0

れいぞうこ の なか に ケーキ は 3こ ありました.

せんしゅう 、かんじ を 20こ おぼえ ました.

In the above examples, why does こ come after the number? Is it a counter? If yes, at what instances can it be used? If not, please advise how and when it should be used.

5

The こ is indeed a counter, usually written 個.

It is a general counter for counting objects, much like つ. Your two example sentences provide proof of the generality of 個, since cakes and kanji characters have few common features.

つ is often taught as the "default" counter ("default" meaning that it can be used in practically any situation to make yourself understood). But つ is only used up to 10 objects. For 11 or more objects, 個 could be regarded as the default counter.

  • I've heard that つ can be used to order drinks and food in restaurants. Since it only goes up to ten, does that mean if we want to order 11 bowls of ramen (for a large group of people or something), we would say ラーメンを十一個ください? Would it be incorrect or unusual to use 個 to order items of 10 or less? – tamayura May 21 '17 at 1:03
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It is a counter. Ko is a kind of generic counter.For example if you were counting paper you would use mai(枚), cars would use(台), animals in many cases use hiki/piki (匹) or tou(頭).

There are many cases, so I would recommend you look up counters. ;)

Wish you the best. 頑張ってね。 ラドより

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