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'.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
15
votes
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

「二番」 vs. 「二番目」 confusion

I am confused by 「二番」vs.「二番目」、「三番」vs.「三番目」etc. While 「一番速い人。」 seems grammatically correct and sounds ok to me, 「二番速い人。」 sounds so unnatural to me I am thinking the grammar might be wrong. But, if 「...
7
votes
2answers
378 views

Do we use odd day pronunciations outside of calendar ranges?

After reading @jkerian's comment in this post, I started thinking about this. Here's the comment in full: On a side note, all days ending in '4' are also irregular, and use ~よっか. So the 14th is ...
12
votes
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 ...
31
votes
4answers
5k views

Differences between 度 and 回 when counting occurrences

What are the differences between using 度 and 回 when used to count number of occurrences? For example: そんなことは一度もしたことがない そんなことは一回もしたことがない Are there any restrictions on what kind of actions referred ...
6
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

What's the counter for episodes?

How can I say "I watched 13 episodes so far" in Japanese? What is the counter for episodes? I also would like to know the right word for episode. Is it 挿話? That's what I found on jisho.org but since ...
40
votes
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{...
15
votes
2answers
700 views

What are the rules for reading numbers before a foreign counter-word?

Is there a rule of thumb for knowing the reading of a number when it is written in western numerals, and is followed by a loaned counter-word? For example, how would you pronounce the "1" in 1セット? My ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Placing a quantifier between a noun and particle?

this is my first question here so please bare with me. Until the other day I was aware of two different ways use counters As an adverb. ペンを3本買いました。 As a noun. 3本のペンを買いました。 The ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are movies/video-clips counted with 本?

I just noticed in my Facebook uploads that for my videos, it says I have 25本. What's the reasoning behind using 〜本 to count videos or movie clips? The only line of reasoning I can come up with would ...
5
votes
1answer
666 views

How do you ask for ordinality (order in a sequence)?

What phrase do you use to ask for the n-th position of an object? Is there a straightforward and general way to do so? e.g. order of childbirth, place did the runner finish Since you can use 3人目 ...
4
votes
2answers
676 views

What does 何+(counter)+も+volitional mean? e.g. 何機も買おう

I found this sentence as an answer to the question: "What are some of the symbols of Japan's wealth?" 次期主力戦闘機を何機も買おうとしていること I'm not sure whether it means they're buying a lot of next-generation ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there rules of thumb for counter sound changes?

I'm wondering if there are consistent (or at least fairly reliable) rules for how to read numbers next to irregular counters, i.e. counters where you can't just put together the number and counter ...
2
votes
2answers
185 views

Why is 1st floor written as ikkai いっかい?

Should it not be い かい as I thought the counter for floors was -kai ?
8
votes
2answers
360 views

Numbers and Counters

I am still in a very early stage in learning Japanese, and just I have just learnt some numbers and my first counter words, such as the ones for telling time and まい. Do you ever use "regular" numbers ...
5
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Use of number+ counter as a noun

I didn't know that you can use a number+counter combination as a noun, but it seems from this sentence that you can. 一番上に置いてあった一枚を手に取った She picked up the sheet that had been placed at the top Is ...
16
votes
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. ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is the correct counter for rabbits 羽(わ)

Why is the correct counter for rabbits 羽(わ), the counter that is used for birds. I figured it is because they jump, cause fly and jump are the same verb in Japanese, but then frogs are 匹.
7
votes
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.
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it okay to use つ counting for everything?

Instead of using the proper counter for each thing, is it okay to just use the つ counter? Like in: 彼女は子猫2匹を持っている。 Use つ instead of 匹: 彼女は子猫2つを持っている。 Are there situations when this is ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is 間{かん} used to denote some amounts of time but not others?

I've been thinking about how to express a duration of time and how in the past I have added 間{かん} in situations where I found that I shouldn't have. Take the following sentences as examples. ○: ...
12
votes
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.
6
votes
2answers
2k views

List of Japanese counter words [closed]

What are the essential Japanese counter words? For example -dai for machines, -mai for papers and stuff like that. What else to expect/know? Thank you
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Temperature abbreviations?

A certain dialog in my book has a man describing the symptoms of his cold to the doctor. It reads thus: 医者:熱はありますか。 患者:はい、きのうから。夕べはぞくぞく寒気がしたので、高熱が出るんじゃないかとひやひやしたんですが、今のところ7度8分【なな・ど・はち・ぶ】...
4
votes
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 ...
14
votes
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?
13
votes
2answers
470 views

How to read the X in 5X4間?

A book about architecture I'm trying to read (it's a bit of a slog what with the technical jargon and such) contained this description of a temple building: 二重、初重5X4間、裳階 (もこし) つき、上重4X3間. So it's two ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

Is repetition of words in questions, such as the 番 in 電話番号は何番ですか common in Japanese?

In this other question, the answers say that 電話{でんわ}番号{ばんごう}は何番ですか is a common way of asking for someones number. I was thrown off by the repitition of 番, but the answers say it's commonly used. So ...
7
votes
2answers
641 views

ひき or 頭 for horses?

Initially I'd thought ひき is for small animals and 頭 is for animals that are not small ("big" animals) however EDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D) ...
6
votes
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?
5
votes
1answer
320 views

“Line of code” in Japanese

I've been doing a bit of work with rendering 縦書き【たてがき】 in HTML, and was having a running internal monologue in Japanese about how things were progressing when I hit on a missing word: "line" as in "...
8
votes
1answer
163 views

What is a newspaper 段, exactly?

Does this bit contain 2段, for instance? Would 3段抜き refer to a write-up containing 3 such 段?
6
votes
2answers
286 views

Are ~つ and ~り the only two counters that can occur with the native Japanese numbers (ひと~, ふた~, etc)?

Please go easy on me if this seems too basic and obvious, I'm a beginner. I always had the impression that there were counters that went with the native Japanese numbers and counters that went with ...
5
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

1カ所: いっかしょ or いちかしょ?

What is the correct pronunciation for 1カ所 ? It means: 1 place Context: ユーティリティ関数として定義されているわりには1カ所からしか呼ばれていない。 It is defined as a utility function, but only called in one place.
4
votes
1answer
158 views

Does 個 have a specialized usage as a counter?

I usually hear 個 referred to as a general purpose counter (which is how it is used in Chinese) similar to hitotsu, futatsu, etc... I just read a source which claims that it tends to refer to 3-...
3
votes
1answer
348 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Common ways of asking for someones phone number

I saw somewhere today that [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}は何番ですか is used to ask for someone's phone number. It seemed strange to me since I usually hear it as [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}何ですか, and also because the literal ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Tracing subject sentence and missing classifier

In the following sentence I am not sure if the subject is 始末したコボルト or not. I guess it is the subject and not the group in which is plunged searching for shelter. Is it correct? ...