Original sentence is this:

Everyone at a meeting talked for 5 minutes at a time

And I got confused because I want to put 「分間」 there but I'm not sure if it works well with 「ずつ」 and vice versa. Also, I'm not sure if 「間」 actually has to be there. I know that 「間」 means period of time, so I presume that it has a place to be there but then again I'm not sure.



Is the 1st option ok, or can it work both ways?

1 Answer 1


Both are grammatically correct.

I think ...分ずつ is way more common that ...分間ずつ though.

This idea is supported by a search on this corpus: http://www.kotonoha.gr.jp/shonagon/search_form, where 「分ずつ」returns many more results than「分間ずつ」.

I also feel like 話していました might be more appropriate with 5分ずつ because 分間 implies "over a period of time" in this context.

  • 1
    So, 分 is a special case because it is not prone to ambiguity. On the other hand, 1時間 could not be replaced by 1時 in this context. Right? Feb 9, 2019 at 8:31
  • Oh yes, very right. 1時 would mean 1 o'clock. 時間 is an unbound 熟語, really it's own word. 分間 needs to be bound to a number to make any sense. Comparing 分間 with 瞬間 or 期間, it seems to me like 分間 is really the odd one out.
    – sazarando
    Feb 9, 2019 at 15:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .