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Lesson Transcript

Do you know how to count pairs of chopsticks?
You'll find out at the end of this lesson!
Hi everybody! I'm Alisha.
こんにちは、 Yamamori です。
Welcome to Japanese Counters for Beginners, where you'll learn how to count all sorts of different objects in Japanese!
Yamamori-sensei, what counter will we learn in this lesson?
Hon (本)
First, let's take a look at what sorts of objects can be counted with the counter.
When counting inanimate objects that are long and thin, you can use this counter…
Hon (本)
What are the examples of "long and thin" objects?
Objects can be made of soft material, like cords and strings, or hard material, like pens and pencils. You can also count bigger objects such as trees and telephone poles.
Okay, let's count from 1 to 10 with this counter.
一本
二本
三本
四本
五本
六本
七本
八本
九本
十本
Did you notice that there were some numbers that sounded different to how they usually sound?
When you read the numbers 1, 3, 6 and 10, you should be careful.
For number 1, it's i-ppon, not 'ichi-hon.'
For number 6, it's 'ro-ppon' not 'roku-hon.'
For number 10, it's 'ju-ppon' not 'juu-hon.'
For number 3, it's 'san-bon' not 'san-hon'.
Only this number 3 takes 'bon'."
Okay. Now let's take a look at some sample sentences that use this counter.
ワインを3本買います。
“I'll buy 3 bottles of wine.”
ペンを5本ください。
“Can I have 5 pens, please?"
木が8本あります。
“There are 8 trees.”
Now it's time for a quiz. I'm going to ask you a question in English. Please answer in Japanese. Are you ready? Be sure to use the right counter.
How many umbrellas are there?
傘が2本あります。
How many bottles of water did you buy?
水を10本買いました。
Do you know how to count a pair of chopsticks?
The answer is...
一膳
You need to use this counter to specify how many pairs of chopsticks.
If you say...
箸を二膳、ください。
It means, "can I have two pairs of chopsticks, please?"
With this proper counter, you can get 2 pairs of chopsticks, instead of 2 individual sticks!
Okay, everyone. That's it for this lesson.
I'll see you next time!

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