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Lesson Transcript

Do you know how to count objects in bags? You'll find out at the end of this lesson!
Hi everybody! I'm Alisha
こんにちは、 Yamamori です。
Japanese has a general counter, which is...
Okay, let's count from 1 to 10 with this counter. Yamamori-sensei will give you the numbers one by one. Repeat after Yamamori-sensei.
Okay. Now let's take a look at some sample sentences that use this counter. Yamamori-sensei will give you three sample sentences. Listen carefully to what sorts of objects can be counted with this counter.
It's now time for a Quiz. I'm going to ask you a question in English. Answer the question in Japanese. Are you ready? Make sure to use the right counter.
Do you know how to count if objects are in bags?
Okay, everyone. That's it for this lesson. I'll see you next time!
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?
つ - (for the later part) [Natsuko] コーヒー、ふたつ。
ひとつ
ふたつ
みっつ
よっつ
いつつ
むっつ
ななつ
やっつ
ここのつ
とう
りんごを七つ買いました。
How many tomatoes did you buy?
一袋
(pause) つ
You can use this general counter when objects don't have specific counter, or when you don't know the specific counter for a certain item. You can also use it to count relatively small objects regardless of their shape, such as oranges, and glasses. When you order something at restaurants and cafe, you can use this general counter to say how many of the same item you want. So, for example, if you're at a cafe with your friend and you order two coffees, you can use this general counter for saying "2". 
[Natsuko] コーヒー、ふたつ。
This counter only goes up to 10, and all the numbers might sound very different to the usual numbers. You just need to memorize them, but Yamamori-sensei will help you a little bit. The numbers 3, and 6 and 4 and 8 are slightly similar.
I bought 7 apples.
トマトを四つ買いました。
You can often find 5 or 6 apples, oranges, or grapefruits in a bag at Japanese supermarkets. So, you might say...
First, let's take a look at what sorts of objects can be counted with the counter.
Numbers 3, 4, 6 and 8 are 'mittsu', 'yottsu', 'muttsu' and 'yattsu' respectively.
Number 9 is 'kokonotsu' and it sounds similar to "coconuts".
Number 10 is 'tō'; it sounds like "toe".
妹に飴を二つあげました。
How many bags are there?
グレープフルーツを二袋、買いました。
I gave 2 candies to my younger sister.
バッグがひとつあります。
And it means "I bought 2 bags of grapefruits".
コーヒーを五つ、ください。
Can I have 5 cups of coffee, please?

13 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 2nd, 2013 at 06:30 PM
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What other objects can you counter with this counter?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 11th, 2020 at 10:06 PM
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Suryaさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

You can use "tsu" in general for tables, but we sometimes use "dai" for big tables.

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Surya
September 10th, 2020 at 10:35 PM
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Hai..

What is the counter for table? Is it 'tsu' or 'dai'?

Please reply

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 8th, 2018 at 06:57 PM
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Hi Sarah,

Thank you for the comment!


"~つ" is not used to count more than 10.

There are a lot of specific counters in Japanese. The following video would help you.


ALL Japanese Counters in 16 minutes - Learn Japanese Grammar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMXVrHBpCKI&t=


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Sarah
October 21st, 2018 at 10:58 PM
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Hello!


How would you count objects higher than 10? Would you still use つ? 


じゅういちつ、etc.?


Thanks!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 8th, 2016 at 07:13 AM
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Levi san,

Konnichiwa.

You can use both of them.:smile:

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

Levi
July 31st, 2016 at 10:30 AM
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Hello, I'm a little confused between "ko" and "tsu".

I don't know wich counter I have to use to count "tomatoes", Can I use both?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 18th, 2015 at 05:41 PM
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Sara san,

Konnichiwa. :smile:

Thank you for the question.

Japanese native speakers often use ひとふくろ, ふたふくろ、みふくろ and よふくろ.

However, they tend to say ごふくろ、ろくふくろ、なな(しち)ふくろ、はちふくろ、きゅうふくろ、じゅっぷくろ.


Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

sara
February 18th, 2015 at 03:07 AM
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Hi,

My name is Sara and I have a question for you. about the counter for bags of fruit is it right writing:

ひと袋

ふたふくろ

みっつ袋

よっつふくろ

いつつ袋

むつ袋

ななつ袋 

やっつふくろ

ここのつふくろ とおふくろ

I'm looking forward to hearing from you

Sara

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 16th, 2014 at 08:48 PM
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ミハエルさん、

good idea writing "number + counter" in hiragana to make sure you know how to say! :smile::thumbsup:

It was actually close! Japanese counting system only goes up to 10 and the tenth doesn't take つ:sweat_smile:

It's just とお and we might not use this word to say there's 10 something.

Games are difficult to say which counter to use, to be honest.

I think using 番目 was a very appropriate and clever:sunglasses::thumbsup:

How about:

ドラゴン・クエストのシリーズは、10種類(じゅっしゅるい)ありますね。

(There are 10 kinds of Dragon Quest series.)

ぼくは、ひとつ持っています。

9(きゅう)番目のゲームをかいました。


Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

ミハエル
May 3rd, 2014 at 05:19 AM
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みなさん,こんばんは。

ドラゴン・クエストは、ゲームがとおつありますね。ぼくは、ひとつを持っています。ここの番目をかいました。

(I have left numbers in Hiragana for practice, like ひとつ instead of 一つ, so I don't get tempted to write ichi-tsu ^^)


Hi everyone.

As for Dragon Quest, there exist 10 games / titles, as far as I know. I have one (of them). I have bought the 9th (title / part / episode). Please correct mistakes I have made - thank you :D


As I don't know the counter for Dragon Quest games, I would use つ. I think, 枚 would also be applicable, as Nintendo DS game packages are flat objects, and the game cartridges themselves are flat and small. And こ would be a valid counter for upcoming episodes 十一など / 11 etc., right?

However, I have heard this game is really popular in Japan; so, it even may have an own special counter - does it? :D


Kind regards,

Michael