Questions tagged [numbers]

数字. The various spoken and written forms of words and characters covering digits, numbers, numerals, including derived forms such as ordinals.

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How to choose between "よん" (yon) vs "し" (shi) for "四" (4) and "しち" (shichi) vs "なな" (nana) for "七" (7)?

Two numbers in Japanese have two pronunciation alternatives. 四 / 4 can be pronounced either "よん" (yon) or "し" (shi) 七 / 7 can be pronounced either "しち" (shichi) or "なな" (nana) I know that "し" (shi) ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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6 answers
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Arabic numbers: half-width or full-width?

Using my computer, I type a lot of numbers in Japanese text, and I am not sure when to use half-width or full-width. Are there rules? Right now I only use half-width, is it fine? Off-topic: Here is ...
Nicolas Raoul's user avatar
38 votes
4 answers
13k 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 ...
Lukman's user avatar
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38 votes
2 answers
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Why is 二十歳 pronounced はたち?

二十歳 is a (to me) bizarre exception to the usual number+さい rule for discussing age. Is this rooted in 20 being the Japanese age of majority? Added: To be more specific: why isn't it pronounced にじゅうさい ...
sartak's user avatar
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26 votes
5 answers
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Is there a reason why numbers in Japanese are delimited into blocks of four?

As I understand, Japanese numbers are divided into blocks of four, so while we would think of the number 89123889 as 89,123,889, in Japan they would think of it as 8912,3889 (八千九百十二万三千八百八十九). So ...
Lou's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers
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Rules for slang of Japanese numbers

I often hear Japanese using a different method for saying a number like "248" as によんぱ — especially for highways and license plates. While this one is easy to understand, there are others that I don'...
Mark Hosang's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
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Can you say "half hour" or must you say "30 minutes"?

I know that to say an hour and a half you can say 一時間半, but is it possible to express simply half an hour even though the counter comes before 半? Or would you just have to say 三十分? If both ways are ...
atlantiza's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
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How to read: the "~" (tilde) in "3~4 行"

How should I read the "~" mark that stands for range, as described in the title? I saw this in the following sentence: 3~4行ごとに1行あけると読みやすい。
Eric's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
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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. ...
Kaji's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
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About writing numbers using Japanese numerals vs using Arabic numerals

I noticed that even though Japanese language has kanji characters for numbers (e.g. 十、百、千、万 etc), there are many places where Arabic numerals are used instead, for example, prices for shop items are ...
Lukman's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
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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】...
istrasci's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
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What is the correct expression of 10/20, 20/30, 30/40 etc?

On a news report, I heard the phrase 四五{しご}十{じゅう}メートル and it got me thinking about how to express other number approximations. Are the following correct? 10 or 20 meters じゅうにじゅうメートル 20 or 30 ...
kandyman's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
25k views

How do I read 100°C in Japanese?

In English, I just read it "one hundred degrees Celsius". In Japanese, I don't know how to read it.
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13 votes
1 answer
2k views

The first: 第一 vs 一番 vs 第一番

What are differences among 第一, 一番 and 第一番, all of which seem to mean "the first" in English? Are any of them more suitable for some specific scenarios than the others (e.g. 安全第一 but 世界で一番)?
Lukman's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
618 views

What do the question marks on these gas station signs mean?

ハイオク: 148? レギュラ: 137? 軽油: 115? What meaning do the question marks have?
Garrett Albright's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the equivalent in arabic numbers of 3.2千

Sorry if this question seems to be stupid, but I'm not a japanese speaker, yet I have to "translate" Japanese numbers to Arabic numbers. I have a problem with the chain 3.2千 : according to https://...
Damien Prot's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does 中3の25% exactly mean?

I am not sure about the first part of 「中3の25%、短文も理解困難」  Do you read 中 as ちゅう here? 25% of 3 would be 0.75% if I am not mistaken. Therefore does it mean something like 「around 0.75% of the ...
Risa's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
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Reading fractions

In Japanese (and other East Asian languages), the denominator of a fraction is read as a part of the modifier to the numerator: 3分の5 'five that was divided by three' 'five thirds' This ...
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Japanese/Chinese numbers usage timeline

Japanese uses both native and Chinese numbering numbering systems, the Sino-Japanese pronunciations being いち, に, さん, etc. and the native being ひと, ふた, み, etc. For the most part they are used for ...
Nate Glenn's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
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Range of numbers

How would one express a range of numbers regarding an action? Example: I usually study anywhere between 2 to 4 hours a day. Would the からーまで grammar structure be appropriate here? 一日に普段2から4時間までを勉強する。...
Leo's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
545 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 ...
rdb's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
887 views

Why are furigana for number kanji almost always omitted?

Here's an example sentence from 北斗の拳 which uses a fair amount of furigana throughout. xxxに残された命は三日... Which includes furigana for のこ, いのち, and, bafflingly, even the か of 日, but none for 三. While I ...
sartak's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
739 views

In conversation can you just say "万円です" or must you say "一万円です"?

I'm pretty sure it's natural to say "百{ひゃく}円です" as a casual abbreviation of "一百{いっぴゃく}円です" in a conversation. Same with "千{せん}円" vs. "一千{いっせん}円". This is similar in English conversation where it is ...
Just Someone's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
6k views

How do you do a countdown?

For example, when JAXA launches a rocket, or people count the seconds to the New Year, do they use し or よん to count 4? do they use しち or なな to count 7?
Louis Waweru's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
へびひめ's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
462 views

Are the usage of 上 and 下 as labels only limited to items that come in pairs of two?

I have some untranslated mangas that come in pairs of two, and each of them is labeled with 上 or 下 to denote which is the first volume and which is the second. I'm wondering if these labels are only ...
Lukman's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
402 views

How do you read zeros in abbreviated years? (i.e. 03年)

I came across 03年度 and 09年度, and while the meaning is clear I didn't know the actual way of reading it. My first reaction was ゼロさんねんど, but I have no way of checking if that's right. I thought it might ...
silvermaple's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
504 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 じゅう・...
istrasci's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
536 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 ...
JNat's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Counters In Japanese

I'm a super beginner in Japanese, so excuse me if this question is really simple. Or stupid. As an exercise, sometimes I count up the things on nearby desks or tables and try to list them in Japanese,...
FoolishOrpheus's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
401 views

When a number is written in western numerals, how do you say them?

Someone has said this in my manga. まず!我らの使命は2つ!! Does he actually say "two" or "に"? If the latter, why not use 二? I don't see 二つ as being any different.
AlbeyAmakiir's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
15k views

Reading of years

Years (Gregorian) can be read out in English: A – two digits at a time; B – each digit separately; C – full reading of the number. For example: 2012: "Twenty twelve"; "Two zero ...
Flaw's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Structure: thing を numeral (or numeral and counter) ください

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 one apple? Secondly, in Lesson 5 of the Japanese For ...
Apple Mango's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
936 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?
Axe's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Gregorian calendar year to Japanese era name, and vice versa [closed]

Just for fun, I'm curious about how native speakers do mental translation from Gregorian calendar year (e.g 2011) to Japanese era name 年号 (e.g. 平成23年), and vice versa. Do you have special and ...
Lukman's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Listing things off: Using Hitotsu repeatedly

I've seen shows where they list things (etc rules, principles) with hitotsu for every point. I would expect hitotsu, futatsu... etc, to be the norm but it doesn't seem so. It didn't seem to be a ...
shoryuu's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
4k views

Should I use On reading or Kun reading for numbers?

I've just started to learn Japanese, and I've been looking at the jōyō kanji. Most of the words have on reading and kun reading. I was wondering, which one is most popular and when should I use one ...
Braeden Orchard's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
411 views

How to read words like テスト with ordinal numbers?

Consider this: テスト1, テスト2, テスト3 etc. (Taken from my exercise books. The tests are labelled as such up to 30) (Question) Should numbers that are used with loanwords like テスト be read with いち, に, さん ...
Flaw's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a general counter word for objects that you can fallback on if you're not sure which one to use?

I guess we could use the native Japanese numbers, 一つ, 二つ, 三つ...but we'd run into a problem at or after ten (not sure how とお works — same for はたち). Is there a general counter word that we can fallback ...
Louis Waweru's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Razzek's user avatar
  • 287
8 votes
1 answer
495 views

How do you say multiples of some number?

On a specification about a data. The valid value must be multiples of 10 (10, 20, 30, ...) How do you state that in Japanese. I saw on a document that it is written as Xは10,20,30・・のように10飛で付番する ...
Nap's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Does 一二三 mean "1 2 3" or "123"?

Is it possible, without any context, to tell whether 一二三 means "one, two, three" or "one hundred twenty-three"? In English, this kind of ambiguity would be removed by adding spaces between each digit:...
Sven's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
850 views

Pronunciation of 九

The dictionary I'm using lists two common pronunciations of 「九」: 「きゅう」 and 「く」. I've usually heard it as 「きゅう」 before, but when saying 「9時」, it always seems to be 「くじ」. Is there a rule to this?
Rurfs's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
7k views

壱, 弐, 参 vs 一, 二, 三

Can you tell me the difference between 壱 and 一, 弐 and 二, 参 and 三? Do these pairs have the same meaning? If yes, why do we use different Kanji? If no, what is the difference in their meanings? Can ...
hkBattousai's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Reading a number range [duplicate]

I have a bottle of 洗顔料(facial soap), and the instructions are: ご使用量の目安 ポンプ1~2回 (use about 1 to 2 pumps) If I were to read 1~2 aloud, how would I do it?
Flaw's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to say 24 divided by 8 equals 3

Pretty sure you have to use 割 but I don't know which pronunciation to use and how to say "equals" in this context.
buskila's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
8k views

Is B2F, B1F, 1F, 2F, ... wasei-eigo?

While visiting Tokyo, I noticed that most levels were indicated by B2F, B1F, 1F, 2F, ... . This doesn't look like the Romaji for -kai or -gai counter-words, which I assume would be chika ni-kai, ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
251 views

How Could One Read 4649?

In the Japanese version of Smash 4 for the Wii U, if you let the game come up with a name for you, one of the names it pops out is 4649. I'm assuming this is some joke based on the readings of the ...
Kurausukun's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
423 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
836 views

Confusion about 一千億 and 一千兆

I recently created a web app called Kazu which aims to help speakers of Japanese and English learn to read numbers in both languages. I found a web page which said that 'for numbers over 1万, "1000" ...
sebu's user avatar
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