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

The full sentence, which I had to learn was:

わたしは ろくしゅうかんまえに にほんに きました

But I don't understand the meaning of the "-kan" that follows ろくしゅう Can anyone please enlighten me when and why I have to use that suffix?

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

The かん here is 間 in kanji, and this is used as a suffix to refer to a span of time. ろくしゅう in your sentence is spelled 六週 in kanji and means "six weeks", but in a way that is more ambiguous than the English. Various suffixes can be added on the end to make things more specific, like 目{め} to mean "the sixth week", or 分{ぶん} to indicate six weeks' worth of something, or 間{かん} for a span of time. Have a look partway down the Weblio entry for 間, for sense 1 under the かん reading for some examples of how this かん is used.

share|improve this answer
Thank you Eiríkr Útlendi. Briefly and succinctly – Christof Walker Jul 31 '14 at 8:36
@ChristofWalker: While ろく is written as in kanji, you will only occasionally see it written this way. More likely you will just see it as 6週間. – istrasci Jul 31 '14 at 15:24

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.