I am trying to write the following sentences in Japanese:

Everyday I try to have 3 non-consecutive study sessions, each taking 3 hours.
Moreover, I'm trying to make sure that I learn at least 20 unknown words in each of those 3 hours.

Honestly, I fear that even the English ones above may have errors and/or sound unnatural. In any case, below is my attempt at expressing them in Japanese:


*I know they must be horrendously unnatural, and full of erroneous grammar. I am at a stage where I can somewhat read simple articles in Japanese with a dictionary handy, but can hardly even make a proper, simple sentence myself without dying a little inside.

My biggest problem here is where to place ずつ exactly. Moreover, I am aware that sometimes it can be omitted, thus making it even harder to use.

In English, if I were to say "I study for three hours each day," each modifies day instead of hours. However, in Japanese, it'd be something like:


*Hopefully, this one is error-free.

Here ずつ modifies 時間 instead. I would've put ずつ after 一日 if I hadn't seen this sentence.

On the other hand, I have little problem using ずつ in this situation:


Again, here I believe ずつ is optional. In this case, ずつ follows 一個, and I think the English equivalent can be either "everyone take one cake each," or "each one take one cake."

Please help me correct my sentences. 教えていただきたいからです、お願いいたします!

*I'm not sure if this counts as a translation request, but if folks here think it does, I apologize beforehand. I'll remove it myself then.

1 Answer 1


You rendered "Everyday I try to have 3 non-consecutive study sessions, each taking 3 hours" to 僕は毎日非連続的な勉強時間を三回三時間ずつしようとしています, which has 2 major problems.

First, 勉強時間を…する doesn't really make sense. It should be 勉強時間を…持つ or 勉強を…する. Second, you should use しようと思う rather than しようとする (unless this is an excuse or something, which objectively explains your situation) because you are exactly the one who has the intention. You should express it subjectively. (This has something to do with problems of perspective and position like restriction for other person's emotion in indicative mood or usage of やる or くれる.) e.g 私は勉強時間を非連続的に毎日三回(それぞれ)三時間ずつ持とうと思っている

As for the second sentence: "Moreover, I'm trying to make sure that I learn at least 20 unknown words in each of those 3 hours", you should use ずつ in this way: その3時間ごとに…単語を20(ずつ)覚える. (Counter for 単語 or 言葉 can be either 個 or the generic counter, and ずつ here is optional.)

You can express "to make sure that" as …ようにする, so, all in all, it's 「さらに、その3時間ごとに、まだ知らない単語を20個ずつ覚えるようにしようと思っている」.

  • Thank you ( ;∀;)!! I think I see your point about subjectivity, but I thought しようとする could describe anyone's intention trying to do something. Is this issue related to why "上司は私に__を話した" is a common mistake when "(私は)上司に__を言われた" is more natural? (This idea is actually from your answer to someone else's question.) As for the problem with ごとに, actually I had made two other sentences using ごとに and おきに, and on HiNative, someone told me the one with ごとに was the only correct one. One last thing, I do not understand how 単語20__ works with the generic counter, つ, which doesn't go beyond 10.
    – Yeti Ape
    Jun 4, 2018 at 15:15
  • I wish I didn't have to bother people with my barrage of newbie questions... Sorry about that. I can totally understand if you're too busy to answer them. Anyway, here's the topic I referred to: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/43012/…
    – Yeti Ape
    Jun 4, 2018 at 15:23
  • 1
    The generic counter goes this way: 1. ひとつ … 10. とお、11. じゅういち、12. じゅうに …. Concerning the problem of perspective, what's your question exactly?
    – user4092
    Jun 5, 2018 at 1:00
  • 1
    The theory that claims "counting above 10 requires a specific counter" is wrong because sometimes you need the generic counter instead of specific one like, for example, 24の瞳 ("24 eyes"). If it was 24個の瞳, it would mean "24 eyeballs".
    – user4092
    Jun 5, 2018 at 4:45
  • 1
    @YetiApe It doesn't make sense unless the eyes were commodity.
    – user4092
    Jun 5, 2018 at 12:00

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