment on the fact that I obviously was saying rubbish or had nothing to say, and also not for the fact that I messed up the interview section being unable to remember the words 부모(님) for parents (it drives me crazy, which is ㅜ (o) or ㅗ (u), because in Chinese it's 父母, fùmǔ, so I'm like... both are u and it takes me a while to sort them out in my head.

So the reason for this is probably because (especially for the listening), they might be reusing the questions. They even have slides prepared for going through the test so that further supports my theory.

We got our Beginner 1 certs today as well. Unfortunately, Erica didn't come today, so she wasn't here for the class and also not for our picture-taking. But that was at the end of the class.

We started on chapter 6 today, naturally starting with vocabulary. In the textbook, we covered p146-147. A lot of the things were in the handout.


Korean English Notes
음식 food
김밥 [김빱] seaweed-wrapped roll it looks like sushi if sliced
갈비탕 beef-rib soup 갈비 means "rib". This is traditionally done with beef, so if it's pork, it's specified: 돼지 갈비탕. The teacher says it tastes like Bak Kut Teh - but that is made with pork.
냉면 cold noodles This is also a beef soup, with brown noodles and ice. Eaten during the summer when it's hot.
김치 kimchi
김치찌개 kimchi stew 찌개 is a stew. This is thick soup that is not clear. By contrast, 탕 is clear. Korea is famous for many types of 찌개, such as 된장찌개 (miso stew), 순두부찌개 (soft tofu stew) and 부대찌개 (army stew, literally "army base stew").
불고기 (sliced and seasoned) barbequed beef 불 means fire. This is meat stir-fried on top of a fire. In Korea, this is only purely beef dish. In Singapore there are some variants such as "chicken bulgogi" that doesn't exist in Korea.
라면 ramen/instant noodles Normally it refers to instant noodles.
라멘 ramen ...the real ramen
비빔밥 [비빔빱] bibimbap (cooked rice with vegetables and meat)
우동 udon
맥주 beer
소주 soju
막걸리 rice wine
과일 fruits
사과 apple
딸기 strawberry
수박 watermelon
mandarin orange In Korea, this is harvested from Jeju Island during the winter. They taste different from the locally available mandarin oranges. According to the teacher, that is. I've been to Jeju before but that was years ago, I barely recall anything much less how the mandarin oranges taste.
메뉴 menu
노래 song
아침 breakfast You may have to add 밥 or 식사 behind, since apparently it only means "morning" when I looked it up...
점심 lunch
저녁 dinner
주다 to give
how many
모두 all
그래요? Really? / Is that so?
기다리다 to wait
싸다 to be cheap
비싸다 to be expensive
깨끗하다 [깨끄타다] to be clean Pronunciation: Syllable-final ㅅ is ㄷ. ㄷ + ㅎ → ㅌ.
복잡하다 [복짜파다] to be crowded Pronunciation: ㅂ+ㅎ → ㅍ. Same principle as the one before.
재미있다 to be interesting/fun
재미없다 to not be interesting/fun
맛있다 to be delicious
맛없다 [마덥따] to not be delicious
좋다 to be good
좋아하다 to like
입다 to wear
웃다 to laugh
얼마예요? How much is it?
깎아 주세요. Please give me a discount.
새해 복 많이 받으세요. Happy new year. A new year greeting. Literally, 새해 = new year, 복 = good luck, 많이 = a lot of, 받다 = receive.
받다 to receive
주말 잘 보내세요. Have a good weekend.
조심하세요. Be careful.
양말 socks
치마 skirt
바지 pants
구두 shoes

Large Numbers for Prices

This was covered mostly with the handout.

Chapter 6 is called "How much is it?" so it is about buying things and naturally you have to learn how to say how much something costs.

The way that the numbers are read in Korean are 4 digits at a time, basically splitting them into ten thousands, like Chinese (instead of the more familar thousands system for English and the other European languages).

Say you have a number: 239, 871, 231.

In Korean, you will read it 4 digits at a time, basically splitting it like this:
2 | 3987 | 1231

The first line from the right is the "ten thousand" line, which is 만 (萬).
The second line from the right is the "hundred million" line, which is 억 (億).

Within each group of four, you have the thousands (천), hundreds (백), and tens (십) (and ones... but you don't have a "suffix" for that).

1 2 3 1

A number that starts with 1 as above, 1 (일) is not pronounced, so you will have 천 2백 3십 1 or written out in full, 천이백삼십일.

You basically repeat this for the next group, but you add 만.

3 9 8 7 --

The entire number 239, 871, 231 is thus rendered as: 2억 3천 9백 8십 7만 천 2백 3십 1, which is 이억 삼천구백팔십칠만 천이백삼십일.

There are some notes for the proununciation:

  1. 16 - 십육 [심뉵]
  2. 60 000 - 육만 [융만]
  3. 100 000 - 십만 [심만]
  4. 1 million - 백만 [뱅만]

The first one we've covered before. For the last three, they're softening the sound when the previous end consonant meets the ㅁ (m) of the next syllable.

Once we learnt this, we had an activity where you would practise with a partner. One person asks 얼마예요? (How much is it?) and the other person replies based on the numbers printed (as digits). Later on we even progressed to using some toy money (that looks like actual Korean notes but smaller in size, complete with coins) and the person who asked for the price would pay. The other person would have to give change (and say the amount of change). At the end we were all brain dead, especially after torturing each other with amounts that were not written down on the paper.

And then next week we will cover the native Korean numbers, so we are really not done with numbers yet.

Maybe I can tweak the app I created for listening practice for Korean dates to work with big numbers too. I definitely will need it.


There are also 4 grammar topic for this chapter. Today we covered the first.

1. V-(으)세요

This is used to politely make requests, suggestions or commands in an informal setting. I thought this is the imperative, but the conjugation table tells me that it's not as simple as that, so until I know for sure I'll not put a label on it first.


  1. When there is NO batchim, or there is batchim but it is ㄹ, then you add -세요.
    • Example 1 (가다): 안녕히 가세요.
    • Example 2 (기다리다) 기다리세요
  2. When you have batchim, you add -으세요.
    • Example 1 (읽다): 책을 읽으세요

I don't have an example that ends with ㄹ, except 만들다, but the form is 만드세요, which (as of now) I am unsure it's an exception or not (that the ㄹ is gone).

There are some special verbs that don't conjugate according to the rules, and they are:

  1. 자다 - You say 주무세요 to wish someone good night, or 안녕히 주무세요 (more polite, for example to your parents)
  2. 먹다/마시다 - You say 드세요, which means "Please eat/help yourself"
  3. 있다 - This is 계세요

Naturally this isn't an exhaustive list, it's just the ones where we were given examples.

The formal form was given in an example sentence: 책을 읽으십시오. According to the teacher, this formal version is used in business settings. You may also hear this form used on airline announcements (if it's not a budget airline... she singled out Scoot as not doing that, so I wonder if she has personal experience). I've been seeing this a lot more because I've been using Duolingo and they use the formal form for their sentences.

In the last part of the class we had an activity with this form, which was to pretend you were the teacher and give instructions that a teacher would say. (This is from the textbook.)

... Wow this turned out to be a long post. I think it took me 3 hours in total to get this down, along with adding some new vocab to Anki (which naturally involved getting audio from Forvo).

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