How to Find What Number Counter to Use
Numbers…. numbers… so much fun to be had. So much counting to be done. So much searching for how to count those numbers.
When you count something in Japanese, a “counter” is added to the end of the number, which is determined based on what type of object it is. The result?
A hundred objects, a hundred counters. And you must know them all. While you would probably love to be able to just add 個(こ), the generic counter, to everything you count, it’s going to look bad eventually. So when you don’t know how to count something, and you don’t want to be generic, what do you do?
Use a counter search site. It’s just that simple. One I like is the benricho (guidebook).
This site has all different little useful things that can help you with confusing Japanese. Like when you want to see what size Japan would look like if you put it right next to where you live.
Yes. I would like that location…
Let’s start counting
Open up the count search page. And put something into the box.
Let’s look at some examples.
1. Counting anime
Useful for when you want to brag about how much anime you are watching.
2. Counting grains of rice
What, you don’t do this?
3. Counting Katana
I’m not sure how many katanas you have in your collection, but you can count them in multiple different ways. Have fun.
The truth is, counting isn’t so bad. While there are many weird and unique counters out there, I’d say most items fall into the most common dozen or so counters. Sure, knowing which item goes with which counter takes time. But you eventually start to pick up on the patterns, and you’ll be counting like a pro. It’s only once in a while that counters can throw a curve ball.
What’s your favorite counter?
Any counter you particularly enjoy (can you enjoy counters?) What has been your method for mastering counters?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
Counter for deities: 柱(はしら)
You know, just in case you ever need to talk about a specific number of deities >_>
Anything more complicated than 四つ is for the physicists. :-p
You’ve got to set your standards higher than 四つ :)
If you can count tuna, you can count anything:
Like a tuna counting adventure.
Websites and other useful resources are always appreciated!
That’s what I’m here for.
Thanks. I needed to figure out how to say ‘bundles of vegetables,’ and this hit the spot.
Buying a bundle of vegetables?