Counting part 2

Count general objects with the counter 個, and long and thing objects with the counter 本

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Outline

KanjiVocabularyCounting part 2

Kanji

Individual

Interval, Space

Vocabulary

いくつ

How many, How old

一個

One thing

三個

Three things

六個

Six things

何個

How many pieces, How many things

一本

One long thing

二本

Two long things

九本

Nine long things

人間

Human, Person, Human being

Counting part 2

As we learned on the first lesson on counters, Japanese has different counter words for different items. In this lesson, we will introduce you to two new counters: the second counter for the general objects and the counter for long and thin objects.

General objects

In this lesson we covered the general object counter . can only be used to count items up to 10. Now we will cover a new general object counter, , which can be used for any number of objects.

NumberJapaneseReading
1一個いっこ
2二個にこ
3三個さんこ
4四個よんこ
5五個ごこ
6六個ろっこ
7七個ななこ
8八個はっこ/はちこ
9九個きゅうこ
10十個じゅっこ
11十一個じゅういっこ
12十二個じゅうにこ
100百個ひゃっこ
1,000千個せんこ
10,000一万個いちまんこ
How many何個なんこ

Both and are used as substitutes for other counters for non-animated objects.

  • 明日あしたテストが三個さんこあります。
  • I have 3 tests tomorrow.
  • パンを六個ろっこつくりました。
  • I made 6 loaves of bread.
  • いえにテレビが何個なんこありますか?
  • How many TVs do you have at home?

The difference between the two is very ambiguous. The main difference is that can be used for counting something's age between 1 to 9 years old and can't be. However, when counting the age difference between two or more things, both counters can be used.

つ is used for counting age between 1 to 9

  • このみっつです。
  • This child is 3 years old.
  • いくつですか?
  • How old are you

Counting age difference

  • わたしあにわたしみっうえです。
  • My brother is three years older than me.
  • 七個ななこしたいもうとがいます。
  • I have a younger sister who is seven years younger.

Long objects

The counter ほん is generally used to count long and thin objects such as legs/arms and wind/string instruments. The table below shows how to count between 1 and 10 using ほん:

NumberJapaneseReading
1一本いっぽん
2二本にほん
3三本さんぼん
4四本よんほん
5五本ごほん
6六本ろっぽん
7七本ななほん
8八本はっぽん
9九本きゅうほん
10十本じゅっぽん
  • 人間にんげんあし二本にほんあります。
  • Humans have two legs.
  • 学校がっこうにペンを一本いっぽんわすれました。
  • I forgot one pen at school.
  • ギターを九本きゅうほんいました。
  • I bought nine guitars.
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