Tagged Questions

A counter word is a suffix attached to a number to use the number to count things, people, or events.

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1answer
115 views

Exceptions in pronouncing the counter for minutes (分)

I'm learning the counter for minutes, which is 分. I know, there are several exceptions in reading this counter. 1 min = いっぷん 2 min = にふん 3 min = さんぷん 4 min = よんぷん 5 min = ごふん 6 min = ろっぷん 7 min = ...
4
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2answers
83 views

Can number + 部 mean the number of copies?

For an upcoming conference, I'm supposed to bring copies of my own materials. One sentence contains a phrase that I'm a little unsure how to understand. First the Japanese sentence in its entirety: ...
20
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3answers
4k views

Why was “一匹” used for Godzilla?

I've heard someone say that "一匹" was used at the end of the original Godzilla movie, with Dr. Yamane saying that Godzilla wasn't the last one of "them". Why did he use that, as opposed to "一頭"? Do ...
7
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1answer
159 views

How to list numbers of things

Where do you place the counter in Japanese when you want to specify how many of something there are, especially if you're listing multiple things? I believe the counter usually goes after the ...
5
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2answers
242 views

Counters for graphs in oral presentations?

I have to make a Japanese presentation and I'd like to say "I'll explain japanese demographics using three graphs", but then realized I didn't know the counter for graphs. Can someone help me out?
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1answer
119 views

Why is this [二番目]{に・ばん・め} counter used for a person?

Here is a small passage from my Japanese Bible, where a king is summoning his servants. さて、彼は...帰って来ると、...[僕]{しもべ}を呼んで来させ、...。 最初の者が...。二番目の者が来て... Why is it referring to the second servant as ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

What do you use for a general-purpose counter when there are more that 10?

I've seen multiple language books, videos, etc. refer to this great, wonderful, magnificent general-purpose counter known as つ. The problem? I've also seen multiple source say that つ doesn't work ...
5
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2answers
161 views

Are ~つ and ~り the only two counters that can occur with the native Japanese numbers (ひと~, ふた~, etc)?

Please go easy on me if this seems too basic and obvious, I'm a beginner. I always had the impression that there were counters that went with the native Japanese numbers and counters that went with ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

“Line of code” in Japanese

I've been doing a bit of work with rendering 縦書き【たてがき】 in HTML, and was having a running internal monologue in Japanese about how things were progressing when I hit on a missing word: "line" as in ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Are there native Japanese numbers greater than 10? What use are they?

Most people who've taken a Japanese 101 class know the 10 native Japanese numbers (一つ、二つ・・・十). It's always seemed odd that a system would stop at 10 when so many things in life need larger numbers. ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Using 次 as a counter

In cases such as [第二次全世界戦争]{だいにじぜんせかいせんそう} or [第二次]{だいにじ}スーパーロボット[大戦]{たいせん}, is [次]{じ} effectively just acting the way a number followed by st/nd/rd/th would in English?
5
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1answer
398 views

How to say “Episode 22”, “Chapter 22”, “Act 22”, etc?

I just wanted to make sure that my understanding is correct. When saying Chapter 22, Act 22, or Episode 22 (basically parts of a larger piece), it normally starts with 第22 (or 第[number]) and then the ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Does 個 have a specialized usage as a counter?

I usually hear 個 referred to as a general purpose counter (which is how it is used in Chinese) similar to hitotsu, futatsu, etc... I just read a source which claims that it tends to refer to ...
2
votes
1answer
328 views

How do you say “question”, and which counter should be used?

I'd like to know the word for "question" itself. For example if I wanted to say: I have a question わたしは (question) があります。 I've had a hard time finding an answer to this question because ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Any Ideas What 十二本の腕 Means?

In Monkey Majik's song "Change" they say "Time to Party 十二本の腕", what does 十二本の腕 means? Isn't it just 12, counter for long objects, arms? Why would this be applicable?
6
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1answer
129 views

Reading of 組 as a Counter Word With Numbers

I'm confused about how to pronounce a word such as 一組. Are Japanese or Chinese numbers used when using 組 as a counter, and if the former how does it change phonetically? For example, jisho.org lists ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

Are there rules of thumb for counter sound changes?

I'm wondering if there are consistent (or at least fairly reliable) rules for how to read numbers next to irregular counters, i.e. counters where you can't just put together the number and counter ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

How do you ask for ordinality (order in a sequence)?

What phrase do you use to ask for the n-th position of an object? Is there a straightforward and general way to do so? e.g. order of childbirth, place did the runner finish Since you can use 3人目 ...
5
votes
1answer
320 views

「二番」 vs. 「二番目」 confusion

I am confused by 「二番」vs.「二番目」、「三番」vs.「三番目」etc. While 「一番速い人。」 seems grammatically correct and sounds ok to me, 「二番速い人。」 sounds so unnatural to me I am thinking the grammar might be wrong. But, if ...
9
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1answer
421 views

Which counter did you use for counting TV series episodes?

I want to say "I saw 10 episodes", but i don't find the appropriate counter. I may use "つ" counter (十エピソードを見ました), but it's not very classy. Thanks a lot :)
5
votes
1answer
149 views

Is 圧力 countable?

Consider the following sentence (emphasis mine): ひょっとしたら僕が​圧力の一つや二つをかけられて​いることも知っているのかもしれない。 The bolded part is kind of confusing me. I get that 圧力をかけられる means "to be pressured" or "to have ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

Difference between tatami mat counters 帖 and 畳

What is the difference between tatami mat counters 帖 and 畳 (both pronounced じょう)?
6
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1answer
220 views

What does 着 mean in 「六時着」 and in 「六着」?

One of the kanji we recently learned in class was 着. We learned it could be used for to wear [着]{き}る, to arrive [着]{つ}く, and as either a "classifier for arrival" or a "counter for jacket". In our ...
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vote
2answers
165 views

What's the pronunciation of 1点差?

Intuitively, I would guess it's 「いってんさ」, but I could image 「いちてんさ」just as well. For bonus points: is there any reference or dictionary that explains the pronunciation of numbers with counters ...
3
votes
2answers
376 views

Counter for bowls of ramen?

I'm writing a skit but I need a counter for bowls of ramen. ひとつ ふたつ somehow sounds weird. Is there a counter for bowls?
5
votes
2answers
217 views

How can I say “counted in (specific unit)”?

Specifically, I am trying to say something like "a semester's length is counted in months" in order to imply how short it is as compared to, say, your whole life. When I tried to look this up in my ...
5
votes
2answers
378 views

How do you use counters past 10?

Counter words have different readings for 1 through 10. How do I use them for number 11 and beyond? Do I change the counter's pronunciation based on the last digit of the number? So if the number ...
11
votes
1answer
421 views

Why is 間{かん} used to denote some amounts of time but not others?

I've been thinking about how to express a duration of time and how in the past I have added 間{かん} in situations where I found that I shouldn't have. Take the following sentences as examples. ○: ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Is みんな being used as a “counter”?

This is from Minna no Nihongo Chapter 15. It's a description of Santa Claus. でも世界の子供はみんな私を知っています。 みんな seems like a counter of sorts (I don't know how else to describe it) for 世界の子供. I always thought ...
7
votes
2answers
419 views

Why are movies/video-clips counted with 本?

I just noticed in my Facebook uploads that for my videos, it says I have 25本. What's the reasoning behind using 〜本 to count videos or movie clips? The only line of reasoning I can come up with would ...
7
votes
2answers
269 views

Do we use odd day pronunciations outside of calendar ranges?

After reading @jkerian's comment in this post, I started thinking about this. Here's the comment in full: On a side note, all days ending in '4' are also irregular, and use ~よっか. So the 14th is ...
11
votes
4answers
404 views

Counters In Japanese

I'm a super beginner in Japanese, so excuse me if this question is really simple. Or stupid. As an exercise, sometimes I count up the things on nearby desks or tables and try to list them in ...
8
votes
1answer
329 views

Why is 「人口」 used to denote population?

I'm just curious at the appearance of 「口」 that makes this word mean "population". Why should it be 「口」 as opposed to any other body part or anything else? Is there a definitive reason or story ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Can you say “half hour” or must you say “30 minutes”?

I know that to say an hour and a half you can say 一時間半, but is it possible to express simply half an hour even though the counter comes before 半? Or would you just have to say 三十分? If both ways are ...
6
votes
2answers
191 views

Numbers and Counters

I am still in a very early stage in learning Japanese, and just I have just learnt some numbers and my first counter words, such as the ones for telling time and まい. Do you ever use "regular" numbers ...
3
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2answers
152 views

Are most counter words made up of two parts? What are those two parts called?

When looking at counter words, there seems to be a part that has a number, and a part that stays more or less the same. For example, the counter words for hours of a day are ichi-ji, ni-ji, san-ji. ...
4
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4answers
938 views

Is there a logic behind the different endings when counting things in Japanese

So far I don't see any logic to it. It seems like it's just something you have to memorize, or is there a trick that I'm missing. Update To clarify, I'm not so much questioning the existence of the ...
10
votes
1answer
289 views

What counter words are used by animals for humans?

In Happy Feet 2, I noticed that the penguins used the hitori, futari, ... counter words for themselves, rather than 羽. In fiction involving talking animals where the humans are regarded as somewhat ...
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vote
2answers
107 views

一ヵ条: いちっかじょう? いちかじょう? いっかじょう?

This recent question brought to mind a question of my own. The Japanese name for the Twenty-One Demands made by Japan in 1915 to the Republic of China is romanised on the wikipedia page as 対華二十一ヵ条要求 ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

1カ所: いっかしょ or いちかしょ?

What is the correct pronunciation for 1カ所 ? It means: 1 place Context: ユーティリティ関数として定義されているわりには1カ所からしか呼ばれていない。 It is defined as a utility function, but only called in one place.
8
votes
1answer
642 views

Why biiru hitotsu rather than ippai?

While having Ghengis Khan with some dou-min, one of them asked for "biiru hitotsu". While I could understand the biiru, I was surprised that ippai wasn't used. I understand that (number)-tsu is valid ...
15
votes
2answers
457 views

What are the rules for reading numbers before a foreign counter-word?

Is there a rule of thumb for knowing the reading of a number when it is written in western numerals, and is followed by a loaned counter-word? For example, how would you pronounce the "1" in 1セット? My ...
10
votes
1answer
272 views

The first: 第一 vs 一番 vs 第一番

What are differences among 第一, 一番 and 第一番, all of which seem to mean "the first" in English? Are any of them more suitable for some specific scenarios than the others (e.g. 安全第一 but 世界で一番)?
7
votes
2answers
259 views

Can counter words also be nouns?

According to people I've asked, and this page, if I pay 20 Australian dollars for my meal, it seems I say ni ju doru (20-ドル), and that ni ju-en doru (20-えん-ドル) would be ungrammatical - "dollar" acts ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Differences between 度 and 回 when counting occurrences

What are the differences between using 度 and 回 when used to count number of occurrences? For example: そんなことは一度もしたことがない そんなことは一回もしたことがない Are there any restrictions on what kind of actions referred ...
12
votes
2answers
260 views

How to read the X in 5X4間?

A book about architecture I'm trying to read (it's a bit of a slog what with the technical jargon and such) contained this description of a temple building: 二重、初重5X4間、裳階 (もこし) つき、上重4X3間. So it's two ...
6
votes
2answers
213 views

When to read 一人 and 二人 as いちにん and ににん?

WWWJDIC lists いちにん and ににん as alternative readings of 一人 {ひとり} and 二人 {ふたり}, but I can't recall anywhere I heard those readings except when counting more than 10 people for example 三十一人 {さんじゅういちにん}. ...
10
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2answers
326 views

Counter for 熊 (bears): ひき or 頭?

While hiking I saw 3 bears, and I have heard a lot of people say ひき to count them. There was a mother and two small ones, if that matters. But when talking about it I also have been told that 頭 ...
6
votes
2answers
246 views

ひき or 頭 for horses?

Initially I'd thought ひき is for small animals and 頭 is for animals that are not small ("big" animals) however EDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D) ...
15
votes
1answer
564 views

Temperature abbreviations?

A certain dialog in my book has a man describing the symptoms of his cold to the doctor. It reads thus: 医者:熱はありますか。 ...