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Lesson Transcript

Do you know how to count objects in Japanese? In Japanese, special counters are used to count different things. The counters depends on the shape or the characteristics of the objects. In this lesson, you are going to learn the general counter つ (tsu) such as ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ。 (Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu.) . For example, I have some candies here. How do you think we count these in Japanese? 一つ、二つ、三つ、四つ、五つ、六つ、七つ、八つ、九つ、十。 (Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, yottsu, itsutsu, muttsu, nanatsu, yattsu, kokonotsu, tō.) つ (tsu) is a counter which can be used for generic objects but look at 十 (jū ) is not used here. つ (tsu) is only used for 1 through 9. These set of words doesn’t follow any kind of pattern and must be memorized. So now let’s practice. Repeat after me. 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、とお。 (Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, yottsu, itsutsu, muttsu, nanatsu, yattsu, kokonotsu, tō.) Now it’s time for Hiroko’s tip. I am going to teach you a secret song for memorizing this counting system. ひい、ふう、みい、よ、いつ、む、なな、や、ここの、とお。 (Hī, fū, mī, yo, itsu, mu, nana, ya, kokono, tō.) Okay let’s practice now. Here I have some objects. How would you count these objects in Japanese? ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ、よっつ。 (hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, yottsu.) So the answer is よっつ。 (yottsu.) ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ。 (hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu.) So now we have みっつ。 (mittsu.) but I am going to eat one now. So now ひとつ、ふたつ。 (hitotsu, futatsu.) So it became ふたつ。 (futatsu.) . In the next lesson, you are going to learn more counters. See you next time.

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JapanesePod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Hi everyone!

Now you can count objects up until 10! Try counting some items around you :smile:

JapanesePod101.com
February 20th, 2019 at 9:12 pm
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Hi Sariah,


Thanks for posting!


Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.


Sincerely,

Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team JapanesePod101.com

SariahSan:)
February 13th, 2019 at 5:07 am
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BUT-- I'm going to eat one now... NOW WHAT?!???!?!?! 😆😆😆 Go Hiroko!!!!!!!

JapanesePod101.com
December 13th, 2018 at 1:29 am
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Hi Daniel,


Thanks for the comment.

It's indeed hard without melody...


Hi Cheryl,


Thank you for asking the questions.

"You use counters when counting objects only?"

>> Hitotsu, futatsu, etc. can be used for non-objects, such as opinions.

Let me tell you an opinion I have.

意見を一つ言わせてください。

いけんをひとついわせてください。

Iken o hitotsu iwasete kudasai.


"So what about the number system, i.e. ichi, ni, san, yon..etc? When you do use them and when do you not use them?"

>> For this, please check the following lessons:

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson/japanese-counters-for-beginners-4-tsu/?lp=182

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson/japanese-counters-for-beginners-3-ko/

Sometimes, a small, round object can be counted with either ko or tsu.


Hi Sarinya,


Thank you for asking the question.

Yes, for boxes, tsu counter can be used.


There are five boxes.

箱が五つある。

はこがいつつある。

Hako ga itsutsu aru.


However, 箱 はこ hako itself can be a counter. Let's imagine, you are shopping for pencils and they come in a box of 12. You want to buy two boxes. You can say:

鉛筆を二箱ください。

えんぴつを ふたはこ ください。

Enpitsu o futa-hako kudasai.


I hope this helps.


Sincerely,

Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com


Sarinya
December 12th, 2018 at 9:45 am
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This is can I use for,, box e.i "5box =itsutsu"

That is right or not

Cheryl
May 16th, 2018 at 1:14 pm
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You use counters when counting objects only? So desu ne?


So what about the number system, i.e. ichi, ni, san, yon..etc? When you do use them and when do you not use them?

Daniel
April 2nd, 2018 at 12:52 pm
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That really was a secret song... without any melody, I couldn't even tell it was a song. 😳 It is still a secret, I guess. 😇

JapanesePod101.com
February 12th, 2018 at 4:33 pm
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Mina-san,

konnichiwa.

Yes, you're right! Those are perfect!! Well done. ??


Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Mina
December 12th, 2017 at 3:08 am
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Hello,

This is complicated... Trying to wrap my head around it...

For example, if you want to order a coffee in a restaurant, would you ever say:

Kōhī o hitotsu, kudasai (if it is one - is its still considered "countable")?

I guess if you would like two cups of coffee, it would be:

Kōhī o futatsu, kudasai.


Thank you very much!

JapanesePod101.com
November 19th, 2017 at 10:30 pm
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Zrinka and Mark

Thank you for your comments!

Here is the lesson for small つ(ツ)for your reference.

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson/video-s2-12-kantan-kana-12/


Keep up the good study!

Cheers,


Sono

Team JapanesePod101.com

Zrinka
November 16th, 2017 at 2:51 am
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@Mark, the small tsu っ is used as a slight pause and a bit prolonged sound of the first letter that follows. so thats why there are two tt o.o