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?


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.

  • 3
    @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

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