Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm learning Japanese and I just finished learning Hiragana and Katakana and now I'm moving to Kanji. In my studies I found that 午前8時 means 8 a.m Ok, that's cool but I would like to know how to pronunciate it.

Should I just combine the sounds? I mean 午 is ご, 前 is まえ and 時とき so 午前8時 would be ごまえ8とき?

Thank you very much!

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Kanji have kun and on-yomi. In this case, the correct pronunciation would be ごぜん はち じ

share|improve this answer
Thank you! These rules are kinda confusing for me yet. In this case we have 4 words right? ご+ぜん+はち+じ – Cute cat Sep 4 '13 at 2:26
No, ごぜん is a whole word which represents the period of time between midnight and mid-day – Rodrigo Pará Sep 4 '13 at 2:38
Oh! Thank you again. The website I'm using to learn Kanj should say that, would be helpful. Thank you very much for your time. – Cute cat Sep 4 '13 at 2:43
Indeed, はちじ is also one word, albeit a predictible and divisible one. It's fairly unusual to find words made of a single kanji's on-yomi. – Sjiveru Sep 4 '13 at 17:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.