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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10
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1answer
877 views

How many things? AとBがふたつ

「その上{うえ}には熱帯魚{ねったいぎょ}の水槽{すいそう}と何{なに}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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2answers
319 views

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 ...
12
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1answer
758 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. ...
15
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1answer
2k views

How to list numbers of things

Where do you place the counter in Japanese when you want to specify how many of something there are, especially if you're listing multiple things? I believe the counter usually goes after the ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Syntactic Properties of “Bare Numerals”: 「一」in「其の一」

I am currently attempting to research the syntax of nominal classifiers (i.e. "counter" words like 「〜台」and 「〜個」) and wanted to look for references to the irregular phenomenon of "bare" numerals: ...
5
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2answers
217 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{まいとし}何百枚{なんびゃくまい}も年賀状{ねんがじょう}を出{だ}します 数詞も is now located in front of the noun 年賀状. 2: 卵{たまご}...
-1
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1answer
134 views

What is the counter for kanji characters?

I want to count the number of kanji characters in a word. What is the counter for characters? I am thinking that the term mai would be used as they are written on paper.
0
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1answer
86 views

How do I count pieces of Halloween candy of different shapes?

I know that a bag of candy is counted as fukuro. Are the pieces counted differently based on the shape, long, thick, square, round, triangular, or is everything ko?
1
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1answer
214 views

Are Japanese counters the same when viewing items online?

As an example, I read three books online, would the counter 冊 still be used? I know that counters are based on size and shape of physical items, do the same rules apply when reading a book online?
7
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1answer
188 views

Would the same counter be used to order a slice of pizza and a whole one?

When I order a pizza, would I use ichimai 一枚 to order a slice or the whole thing? Thank you.
10
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2answers
199 views

/h/ sound changing in some Japanese counters

I just noticed that the quantifying words that have an initial sound as /h/ such as 本、匹、分 For example: 本 hon /h/ becomes /p/ : 1,6,8,10 /h/ becomes /b/ : 3,?? and ん sound before /b/ becomes /m/ (is ...
5
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1answer
124 views

What is the difference between 「女性一人」 and 「一人の女性」?

So far, I've learnt that a quantity (number + counter) can be attached to a noun to quantify it by using の: 一人の女性。One woman. However, I came across a sentence in my textbook where the noun an the ...
6
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3answers
855 views

Questions about counters

My first question is, are counters always required when counting things? Can't I just slap a number in front of the noun? For example,「いちりんご」for 1 apple? Secondly, in Lesson 5 of the Japanese For ...
4
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1answer
343 views

Is みんな being used as a “counter”?

This is from Minna no Nihongo Chapter 15. It's a description of Santa Claus. でも世界の子供はみんな私を知っています。 みんな seems like a counter of sorts (I don't know how else to describe it) for 世界の子供. I always ...
11
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1answer
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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2answers
158 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!
2
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2answers
219 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 ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Differences between “何度も or 何度でも” and 何回も?

Things like 何度も and 何回も are somehow common. In what cases would there be differences between the two? Are they the same differences between the plain 回 and 度? Thanks.
4
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2answers
5k views

Is there a counter for part-time jobs?

I needed to translate the sentence "Mary has three part-time jobs." What's the counter for "jobs" (baito, shigoto)? Also, how do I say that "I organized my room"?
2
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1answer
347 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 ...
6
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1answer
631 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 ...
5
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2answers
169 views

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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3answers
5k views

Why was “一匹” used for Godzilla?

I've heard someone say that "一匹{いっぴき}" was used at the end of the original Godzilla movie, with Dr. Yamane saying that Godzilla wasn't the last one of "them". Why did he use that, as opposed to "一頭{...
12
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2answers
739 views

Counter for 熊 (bears): ひき or 頭?

While hiking I saw 3 bears, and I have heard a lot of people say ひき to count them. There was a mother and two small ones, if that matters. But when talking about it I also have been told that 頭 ...
12
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1answer
5k views

Which counter do you use for counting TV series episodes?

I want to say "I saw 10 episodes", but I can't find the appropriate counter. I may use "つ" counter (十エピソードを見ました), but it's not very classy.
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2answers
161 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 ...
5
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1answer
293 views

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 ...
16
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3answers
4k views

Are there native Japanese numbers greater than 10? What use are they?

Most people who've taken a Japanese 101 class know the 10 native Japanese numbers (一つ、二つ・・・十). It's always seemed odd that a system would stop at 10 when so many things in life need larger numbers. ...
14
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2answers
310 views

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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1answer
774 views

Difference between tatami mat counters 帖 and 畳

What is the difference between tatami mat counters 帖 and 畳 (both pronounced じょう)?
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2answers
198 views

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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2answers
248 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 ...
3
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2answers
143 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 ...
3
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1answer
77 views

#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 ...
5
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1answer
950 views

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.
4
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1answer
176 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)....
4
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1answer
280 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 ...
1
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1answer
231 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{...
4
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1answer
9k views

How do you say “question”, and which counter should be used?

I'd like to know the word for "question" itself. For example if I wanted to say: I have a question わたしは (question) があります。 I've had a hard time finding an answer to this question because when ...
13
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1answer
129 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 ...
0
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2answers
578 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
788 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 ...
4
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1answer
733 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 ...
1
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

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?
3
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1answer
552 views

Use of も with counter

The writer is complaining that men are useless at cooking. They burn pans, they make more mess than is necessary and: ...、何枚も皿をつかう、... I can't fully understand this construction. I know the ...
9
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1answer
224 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
172 views

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!
1
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1answer
71 views

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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3answers
1k views

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 ...