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A number can be said in two different ways in this System. Suppose you spotted a group of geese while driving by a farm and start counting them, "One! Two! Three!.... " Here, you are treating the numbers simply as integers because each number is not followed by any unit. (True - you are whispering the word "geese" to yourself, but the number you actually uttered are without a unit, and they are like mathematical concepts.) In System 2 in Korean, such numbers are said in the noun form (stand-alone form). A moment later, you realize that the total number of geese in sight is 4 and shouted, "4 mahree!" ("mahree" is a Korean unit for counting animals). In this phrase, you must use the adjective form, because the number "4" modifies the word that immediately follows ("mahree").

For numbers 100 and up, System 1 is the form most often used in modern times. In conversational Korean, however, some people perceive System 1 as tinged with foreign colors and not sufficiently "Korean". Korean linguists and teachers of the "purist" type recommend that, in conversational Korean at least, numbers should be fully vernacularized, that is, smoothened out for Korean ears. This can be achieved by saying at least the tens and ones of a large number using System 2, as shown in Table 23. In the table, the numbers are composites made in this manner, having a System 1 portion (black) and a System 2 portion (green). The composite forms are often used in scripts meant to be listener-friendly – for example, most Korean news anchors take the effort to say all numbers in the vernacularized (composite) form. Ordinary people, however, nowadays prefer to use straight System 1, because it's cumbersome to make composites and they don't see foreignness in System 1 any longer.

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