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My dictionary says they are both translated to the word "nine".

Can someone help clarify this for me.

Thank you

marked as duplicate by broccoli forest, macraf, Questioner, Chocolate, Earthliŋ Oct 18 '16 at 9:12

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ここのつ is a traditional Japanese word, while 九 is one of Chinese numerals (漢数字) which are common to most of Eastern Asian languages.

It also should be mentioned that you can't use 漢数字 without using a counter word (助数詞) for appropriate cathegory when counting objects. For example, the following are two different ways to say "there are 9 pencils" in Japanese:

「鉛筆が九本」 (where 本 is a counter word appropriate for pencils)

「鉛筆がここのつ」 (no counter word is needed here)

You may always replace 漢数字 with a traditional Japanese numeral in that way for all quantities that are equal or lesser than 9 - especially if you are not sure which counter word should be used with a cathegory of objects that you're trying to count, but sometimes this can be considered illiterate.

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    I would say that ここのつ isn't a "traditional Japanese word", but rather a native Japanese number + the counter word つ. When you say that 鉛筆がここのつ doesn't need a counter word, I would say it already contains a counter word... – Earthliŋ Oct 18 '16 at 6:53
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    ここのつ definitely contains a counter, but it's fair to call it a single lexical item. The counter つ doesn't attach productively in Modern Japanese, and all the numeral + つ combinations in use today are pre-formed and part of the lexicon. – snailboat Oct 18 '16 at 12:28
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kyuu is the basic number. kokonotsu is 9 of something. kokonoka is 9 days, kyuuhon is 9 glasses...

there are hundreds of those, they are called counters and you should study them to learn how they work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_counter_word

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