Tips for learning: counters


In japanese, if one uses counters (mai, bon, hiki, nin...) for everything, or using hitotsu, futatsu type counting, how do you differentiate between what type of small animal it is, or what type of flat object? What are some ways to do this in a normal conversation?
  • Hi. Jfoe.
    I think you don't have to worry about it. It is the same thing as in English.

    Like this;
    There is 4 beetles. = kabuto-mushi(beetles) ga 4-hiki(yonn-hiki) imasu.
    Give me 5 dishes. = sara(dishes) wo 5-mai(go-mai) kudasai.
    I caught 5 rats. = nezumi-wo 5-hiki(go-hiki) tsukamae-ta.
    3 sheeps, 4 sheeps, 5 sheeps = hitsuji-ga 3-biki(san-biki), hitsuji-ga 4-hiki(yon-hiki), hitsuji-ga 5-hiki(go-hiki),

    Hitotsu,futatsu type counting is basically for children. And an adult usually use this type counting only when the counters is "ko"

    2 eggs = tamago 2-ko(ni-ko) = tamago futatsu
    an eraser = keshigomu 1-ko(ikko) = keshigomu hitotus

    Thank you for reading.
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