Learn Korean: 하나도 VS 한 번도


These two words trace their origin from 하나 which is the Pure-Korean equivalent for number one. Along with , and  it simplifies itself into  when used in actual counting.

우리 반에 여자   있어.
There is only one girl in our class.

내일  시에 만날래?
Shall we meet at one tomorrow?

  주세요.
Please let it slide once.
Please let me get away with it once.

But there are times when 하나 retains its form as in the following examples.

비밀 하나 말해 줄까?
Shall I tell you one secret?

친구 하나 있었으면 좋겠어.
I wish I had a friend.

연필 하나 빌려 .
Please lend me a pencil.

The sentences above are all positive, but when we attach the particle – to either 하나 or , we can form new words in negative sense. We can say 하나도, but there is no such word as 한도 though. Instead, we add the counter for behavior () in between to make it work- 한번도. As to what they mean, let’s take a look at some examples.

하나도

 영화 하나도  무서워.
That movie is not scary at all.

 돈이 하나도 없어.
I have no money at all.

 하나도  궁금해.
I am not curious a bit.

한번도

 사람을 한번도  만났어요.
I have never met that person (not even once).

비행기를 한번도  탔어요.
I have never taken a plane.

살다 보면 그런 짓을 한번도  했어.
I have never done such thing in my life.

Can you see the difference? 하나도 is used with adjectives to mean 'not at all'. 한번도 is used with verbs to mean 'never'. Take note that the verbs they modify should always be negated.