Counting Things in Japanese

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How do you like Japanese counters, the words that are used along with numbers to count different types of things in Japanese?

Counters can be a little tricky, since you have to choose the counter that goes with the thing you are counting. Here are a few simple rules for counting in Japanese:

  • To count long things, use ~ほん (~本).
  • To count flat things, use ~まい(~枚).
  • To count small animals, use ~ひき(~匹).
  • To count large animals, use ~とう(~頭).
  • To count machines or cars, use ~だい(~台).
  • To count small things you can hold in your hand, use ~こ(~個).
  • If all else fails (or you can't remember the correct counter), use ~つ.

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