I'm a bit confused. The first sentence I learned was biru kudasai (ビールください).

But then I watched this video:


And I found out there are so many variations. So I wonder what's the difference? And which one is the most colloquial one?

1 Answer 1


They all mean the same thing ("One beer, please") but the difference is the counters.

ひとつ is a general counter for things and is safe for most nouns if you don't know the specific counter.

いっぽん is a counter for long things like pencils. In the case with a beer, it means "one bottle" (it says it in the video description).

いっぱい is the counter for beverages. This is the most specific and probably the most appropriate for the situation of ordering a "drink", whatever a "drink" is considered.

  • 1
    Yes: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/48620/5010
    – naruto
    May 10, 2018 at 19:27
  • Awesome answer. Damn, I'll get stuck in these three choices next time I order a beer in Japan.
    – alex
    May 11, 2018 at 1:49
  • your original biru kudasai (ビールください) will work just fine. ^_^ Less polished, but not a faux pas. May 11, 2018 at 6:39
  • Or, you know, act drunk and say お代わり (which works similar to "I'll have another" but is quite unrefined)
    – psosuna
    May 11, 2018 at 21:18

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