第90課: Counters VI: 羽, 部, 戸, 発, 軒, 人前, 丁, 本, 点, 泊, 通, 尾, 駅, 億, & 兆

In this lesson on counters, we will learn about fifteen more counters used very frequently. With a total of fifteen more counters in your repertoire, you’ll be closer to properly counting most of what you’d need to count in daily conversation.


Counters Covered in this Lesson

1.       -wa
2.       -bu
3.       -ko
4.       -hatsu
5.       -ken
6.       -nimmae 人前
7.       -chō
8.       -hon
9.       -ten
10.   -haku
11.   -tsū
12.   -bi
13.   -eki
14.   -oku
15.   -chō

Counter expressions, when there are multiple readings, are listed from most to least common.  Options are put in bold to mark the most commonly used form whenever there is ambiguity concerning this. 

More Sino-Japanese Counters

-wa

The counter -wa 羽 counts birds and rabbits. This includes large birds and small birds that don’t fly such as ostriches and penguins. However, large birds are sometimes counted with -tō 頭.

Rabbits can alternatively be counted with -hiki 匹 but can be counted with -wa 羽 due to being treated as rabbits in traditional Buddhist beliefs so that their meat along with poultry wouldn’t be outlawed.

 1 いちわ 2 にわ 3 さんわ
 さんば
 4 よんわ
 よんば
 5 ごわ 6 ろっぱ
 ろくわ
 7 ななわ
 しちわ
 8

 はちわ
 はっぱ

 9 きゅうわ 10 じゅっぱ
 じゅうわ
 じっぱ
 100 ひゃっぱ
 ひゃくわ
 1000 せんば
 せんわ
 10000 いちまんば
 いちまんわ
 ? なんわ
 なんば
    

Reading Note: There are some expressions with set readings that utilize one reading over other options (Ex. 千羽鶴せんばづる: String of 1000 paper cranes).

1. ニワトリ()わせて68(ろくじゅう)()()んでいるのが()つかりました。
Niwatori awasete rokujūhachiwa ga shinde iru no ga mitsukarimashita.
A total of 68 chickens were found dead.

Spelling Note: Niwatori is occasionally spelled as 鶏.

2. 電線(でんせん)(とり)10(じゅっ)()()まっていました。
Densen ni tori ga juppa tomatte imashita.
Ten birds were stopped on the electric lines.

3. カモメが6(ろっ)()(なら)んで()まっていました。
Kamome ga roppa narande tomatte imashita.
There were six seagulls stopped and lined up together.

Spelling Note: Kamome is occasionally spelled as 鴎・鷗.

4. 建物横(たてものよこ)(ほり)には、アヒルが3(さん)()いました。
Tatemono yoko no hori ni wa, ahiru ga sanwa imashita.
There were three ducks in the ditch on the side of the building.

Spelling Note: Ahiru is only seldom spelled as 家鴨.


-bu 

The counter -bu 部 copies of printed materials such as magazines and newspapers. It may also count packets of paper.

 1 いちぶ 2 にぶ 3 さんぶ 4 よんぶ
 5 ごぶ 6 ろくぶ 7 ななぶ 8 はちぶ
 9 きゅうぶ 10 じゅうぶ 100 ひゃくぶ ? なんぶ

Phrase Note: Ichibu 一部 is commonly used to also mean “one part/portion.”

5. 一日(いちにち)1000(せん)()()りました。
Ichinichi de sembu urimashita.
I sold 1000 copies in a day.

6. 履歴(りれき)一部(いちぶ)だけ削除(さくじょ)した。
Rireki no ichibu dake sakujo shita.
I deleted only a part of my history.

7. パンフレットを10(じゅう)()(おく)りました。
Panfuretto wo jūbu okurimashita.
I sent ten copies of the pamphlet.


-ko 

The counter -ko 戸 counts houses.  

 1 いっこ 2 にこ 3 さんこ 4 よんこ
 5 ごこ 6 ろっこ 7 ななこ 8 はっこ
 はちこ
 9 きゅうこ 10 じゅっこ
 じっこ
 100 ひゃっこ ? なんこ 


8. 10(じゅっ)()はまだ()いています。
Jukko wa mada aite imasu.
Ten homes are still empty.

9. およそ60(ろくじゅっ)()停電(ていでん)していました。
Oyoso rokujukko ga teiden shite imashita.
Approximately sixty homes had experienced a power outage.


-hatsu 

The counter -hatsu 発 counts bullets, explosions, attacks, sneezes, and anything that can colloquially be described as explosive.

1 いっぱつ 2 にはつ 3 さんぱつ 4 よんぱつ
 5 ごはつ 6 ろっぱつ 7 ななはつ 8 はっぱつ
 9 きゅうはつ 10 じゅっぱつ
 じっぱつ
 100 ひゃっぱつ ? なんぱつ 


10. アメリカ(ぐん)原爆(げんばく)2()(はつ)投下(とうか)した。
Amerika-gun ga gembaku wo nihatsu tōka shita.
The U.S army dropped two nuclear bombs.

11. (かれ)(たま)10(じゅっ)発撃(ぱつう)った。
Kare wa tama wo juppatsu utta.
I shot ten bullets.

12. あのアライグマを2()3(さん)(ぱつ)()った。
Ano araiguma wo ni, sampatsu ketta.
I kicked that raccoon two, three times.

13. くしゃみを5()(はつ)した(あと)で、鼻血(はなぢ)()した。
Kushami wo gohatsu shita ato de, hanaji wo dashita.
I had a nosebleed after sneezing three times.


 

-ken 

 

The counter -ken 軒 counts that are specifically individual houses and not connected to each other. This is different from -ko 戸 which generically counts homes.

1 いっけん 2 にけん 3 さんけん
 さんげん
 4 よんけん
 5 ごけん 6 ろっけん 7 ななけん 8 はっけん
 9 きゅうけん 10 じゅっけん
 じっけん
 100 ひゃっけん ? なんけん
 なんげん

14. 3さんけんいっけんになっている。
Sanken ni ikken ga akiya ni natte iru.
One in three houses are vacant.

15. 昨日(きのう)地震(じしん)で、10(じゅっ)(けん)(ちゅう)(よん)(けん)(こわ)れました。
Kinō no jishin de, jukken-chū yonken kowaremashita.
Four out of ten houses were destroyed in yesterday’s earthquake.

16. 四川大地震(しせんおおじしん)(なな)万軒以上(まんけんいじょう)倒壊(とうかい)して(ふた)()死亡(しぼう)しました。
Shisen Ōjishin de nanamanken ijō ga tōkai shite futari ga shibō shimashita.
Over 70,000 houses collapsed and two people died in the Great Sichuan Earthquake.


-nimmae 人前

The counter -nimmae 人前 counter counts food portions. Despite beginning with 人, its readings are not the same.

1 いちにんまえ 2 ににんまえ 3 さんにんまえ 4 よにんまえ
 5 ごにんまえ 6 ろくにんまえ 7 しちにんまえ
 ななにんまえ
 8 はちにんまえ
 9 きゅうにんまえ
 くにんまえ
 10 じゅうにんまえ 100 ひゃくにんまえ ? なんにんまえ 


17. 3(さん)人前(にんまえ)(りょう)(つく)りました。
San’nimmae no ryō wo tsukurimashita.
I made three portions worth.

18. 餃子(ぎょうざ)10(じゅう)人前買(にんまえか)ってきました。
Gyōza wo jūnimmae katte kimashita.
I’ve come back with ten portions of gyoza.

19. (お)そばを2()(にん)前注文(まえちゅうもん)しました。
(O-)soba wo ninimmae chūmon shimashita.
I ordered two portions of soba.

Spelling Note: Soba is only seldom spelled as 蕎麦.


-chō

The counter -chō 丁 counts the following items: Tofu, guns, konnyaku, servings at a restaurant (especially ramen), scissors, candles on a candlestick, saws, town blocks, violins, guitars, ink sticks, palanquins, photo attempts,  rickshaws, etc.

1 いっちょう 2 にちょう 3 さんちょう 4 よんちょう
 5 ごちょう 6 ろくちょう 7 ななちょう 8 はっちょう
 9 きゅうちょう 10 じゅっちょう
 じっちょう
 100 ひゃくちょう ? なんちょう 


20. 警察(けいさつ)拳銃(けんじゅう)6(ろく)(ちょう)実弾(じつだん)250(にひゃくごじゅっ)(ぱつ)押収(おうしゅう)しました。
Keisatsu wa kenjū rokuchō to jitsudan nihyakugojuppatsu wo ōshū shimashita.
The police confiscated six handungs and 250 live bullets.

21. (わたし)今日(きょう)豆腐(とうふ)を3(ちょう)()べました!
Watashi wa kyō, tofu wo sanchō mo tabemashita!
I ate three things of tofu today!

22. こんにゃく(いっ)(ちょう)をタオルにくるみました。
Kon’nyaku itchō wo taoru ni kurumimashita.
I tucked one block of konnyaku into a towel.

Spelling Note: Kon’nyaku is only seldom spelled as 蒟蒻.

23. ハサミは(いっ)(ちょう)()っていません。
Hasami wa itchō mo motte imasen.
I don’t own a single pair of scissors.

24. ノコギリを2()(ちょう)()ってきました。
Nokogiri wo nichō katte kimashita.
I bought two saws.

Spelling Note: Nokogiri is occasionally spelled as 鋸.


-hon  

The counter -hon 本 counts long, thin items: pencils, string, laces, cans, roads, movies, train lines, phone calls, home runs, rivers, moves in martial arts, etc.

1 いっぽん 2 にほん 3 さんぼん 4 よんほん
 5 ごほん 6 ろっぽん 7 ななほん 8 はっぽん
 9 きゅうほん 10 じゅっぽん
 じっぽん
 100 ひゃっぽん ? なんぼん 


25. 鉛筆(えんぴつ)3(さん)本取(ぼんと)ってください。
Empitsu wo sambon totte kudasai.
Please three pencils.

26. 道一本隔(みちいっぽんへだ)てた(てら)参拝(さんぱい)した。
Michi ippon hedateta tera ni sampai shita.
I visited a temple a road away.

27. アニメを10(じゅっ)本見(ほんみ)ました。
Anime wo juppon mimashita.
I watched ten anime.

28. (かれ)(ゆび)5()本折(ほんお)った。
Kare wa yubi wo gohon otta.
He broke five fingers.


-ten 点

The counter -ten 点 counts points, commodities, or merchandise.

1 いってん 2 にてん 3 さんてん 4 よんてん
 5 ごてん 6 ろくてん 7 ななてん 8 はってん
 はちてん
 9 きゅうてん 10 じゅってん
 じってん
 100 ひゃくてん ? なんてん


29. (かれ)十点満点(じゅってんまんてん)(を)()りました。
Kare wa juttenmanten (wo) torimashita.
He got a perfect ten.

30. 10(じゅう)万円(まんえん)商品(しょうひん)(つき)(に)100(ひゃく)点売(てんう)っています。
Jūman’en no shōhin wo tsuki (ni) hyakuten utte imasu.
I sell 100 pieces of merchandise worth 100,000 yen a month.

31. ノート5()(さつ)万年筆(まんねんひつ)2()(ほん)()しゴム3(さん)()()わせて10(じゅっ)(てん)のお()()げですね。
Nōto gosatsu to man’nenhitsu nihon to keshigomu sanko, awasete jutten no o-kaiage desu ne?
You're buying five notebooks, two fountain pens, and three erasers for a total of ten items, yes?


-haku 

The counter -haku 拍 counts nights of a stay.

1 いっぱく 2 にはく 3 さんぱく 4 よんぱく
 5 ごはく 6 ろっぱく 7 ななはく 8 はっぱく
 9 きゅうはく 10 じゅっぱく
 じっぱく
 100 ひゃっぱく ? なんぱく


32. 税別(ぜいべつ)1(いっ)(はく)15(じゅうご)(まん)ウォンでした。
Zeibetsu de ippaku jūgomanwon deshita.
It was 150,000 won for one stay excluding tax.

33. 料金(りょうきん)管理費(かんりひ)など(すべ)()みで1(いっ)(はく)1(いち)名様(めいさま)(につき)1万円(まんえん)です。
Ryōkin wa kanrihi nado subete komi de ippaku ichimei-sama ni tsuki ichiman’en desu.
The charge is 10,000 yen per person for one with with all-fees-in-price including management costs.

34. ツインルーム1(ひと)部屋(へや)3(さん)(ぱく)です。
Tsuin rūmu hitoheya de sampaku desu.
Three nights in 1 twin-sized room.

35. フランスのマルセイユに5()(ぱく)しました。
Furansu no maruseiyu ni gohaku shimashita.
I stayed five nights in Merceille, France.


-tsū 

The counter -tsū 通 counts letters as in tegami 手紙, e-mails, notes, and written reports.

1 いっつう 2 につう 3 さんつう 4 よんつう
 5 ごつう 6 ろくつう 7 ななつう 8 はちつう
 はっつう
 9 きゅうつう 10 じゅっつう
 じっつう
 100 ひゃくつう ? なんつう


36. (おな)内容(ないよう)文書(ぶんしょ)3(さん)通送(つうおく)りました。
Onaji naiyō no bunsho wo santsū okurimashita.
I sent three documents with the same content.

37. LINE(ライン)1(いっ)通送(つうおく)りました。
Rain wo ittsū okurimashita.
I sent one LINE (message).

38. 返事(へんじ)手紙(てがみ)2()通送(つうおく)りました。
Henji no tegami wo nitsū okurimashita.
I sent two letters in reply.

39. 受信(じゅしん)メールを何通(なんつう)()した。
Jushin mēru wo nantsū-ka keshita.
I deleted several received e-mails/texts.  


-bi 

The counter -bi 尾 counts small fish and shrimp. It is also used in industries to refer to high-quality fish or simply when fish go from being caught to now being treated as ‘food.’

1 いちび 2 にび 3 さんび 4 よんび
 5 ごび 6 ろくび 7 ななび 8 はちび
 9 きゅうび 10 じゅうび 100 ひゃくび ? なんび 


40. (さかな)名前(なまえ)5()尾書(びか)いてください。
Sakana no namae wo gobi kaite kudasai.
Please write the names of five fish.

41. 今回(こんかい)特大(とくだい)(サイズ)の冷凍(れいとう)むき海老(えび)6(ろく)()使(つか)いました。
Konkai wa tokudai (saizu) no reitō mukiebi rokubi tsukaimashita.
This time, I used six extra-large shelled shrimp. 

42. 外国産(がいこくさん)のウナギも20尾売れました。
Gaikokusan no unagi mo nijūbi uremashita.
Twenty foreign-produced eels also sold. 

Spelling Note: Unagi is often spelled as 鰻.

43. メバルの稚魚(ちぎょ)を((いっ)千尾(せんび)ほど(かわ)放流(ほうりゅう)した。
Mebaru no chigyo wo (is)sembi hodo kawa ni hōryū shita.
(They/we) stocked into the river around a thousand rockfish juveniles.

Spelling Note: Mebaru is only seldom spelled as 眼張.

Counting Fish

Counting fish is no easy task. Dead or alive, most fish are counted with -hiki 匹. However, when fish are lined up from head to tail fin, then they’re counted with -hon 本. If referring to slices of fish, then you use -mai 枚. When presented as sashimi 刺し身, however, you then use -kire 切れ. When fish are dried out, they’re counted with -mai 枚. When fish are gutted with their heads and spines taken out, they’re counted with -chō 丁.

Cuts of fish cut into rectangular shapes are counted with -saku 冊 (which uses native number for 1 and 2). Simply from their appearance, certain fish are counted with -hon 本 by default for being long: amberjack  (buri ブリ・鰤), Pacific saury (samma サンマ・秋刀魚), bonito (katsuo カツオ・鰹), tuna (maguro マグロ・鮪), etc. Flat fish are counted with -mai 枚:  flounder (hirame ヒラメ・平目), right-eye flounder (karei カレイ・鰈), etc. Similarly, very thin fish are often counted with -条: halfbeak (sayori サヨリ 細魚), icefish (shirauo シラウオ ・白魚), etc.

Eel (unagi ウナギ・鰻) are counted with either -hiki 匹 or -hon 本. However, when broiled into kabayaki 蒲焼, you use -mai 枚. When served on a skewer, you’d count them with -kushi 串 (which uses native numbers for 1-4, 7). This works for other fish as well.In the past but seldom today, very large fish are counted with -kon 喉. This character means “throat” and in this context, it refers to large fish being carried whilst hanging from rope through their throats. Then, moreover you have -bi 尾, which is used for fish being used as bait, high-class fish, or fish when (being sold and or used) for cooking.

Lesson Note: For counters mentioned here that have not been formally introduced, it is okay not to memorize them until they are properly discussed.


-eki

Eki 駅 means “stations” and also happens to be the counter for stations.

1 ひとえき 2 ふたえき 3 さんえき 4 よんえき
 5 ごえき 6 ろくえき 7 ななえき 8 はちえき
 9 きゅうえき 10 じゅうえき 11 じゅういちえき ? なんえき


44. (わたし)名古屋駅(なごやえき)から2(ふた)駅離(えきはな)れたところに()んでいます。
Watashi wa Nagoya-eki kara futaeki hanareta tokoro ni sunde imasu.
I live somewhere two stations away from Nagoya Station.

45. JR(ジェイアール)今年(ことし)3(さん)(えき)廃止(はいし)した。
Jeiāru wa kotoshi, san’eki wo haishi shita.
JR went away with three stations this year.

46. 埼玉県(さいたまけん)人気(にんき)100(ひゃく)(えき)限定(げんてい)しています。
Saitama-ken no ninki no hyakueki ni gentei shite imasu.
It's limited to the 100 stations popular in Saitama Prefecture.


-oku 

The numbers 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000 are technically counters themselves. After 10,000, each number for ever fourth power is also treated as a counter. The next such unit after 10,000 is for 100 million, which is -oku 億.

 100 million いちおく 1 billion じゅうおく
 10 billion ひゃくおく 100 billion (いっ)せんおく
 ? なんおく  


47. 日本(にほん)人口規模(じんこうきぼ)1(いち)億人(おくにん)維持(いじ)することを目指(めざ)している。
Nihon wa jinkō kibo wo ichiokunin ni iji suru koto wo mezashite iru.
Japan is aiming to maintain its population scale at 100 million people.

48. 中国語(ちゅうごくご)は、10(じゅう)億人(おくにん)(つう)じる言語(げんご)のひとつです。
Chūgokugo wa, jūokunin ni tsūjiru gengo no hitotsu desu.
Chinese is one language that is understood by a billion people.


-chō

The next power to be treated as a counter is -chō 兆, which stands for trillion.

 1 いっちょう 2 にちょう 3 さんちょう 4 よんちょう
 5 ごちょう 6 ろくちょう
 ろっちょう
 7 ななちょう 8 はっちょう
 9 きゅうちょう 10 じゅっちょう
 じっちょう
 100 ひゃくちょう Quad. (いっ)せんちょう
 ? なんちょう       


49. 美容整形(びようせいけい)世界市場(せかいしじょう)1(いっ)兆円(ちょうえん)(たっ)しています。
Biyōseikei no sekai shijō wa itchōen ni tasshite imasu.
The world cosmetic plastic surgery market has reached one trillion yen.

50. (ひと)腸内(ちょうない)には、100(ひゃく)兆匹以上(ちょうひきいじょう)(きん)()んでいます。
Hito no chōnai ni wa, hyakuchōhiki ijō no kin ga sunde imasu.
There are over 100 trillion bacteria living inside the human intestines.

 

Counter Note: Incidentally, despite not being animals, bacteria are also frequently counted with -hiki 匹.