Here is something that has been bothering me for a while now: How to know how the letter changes inside words like for example 一杯、二杯?

More concretely, I really need to know how to correctly count strides. I've heard people say it but I can't make sense of it so I keep forgetting and end up being too embarrassed to make sentences that involve counting strides (of a cantering horse).

I know one is 一歩{いっぽ} and perhaps 二歩{にほ} but after that I have no clue whatsoever whether it changes to b, p or stays h.

Please could someone teach me the correct way to count strides from 1 to 10?

And, well, it would really help me if you could explain the system to me so that I can reuse it for cups of coffee and whatever else I may be counting in the future and don't have to ask it again here. > . <

  • 1
    「一方... 二ほう」>> Do you mean [一歩]{いっぽ}、[二歩]{にほ}?
    – Chocolate
    Jul 25, 2015 at 15:00
  • @choco Thank you, see I don't even know how to spell it! Jul 25, 2015 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


Q. Please could someone teach me the correct way to count strides from 1 to 10?

A. As for counting strides/steps here is the list:

  1. 一歩{いっぽ} - changes to p
  2. 二歩{にほ}
  3. 三歩{さんぽ} ** - changes to p
  4. 四歩{よんほ}
  5. 五歩{ごほ}
  6. 六歩{ろっぽ} - changes to p
  7. 七歩{ななほ}
  8. 八歩{はっぽ} - changes to p
  9. 九歩{きゅうほ}
  10. 十歩{じゅっぽ} - changes to p

**not to be mixed up with 散歩{さんぽ} meaning "(a) walk"

Here are the counters for cups (of things, like coffee):

  1. 一杯{いっぱい} - changes to p
  2. 二杯{にはい}
  3. 三杯{さんばい} - changes to b
  4. 四杯{よんはい}
  5. 五杯{ごはい}
  6. 六杯{ろっぱい} - changes to p
  7. 七杯{ななはい}
  8. 八杯{はっぱい} - changes to p
  9. 九杯{きゅうはい}
  10. 十杯{じゅっぱい} - changes to p
  • Counter dictionary?! (笑)I'll go for the counter dictionary! I see these seem to be written for Japanese people. So even Japanese people are confused about how to count things? Jul 25, 2015 at 23:34

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