Home Forums The Japanese Language Counting/Flash Card Question

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    So in one of the sentences packs for Anki is “十は七じゃありません”. They have the pronunciations for 10 and 7 as じゅう and なな respectivaly. I know there’s Kun’yomi with Okurigana, but the じゃありません is serving a grammatical function and is not part of 七 (or at least, that’s how it seems to me). Why is it not じゅう and しち?



    In Japanese there are two ways to count to 1-10. Its the same in English.

    We say one, two, three, etc.

    or we can say first, second, third, fourth, etc.

    We use one for counting in specific scenarios, but basically we stick to one, two, three etc for most situations in English.

    Japanese are the same. They stick to the basics ichi, ni, san, etc for the most part.

    For two numbers 4 and 7 they like to switch between the two methods.

    So if we did this in English it would sound like “one, two, three, ‘fourth, five, six, ‘seventh’, eight, nine and ten.

    When the Japanese call out the number 4 or 7 specifically (not counting in sequence) then they use the standard pronunciation (like saying ‘four’ or ‘seven’).

    So in sequence counting in Japanese you say:

    いち (1)、に (2)、さん (3)、し (4)、ご (5)、ろく (6)、しち (7)、はち (8)、きゅう (9)、じゅう (10)

    Example of sequence county: Counting exercise repetitions (push-ups, sit ups, etc), counting number of an item starting from one… Basically anytime you start counting in sequence from one, you will count this way.

    But if you just want to say 4 or 7 you say:

    よん(4), なな (7)

    Note: You will use よん and なな pronunciation 90% of the time. Since you rarely count in sequence.

    Example: 40 Yen is よんじゅう円

    Example: number 4 is よん ばん。

    Example: 70 is ななじゅう (七十)

    Hope that helps.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  lance321.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  lance321.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  lance321.


    Thank you for the explanation! Yes, that does help!

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