How should I read the "~" mark that stands for range, as described in the title?

I saw this in the following sentence:


  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Reading a number range – istrasci Feb 7 '15 at 17:01
  • 2
    @istrasci Yes, but the answer here is much better. – Eric Wang Feb 7 '15 at 17:43
  • 2
    We can potentially close the other question as a duplicate of this one, even though this is newer. – snailplane Feb 7 '15 at 18:48

There is no strict rule about this. It's best not to use this "~" symbol denoting a range, when it's meant to be read out loud by someone.

But if you really have to, you can read the "~" symbol as "から" in many cases.

  • 3~4行ごと さんからよんぎょうごと
  • 2月3~5日 にがつみっかからいつか
  • 15~17階 じゅうごかいからじゅうななかい or じゅうごからじゅうななかい
  • 500~600円 ごひゃくえんからろっぴゃくえん or ごひゃくからろっぴゃくえん

Note that this sounds like you strictly specify the range of numbers. If you say like this, it means "three or four lines; not five nor two".

Alternatively, in this case, you can use the common idiom "さんよん", which more vaguely refers to the range around it.

  • 3~4行ごと さんよんぎょうごと
  • 2~3日間 にさんにちかん
  • 4~5回 しごかい
  • 500~600円 ごろっぴゃくえん

These are closer to English "a few", "several", "a couple of", etc.

| improve this answer | |
  • Nice! Very clear. – Eric Wang Feb 7 '15 at 10:26

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