Japan Language

Japanese Language Lesson 11-Interrogatives and Counters


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Please view previous lessons for additional vocabulary and grammar.

In this lesson you'll learn the wide variety of counters in Japanese! Did you know there's specific counters you use depending on a range of circumstances? From flat objects, to tall, cylinder shapes, to small and big animals and even a special counter for tofu! Along with these counters, we'll also go over some basic interrogatives to help you ask who's object it is and what kind of object it is.Good luck studying!


nanmai desuka? -How many (flat things)?

# + mai Mai-counter for flat objects (t-shirt, paper, stamps, postcards)
ichimai ichimai-1 (flat thing)
nimai nimai-2 (flat things)
Sanmai Sanmai-3 (flat things)

nanbon desuka? What is it? -How many (long cylindrical objects)?

# + hon / pon / bon hon / pon / bon-counter for long cylindrical objects (umbrella, beer, wine, banana, pen)

* Depending on the mouth position, you will use # + pon (for closed) / # + hon (open) and 3 is exception san-bon

ippon-1 (cylinder thing)
nihon nihon-2 (cylinder thing)
sanbon sanbon-3 (cylinder thing)

# + daidai-counter for car / machine

# + wa wa-counter for birds

# + piki / hiki / biki Piki / Hiki / Biki-counter for small animals

# + tou-counter for big animals

hitori alone futari Futari / # + nin (3 and up)-counter for people

# + ken / gen Ken / Gen-counter for homes

# + chou choo-counter for tofu

All around counter (up to 10)

hitotsu one-1
futatsu two-2
mittsu mittsu-3
yottsu yotsutsu-4
itsutsu Itsutsu-5
Muttsu Mutsu-6
Nanatsu Nanatsu-7
yattsu Yatsutsu-8
kokonotsu Kokonotsu-9

dare / donata (more polite) desuka? Who / who? -who is it?

donna (object) desuka? What is (___)? -what type of (object) is it?

doko (object) desuka? Where is (___)? -where / what company made (object)?

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Post date:2013-01-29 16:19:45



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