Questions tagged [counters]

助数詞. Suffixes attached to numbers to indicate what is being counted. In linguistics, these are sometimes called 'classifiers'. The combination of a number plus a classifier forms a type of 'quantifier', and the movement of quantifiers into other parts of the sentence is called 'quantifier float'.

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131 views

what does 人の mean?

I'm learning Japanese and using busuu. A native speaker corrected my exercise but I dont understand what the green corrections mean. They teach me vocab and not much grammar. Please help!
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第 [dai-] vs 目 [-me] in forming ordinal numbers

As I understand fo now 第 [dai-] and 目 [-me] both turn 5 to fifth. 五匹の犬 [go-hiki no inu] five dogs 五匹目の犬 [go-hiki-me no inu] the fifth dog Here everything is clear. Articles and books say you ...
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203 views

五十音: 50-sounder vs 50 sounds

五十音 [gojzu: on] litteraly "50-sounder" (hiragana nickname) 五十 [gojzu:] 50 音 [on] sound My question is about counters in Japanese language. At the dictionary it is said, that 音 is counter for ...
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309 views

Using 何 with the general counter ~つ

Is there a way to use 何 with the general counter ~つ to ask "how many..." in the same vein as in sentences like "何歳ですか。" or "本は何冊買いましたか。"? If not, how do you ask something like "How many ideas do you ...
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689 views

Can the 歳 counter be used for architecture, furniture etc to tell its age?

While I understand that the 歳 counter is used to indicate ages of people and animals, I was wondering if it could be used to also talk about ages of inanimate things like architecture or furniture. ...
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823 views

How many things? AとBがふたつ

その上には熱帯魚の水槽と何かのトロフィーがふたつのっている This is a quote from "The wind-up bird and Tuesday's Women." How many fish tanks are there? How many trophies?
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616 views

How to pronounce 1ターン?

I've seen the phrase 1ターン1度 "once per turn" used in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card game, so it seems like ターン is a legit counter. But I'm not sure how to pronounce it. From what I've googled so far, some people ...
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Counters for animals: 匹 vs 頭: roughly how big is “big” and how small is “small”?

I find the distinction between 匹 and 頭 is rather tricky, because it is based on the size of the animal in question, and size is very relative and varies greatly among animals, even within the same ...
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157 views

What is the counter for kingdoms?

I'm trying to write that a person is a citizen of two kingdoms, one earthly, one spiritual. What is the counter for kingdom? (王国). Also, what is the best website to find a list of counters? I've found ...
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Why are phone calls cylindrical?

何本か重要な電話をかけ、... He made several important phone calls and ... Originally part of this question but separated due to popular? demand. Why is the counter 本 used in reference to phone calls?
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Different ways to say several

何本か重要な電話をかけ、... He made several important phone calls and ... As I puzzled about why phone calls might use the counter 本 (see this question) I wondered more generally about how to say several. Is ...
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What is the correct counter to translate 'One Piece'?

I was wondering whether the anime is actually called that way because it is hard to convey this meaning in japanese with a single word. For those who are not aware, One Piece is the greatest treasure ...
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224 views

Confusing use of ずつ

このバスの会社によると、東京では1週間に3日、昼と夜の2回ずつ走る予定で、予約が必要です。 According to the company that runs these buses, they plan to run the Tokyo bus three times a week, twice each in the afternoon and evening. A ...
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#回に#度: probability or sequence?

In a game manual, there is a description of a rare item that sometimes appears instead of a regular one. The rule determining when this rare item appears is this: 16回に1度、Xのかわりに出現。 In an earlier ...
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142 views

Do unit words belong to a word or a specific object?

I recently though about words that have multiple forms as real objects. For example a ticket can be a paper slip, or an email receipt. Does the way of counting them change based on what it is, or ...
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160 views

Are Japanese counters an adoption from the Chinese language?

The Japanese language uses counters to count different kinds of items, animals as well as people such as 一本 to count a long cylindric object or 二枚 two count flat objects (in thi case two flat objects)....
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202 views

What is the term used for a baby's age at birth?

Is a babies age determined by date of conception or date of birth? What is the term used for determining the age? A Japanese friend told me that a pregnancy is 10 months. I have always used tanjoubi ...
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1answer
176 views

What do you treat as an animate and inanimate object when counting?

In Japanese animate and inanimate objects are treated differently. For people: the verb exist いる is used the generic counter (一{ひと}つ, 二{ふた}つ, 三{みっ}つ, ...) cannot be used the specific counter (一{ひと}人{...
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121 views

How do you express time duration when mixing time units?

When you want to express a passage of time mixing time units like days, hours, and minutes is it best to use for example 間 once at the end to show duration, or should words showing duration be used ...
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How to say “The other sister” and “I don't have any brothers”

Can someone explain to me how to say the other (younger) sister when talking about family? I have to younger sister and want to discuss their professions, like in One sister is a... and the other ...
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561 views

When to use the counter word mei 名 over nin 人?

Beginner here. When would you use the counter word 名 over 人? I read online that 名 is used for formal situations, and literally every website gave counting customers as the example (as in, asking how ...
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Reading and translation for “1日目”, “2日目”, “3日目”, etc

I have a list referring to days of classes that reads this way: 1日目 - Ichinichime - Day 1 2日目 - Futsukame - Day 2 3日目 - Mikkame - Day 3 4日目 - Yokkame - Day 4 5日目 - Itsukame - Day 5 And so on (until ...
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名 vs 人 for counting people?

We were asking for seats at a restaurant in Kyoto and were unsure whether to ask for nimei or futari. Which would be more appropriate? What are the distinctions in usage between these two counters?
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What's the meaning of “十力所”

I'm currently reading 極主夫道 and I'm not sure I understand "十力所". Do you have any ideas? Is it 10 powerful people of the office or something else? Thank you!
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Did つ (助数詞) actually mean の?

There are quite a few examples were tsu actually means no. まつ毛・睫毛・睫 matsuge actually comes from 目の毛 me no ke (ma is another pronunciation for 目 me) 沖つ宮 okitsumiya(aslo written 沖津宮, but, as Meikyou ...
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What does 2世帯5人 mean in this sentence?

盛岡市によりますと、午後7時半現在、2世帯5人が近くの児童センターで一夜を明かす予定だということです。 Is it 2 families that have no link composed of a total of 5 persons or a normal family(3 or 4 members) + the grandparent(s) (1 or 2 member(s)) ?
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What is the counter for languages

I've looked this up in a few different dictionaries and the only word I got was 「か国語」written in a few different ways. but all of them contain 「国語」which I have come to understand means national ...
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59 views

Are counters for houses used in addresses?

I have a question about how to translate sentences like "the person from the eight", in the sense of "the person who lives in the house number 8". Is a counter preferred/needed in this situation? If ...
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259 views

Why the same counter word is used for cups and octopuses?

Me and my fellow coworker have been discussing the article on Japanese counter words and this particular case has caught our attention: [Pronunciation]はい hai, ぱい pai, ばい bai; [Spelling]杯, [Use] ...
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Counters + inherently plural items

Suppose I want to ask for two pairs of chopsticks for myself and someone I'm with. Does お箸【はし】を二【ふた】つください mean I'm asking for two chopsticks or two sets of chopsticks? (Also, am I using the right ...
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is お死枚 a pun on 四枚?

So I was watching Hunter x Hunter episode 142, and at one point one of the characters is about to shoot a bunch of coins at the other, and he asks 君に渡すのは 何枚でしょう, which is correctly translated as "how ...
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164 views

Counting objects modified by relative clauses

I found this sentence: 2人が亡くなっているのが見つかりました。 Two people were found dead. and thought the structure was a bit strange. If I had to say this I would have tried: 亡くなっている人が2人見つかりました。 Sentences ...
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How do you count train stations?

What would be the counter for train stations? For example, "two more stops" would be 後駅を二つ...? It seems a bit unnatural.
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Doesn't ~ニン(人)as a suffix imply that it is a counter of people

I was looking to some examples of the use of 人 and I found this one in Jisho.org http://jisho.org/search/人 200人{にん}の人{ひと}が昨年コレラで死んだ。 Two hundred people died of cholera last year. With furigana ...
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117 views

数え方(ドラマのエピソードの場合) [duplicate]

英語の場合はepisode 1, episode 2...という数え方がありますが、日本語の場合はどういった数え方で数えるでしょうか?
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367 views

How to count the word 言葉?

So if I'm trying to say "I found more than 50 unfamiliar words" how would I count words? My attempt: 意味の分からない言葉を50回も初めて見た。 As you can see, I counted how many times I saw an unfamiliar word, rather ...
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911 views

Numbering pages (ex. PAGE ONE)

Although it might seem a tad pointless, I am trying to number pages in a document without using Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2 etc.). I would like the reading to similar to "PAGE ONE" or "FIRST PAGE." I'm ...
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314 views

Can a particle attach to a counter?

I saw this answer to a recent question which contained the sentence: 私は猫二匹がいます Is it okay to put the particle が after the counter. It seems strange to me. I would have expected: 私(に)は猫が二匹います ...
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Counter followed by 隣

Referring to items at a mask selling stall: じいさんはうさぎの二個隣にあるドラえもんを指さした。 The man pointed at the ドラえもん figure ??? next to the rabbit I'm confused about what 二個隣 means. Does it mean that the ドラえもん ...
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110 views

Can だ/だった be omitted before conjuctive が?

On the results of measuring the amount of plastic found in a sample of 31 fish: その結果、9匹の体の中から大きさが5mm以下のプラスチックが平均で1.1個見つかりました。 The result (was that) from 9 fish the size was at least 5mm of ...
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How does one know when to use ~ふん or ~ぷん when telling time in Japanese?

I'm wondering if there are any linguistic reasons or rules that can be applied to find out which to use, or do I just need to memorize them individually?
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284 views

一部屋一部屋 Meaning and reading

I'm having some trouble with the following sentence: 一部屋一部屋が大きいのだろう、部屋のドアの間隔が広かった。 What's the meaning of the double "一部屋"? I think it's supposed to be each/every room, but I'm not sure. Also, is ...
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889 views

How to ask for X yen worth of something?

I think more or less everything is in the title, say I'd like to buy 1000 yen of carrots, would: 人参の1000円分お願いします Be correct ?
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2k views

How to read 24-hour clock format

There are a lot of topics on forums in what case Japanese people use 24-hour clock format. But I have never seen how it should be pronounced. It's not hard to say something like 8:05. This is common ...
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169 views

数詞も suitable location

How should I determine which place I need to locate 「数詞{すうし} + も」? From my text book example: 1: 毎年何百枚も年賀状を出します 数詞も is now located in front of the noun 年賀状. 2: 卵を六つも食べた Now 数詞も is located in ...
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635 views

More complicated examples of allotting items with ずつ

ずつ can be used when talking about allotting/diving things evenly (e.g. 飴を2つずつあげる), or having equal numbers of different things (e.g. ネギマとレバーを2本ずつ下さい). But what about cases where multiple things are ...
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Could 十角形、九角形、七角形 be read as デカゴン、ノナゴン、ヘパタゴン?

As per dic.yahoo.co.jp the following four geometric figures seem to be read as (ateji / gairaigo) 十角形、九角形、七角形、十二角形 (decagon, nonagon, heptagon, dodecagon). As per the same dictionary, all the other ...
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1answer
2k views

mittsu vs san - what's the difference and what are these two forms called?

I am trying to learn the numbers and I see there are two different translations for the number 3 (and other numbers). When should I use one and when should I use the other? Is there a name for the ...
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2answers
747 views

ichi-gatsu vs hitotsuki

Can some help me by explaining what the difference between these two is?
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138 views

幾人も or 一杯? Kanji or hiragana?

I am writing the following sentence: サン・パウロに日本人がいっぱいいるから。。。よかったですね! And I'd like to know if 幾人も could be a more respectful/more natural replacement for 一杯, and whether I should be using kanji.