WWWJDIC lists いちにん and ににん as alternative readings of 一人 {ひとり} and 二人 {ふたり}, but I can't recall anywhere I heard those readings except when counting more than 10 people for example 三十一人 {さんじゅういちにん}. Is that the only situation where 一人 and 二人 are read as いちにん and ににん, or are there any other situations?

  • I think I read in some manga where いちにん ににん occurs when you're saying something like "one or two people", as in 一 二人 (いち ににん). – Vun-Hugh Vaw Sep 16 '19 at 12:31

Other than your example 三十一人, I can think of 一人前, 二人前, 二人三脚, 二人羽織. But by itself, I don't think they are read as 'いちにん' or 'ににん'.


The only thing I can think of is 一人称【いちにんしょう】 and 二人称【ににんしょう】 meaning "first person" and "second person" respectively. This means "person" as in "point-of-view" or parts of speech ("third person" is 三人称【さんにんしょう】).

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    I think that, in those cases, it is not 一人 + but is + 人称. – user458 Aug 25 '11 at 3:07
  • 一人前【いちにんまえ】二人前【ににんまえ】? Right, probably +人前 – syockit Aug 25 '11 at 16:26
  • @syocit There is no such word as 人前. – user458 Aug 26 '11 at 1:15
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    @sawa Actually 人前 is there in WWWJDIC. Moreover it has two readings with different meanings: にんまえ = food portion, ひとまえ = the public, company .. – Lukman Aug 26 '11 at 2:02
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    @Lukman I see. But I don't think WWWJDIC is right. And you're right, it can be read as 'ひとまえ', which is a different word. – user458 Aug 26 '11 at 3:55

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