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Counters in Japanese

Counters in Japanese

Count In Japanese
The Most Common Japanese Counters
Do you know any other ways to count Japanese?

Counting in Japanese

Counter: nin | Usage: people

一人 hitori – one person [irregular].
二人 futari – two people [irregular].
三人 san nin – three people [now we simply add the “Chinese” numbers to にん].
四人 yonin – [“shi nin” is NOT used. Probably because “shi” can mean death… Also notice the dropped “n” from “yon”] four people
五人 gonin – five people
六人 rokunin – six people
七人 shichinin or nananin [shichinin is used more often, but nannin is also used] – seven people
八人 hachi nin – eight people
九人 kyuunin or kunin – nine people
十人 juunin – ten people
十一人 juuichinin – eleven people

Counter: hiki | Usage: most animals

一匹 ippiki [notice the H changes to a P] – one animal
二匹 nihiki – two animals
三匹 sanbiki [notice the H changes to a B this time.].
四匹 yonhiki
五匹 gohiki
六匹 roppiki [ろっぴき notice the H changes to a P AND the く becomes a small っ].
七匹 nanahiki or shichihiki[probably nanahiki is most used].
八匹 happiki or hachihiki
九匹 kyuuhiki
十匹 juppiki [じゅっぴき notice the small っ- this occurs when there is a soft sound after like H].

Counter: ko | Usage: a generic counter for just about anything

一個 ikko [This is “ichi” plus “ko.” The “chi” is replaced by a slight pause. Listen to the audio.] – one thing
二個 niko – two things
三個 sanko
四個 yonko
五個 goko
六個 rokko
七個 nanako
八個 hachiko
九個 kyuuko
十個 juko or jiko (TV announcers regulary say “jiko.”)

Related Post:
Full Japanese Alphabet
Counting Numbers in Japanese