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I learnt from my teacher that the days of the month from 1 to 10 use kun and irregular pronunciations:
一日: ついたち (irregular)
二日: ふつか (kun)
三日: みっか (kun)
...
十日: とおか (kun)

But for words like 一日目, 二日間 and 三日間後, what would be the correct pronunciation and the rules for this? I heard 一日目 is いちにちめ and 三日間後 is みっかかんあと. Is this correct?

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tuitati is only "irregular" because the kanji are ateji. tuitati is from tukitati (月立ち), the rising moon which occurs at the start of a month, ie the 1st day of a new moon. –  Dono Oct 2 '12 at 13:10
    
On a side note, all days ending in '4' are also irregular, and use ~よっか. So the 14th is じゅうよっか, the 24th is にじゅうよっか, even though all the other days >10 switch over to ~にち. –  jkerian Oct 2 '12 at 15:21
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, what you've learned is correct. The first ten days "always" (that is, I've never found otherwise) use the kun readings, except for 一日 as you noted with 一日目. Also, for "later/after", the pronunciation is , not あと.

  • 今日は誕生日の四日前(よっかまえ)です。 → Today is 4 days before my birthday.
  • 九日間(ここのかかん)かかった台風 → A typhoon that lasted for 9 days
  • クリスマスの六日後(むいかご)は大【おお】晦【みそ】日【か】です。 → 6 days after Christmas is New Year's Eve (Ōmisoka). / The 6th day after Christmas is New Year's Eve.
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"always"? Quote: 「トハヰカニ、ケフハウヅキノヒトヒカハ マダキモシツルコロモガヘカナ」(『今昔物語集』, volume 28, chapter 12). Here ヒトヒ (一日) means the 1st of 卯月 (4th lunar month). –  Dono Oct 2 '12 at 15:19
    
That's why I put it in quotes. –  istrasci Oct 2 '12 at 15:22
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@Dono: My point is that istrasci claimed something always happens except for 一日, but he did not claim anything about 一日. For example, “f(x) is positive except when x=0” does not technically imply “f(x) is not positive when x=0.” (And I said that this is a nitpicking.) –  Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 2 '12 at 16:08
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@Dono: [Hence, the claim is 一日 does NOT use (or have) a kun reading "as noted with 一日目"]. Wrong. The claim is that 一日 does not ALWAYS USE the kun reading. ついたち is a kun reading, is it not? –  istrasci Oct 2 '12 at 16:57
2  
Yo dawg, I heard you guys liked nitpicking... –  Ataraxia Oct 2 '12 at 21:37
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