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Today, きゅう is the default (i.e. productive) on-yomi pronunciation of 九 (or 9) for counting most things, and only a small portion of words requires く. Always: hours (o'clock) (9時, 19時), dates (19日, 29日), month name (9月) Preferred or alternative to きゅう: hours (duration) (9時間, 19時間...), years (9年(間), 2009年...), people (9人, 19人...), degree (29度, 39度...), bare ...


Generally speaking, there is no hard rule to decide which reading of a kanji is used for a given word or compound. To be certain, you need to look it up in a dictionary and remember each word on a case-by-case basis. However, there are certain tendencies that allow you to guess, better than by random guessing, which reading to use for a certain kanji. To ...


A single Kanji usually has several different readings, and numbers 1-10 are probably some of the most salient examples of this. The readings can vary wildly. For example, 九{きゅう} (nine) 九本{きゅうほん} (nine bottles) 九番{きゅうばん} (problem number 9) 九時{くじ} (nine o'clock) 九月{くげつ} (September -- 9th month) 九日{ここのか} (the 9th day of the month) 九つ{ここの} (nine objects that ...


Is there a rule to this? Yes! The rule is 9時 is always くじ. (And similarly, 9月 "September" is always くがつ. Cf. 9ヶ月 きゅうかげつ "nine months".)


塩田{えんでん} - Google Image Search


There are a few 田 words which use the デン reading. Each of them is a kind of field or plantation. 水田 is すいでん (paddy field) (でんすい sounds like a typo), 油田 is ゆでん (oil field) and 桑田 is そうでん (mulberry field). The 水 in 水田 is present because it's a water-filled (irrigated) paddy field. Source - Both Google and Obenkyo (android app)


Well, the pronunciation of kanji can be really irregular. In many cases the only thing we can do is to remember them one by one. I think the second explaination in @isayamag post is right. In http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BB%98%E5%96%AA%E7%A5%9E, 「付喪」自体は当て字で、正しくは「九十九」と書き、この九十九は「長い時間(九十九年)や経験」「多種多様な万物(九十九種類)」などを象徴… It says that 九十九 means so many ...


I looked up in my etymology dictionary (小学館's 日本語源大辞典) :) The answer goes like this: つくも was originally a name of a kind of plant (modern standard name: フトイ; English name is softstem bulrush or great bulrush according to Wikipedia). A compound word つくもがみ < つくも + かみ "disheveled white hair (especially of old women)" was coined, because of its ...


先に in your example is definitely read as 「さきに」. There are two reasons we couldn't pronounce it 「せんに」. [先]{せん} is almost obsolete as an independent word, merely remains inside a few compounds (ex. [先立って]{せんだって} "the other day, in advance", [先手]{せんて} "being the player that moves first, forstallment"). [先]{せん} only has a meaning as "beforehand", but not ...

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