How do we decide if 中 is ちゅう or じゅう ?

For example, in this sentence 10人中3人はビデオを持っている which pronunciation should we use?

What about this: そのピアニストの演奏中、彼らは一心に耳を傾けた。

  • 2
    中 is read as ちゅう in both examples. I cannot explain why right now. Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 18:38
  • @Tsuyoshi thx for the confirmation =P
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 21:54

3 Answers 3

  • じゅう (or, rarely: ぢゅう) is used for expressions covering a length of time (resp. area) from start to finish, in its entirety. I.e. "through", "all of":

一年中【いちねんじゅう】 all year

一日中【いちにちじゅう】 all day

世界中【せかいじゅう】 all over the world

  • ちゅう is for pointing a particular time (resp. specific location) out of an interval (resp. general area). I.e. "out of", "during":

午前中【ごぜんちゅう】 [at some point] during morning

会議中【かいぎちゅう】 in a meeting [e.g. "he is in a meeting at the moment"]

Note that in some cases, both can be used and the only way to tell would be from context (e.g. an expression followed by に is more likely to be ちゅう) or in speech:

来月中【らいげつじゅう】 all of next month

来月中【らいげつちゅう】 [some time] next month

  • cool, btw just to confirm, is the 中 in the 2 sentences (in the question) both ちゅう and not じゅう ?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 10:21
  • Hmn, I would have said じゅう, since there's an idea of continuity (they listened carefully throughout the whole thing, not just at a specific point in time), but Google seems to think otherwise.
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 10:29
  • For some reason, verbal noun is always with ちゅう. The usages are (1) shows state: 会議中 = is in a meeting (2) as adverb, it means "throughout the course of 〜": 会議中眠っていた = Slept throughout the meeting (3) used with に, it points a moment. 会議中に… = sometime in the meeting,….
    – syockit
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 18:29

"out of" is 「ちゅう」, "through" is 「じゅう」.

中 ちゅう
(suf,abbr,n-suf) medium; average; middle; moderation; middle school; China; in; out of (e.g. three out of ten people); during (a certain time when one did or is doing something); (P)
中 じゅう
(suf) through; throughout; in the course of; all over or throughout (e.g. a place)


That second example is "during", so 「ちゅう」.

  • btw isn't it true that じゅう can also mean "in; out of (e.g. three out of ten people);" ?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 5:27


Here, 中 reading is うち

  • 2
    You give a different reading from the other comments/answers. Could you maybe give a bit more detail?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Sep 19, 2020 at 20:18

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