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How do we decide if 中 is ちゅう or じゅう ?

For example, in this sentence 10人中3人はビデオを持っている which pronunciation should we use?

What about this: そのピアニストの演奏中、彼らは一心に耳を傾けた。

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中 is read as ちゅう in both examples. I cannot explain why right now. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 22 '11 at 18:38
    
@Tsuyoshi thx for the confirmation =P –  Pacerier Aug 22 '11 at 21:54
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted
  • じゅう (or, rarely: ぢゅう) is used for expressions covering a length of time (resp. area) from start to finish, in its entirety. I.e. "through", "all of":

一年中【いちねんじゅう】all year

一日中【いちにちじゅう】all day

世界中【せかいじゅう】all over the world

  • ちゅう is for pointing a particular time (resp. specific location) out of an interval (resp. general area). I.e. "out of", "during":

午前中【ごぜんちゅう】[at some point] during morning

会議中【かいぎちゅう】in a meeting [e.g. "he is in a meeting at the moment"]

Note that in some cases, both can be used and the only way to tell would be from context (e.g. an expression followed by に is more likely to be ちゅう) or in speech:

来月中【らいげつじゅう】all of next month

来月中【らいげつちゅう】[some time] next month

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cool, btw just to confirm, is the 中 in the 2 sentences (in the question) both ちゅう and not じゅう ? –  Pacerier Aug 22 '11 at 10:21
    
Hmn, I would have said じゅう, since there's an idea of continuity (they listened carefully throughout the whole thing, not just at a specific point in time), but Google seems to think otherwise. –  Dave Aug 22 '11 at 10:29
    
For some reason, verbal noun is always with ちゅう. The usages are (1) shows state: 会議中 = is in a meeting (2) as adverb, it means "throughout the course of 〜": 会議中眠っていた = Slept throughout the meeting (3) used with に, it points a moment. 会議中に… = sometime in the meeting,…. –  syockit Aug 26 '11 at 18:29
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"out of" is 「ちゅう」, "through" is 「じゅう」.

中 ちゅう
(suf,abbr,n-suf) medium; average; middle; moderation; middle school; China; in; out of (e.g. three out of ten people); during (a certain time when one did or is doing something); (P)
中 じゅう
(suf) through; throughout; in the course of; all over or throughout (e.g. a place)

EDIT:

That second example is "during", so 「ちゅう」.

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btw isn't it true that じゅう can also mean "in; out of (e.g. three out of ten people);" ? –  Pacerier Aug 22 '11 at 5:27
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