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Lesson Transcript

Do you know how to count people politely?
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?
First, let's take a look at what sorts of objects can be counted with the counter.
When counting people, you can use the counter…
This counter is limited strictly to people. You can use this counter for anyone: men, women, children, and the elderly.
Okay, let's count from 1 to 10 with this counter.
一人
二人
三人
四人
五人
六人
七人
八人
九人
十人
Did you notice that there were some numbers that sounded different from the usual numbers?
Counting 1 and 2 persons takes a special form. And when you read the number 4, you should be careful.
For number 1, it's 'hitori'
For number 2, it's 'futari'
For number 4, it's 'yo-nin', not 'yon-nin.'
Okay. Now let's take a look at some sample sentences that use this counter.
私の家族は、四人です。
“My family has 4 family members.”
お客さんが十人います。
“There are 10 customers.”
パーティーに八人来ました。
“8 people came to the party.”
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 students are there?
生徒が七人います。
How many children do they have?
子供が二人います。
The Japanese language always involves politeness and respect. For counting people, there's
a politer way. Do you know how to say the number of people in a politer way?
The answer is...
一名
You will often hear this counter at hotels, restaurants and cafes to confirm the number of people
in your group.
For example, 三名様ですか。
And it means "are you a group of three?" You will hear this sentence to confirm you visited the place as a group of three persons.
And they will always add the most polite suffix ‘-sama' after the number and the counter.
Okay, everyone. That's it for this lesson.
I'll see you next time!

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