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第49課: The Date & Telling Time

 In this lesson you will learn about dates and telling time. Some words are very similar, so try not to confuse things with each other.

The Days of the Week 曜日

    The 曜日ようび come from the seven luminous bodies: the sun, moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn in that order. 

 Sunday 日曜日 にちようび Monday 月曜日 げつようび
 Tuesday 火曜日 かようび Wednesday 水曜日 すいようび
 Thursday 木曜日 もくようび Friday 金曜日 きんようび
 Saturday 土曜日 どようび What day? 何曜日 なんようび・なにようび

   The days of the week may be abbreviated to the first characters on signs, calendars, etc. You can also drop -び when speaking. 

1. 一週間いっしゅうかんなか何曜日ですか。
     What is the day of the week that is in the middle of the week?

2. 日曜日の新聞には旅行特集の記事が載っています。
    There is a travel supplement article in the Sunday newspaper.

3. 火曜日()から木曜日()まで()きます。
    I work from Tuesday to Thursday.

4. 明日()何曜()())ですか?
    What day of the week is tomorrow?

5. 今日()何曜日()ですか。
    What's today?

6. 木曜日()水曜日()(まえ)ですか、(あと)ですか?
    Is Thursday before or after Wednesday?

7. 明後日あさって土曜です。
    The day after tomorrow is Saturday.

8. なぜ日曜日()に学生は学校()()かないんですか。
    Why don't students go to school on Sunday?

9. 水曜日()()てください。
    Please come on Wednesday.

10. 日曜日()一週間()()めの()で、土曜日()()わりの()だ。
      Sunday is the first day of the week, and Saturday is the last day.


1. Try to use the Japanese days of the week rather than in English. Get others involved to help you remember them.

2. Write out the days of the week in order 10 times. 

Months and Days

   The months are simply made by using Sino-Japanese numbers with 月(がつ). 

 January 一月 February 二月 March 三月
 April 四月  May 五月 June 六月
 July 七月 August 八月 September 九月
 October 十月 November 十一月 December 十二月

Pronunciation Note: April, July, and September are しがつ, しちがつ, and くがつ specifically. So, do not use the other readings.

   The days of the month have many exceptions from native words.

 1st 一日 ついたち 2nd 二日 ふつか 3rd 三日 みっか
 4th 四日 よっか 5th 五日 いつか 6th 六日 むいか
 7th 七日 なのか 8th 八日 ようか 9th 九日 ここのか
 10th 十日 とおか 11th 十一日 じゅういちにち 12th 十二日 じゅうににち
 13th 十三日 じゅうさんにち 14th 十四日 じゅうよっか 15th 十五日 じゅうごにち
 16th 十六日 じゅうろくにち 17th 十七日 じゅうしちにち 18th 十八日 じゅうはちにち
 19th 十九日 じゅうくにち 20th 二十日 はつか 21st 二十一日 にじゅういちにち
 22nd 二十二日 にじゅうににち 23rd 二十三日 にじゅうさんにち 24th 二十四日 にじゅうよっか
 25th 二十五日 にじゅうごにち 26th 二十六日 にじゅうろくにち 27th 二十七日 にじゅうしちにち
 28th 二十八日 にじゅうはちにち 29th 二十九日 にじゅうくにち 30th 三十日 さんじゅうにち
 31st 三十一日 さんじゅういちにち ? 何日? なんにち?   

Word Notes:

1. ついたち is a contraction of つきたち, meaning the start of the month. The 1st may also be いっぴ in business/law.
2. The 2nd~10th, and 20th deal with native numbers. Sound changes in a few of them make this less obvious.
3. 七日 is なぬか in older speech. Be careful on how to read 四, 七, and 九. 
4. The last day of a month is 晦・三十日みそか and New Year's Eve is 大晦日おおみそか. For counting days in general, the regular counter -にち is used.
5. The first three days of the New Year is (正月しょうがつ)さんにち. 三が日 may also be spelled as 三箇日.

Hours, Minutes, and Seconds

The hours of the day are made with ~時(じ). The 24 hour system is often used in Japan.

 0:00 零時 れいじ 1:00 一時 いちじ 2:00 二時 にじ
 3:00 三時 さんじ 4:00 四時 よじ 5:00 五時 ごじ
 6:00 六時 ろくじ 7:00 七時 しちじ 8:00 八時 はちじ
 9:00 九時 くじ 10:00 十時 じゅうじ 11:00 十一時 じゅういちじ
 12:00 十二時 じゅうにじ 14:00 十四時
 じゅうよじ 17:00 十七時 じゅうしちじ
 19:00 十九時 じゅうくじ 24:00 二十四時 にじゅうよじ ??:00 何時 なんじ

Word Note: "Midnight" is either 零時(れいじ), 黄昏(たそがれ), or 夜中(よなか). However, the word たそがれ is like "twilight" in the sense that it is not frequently used in the spoken language.

"Minutes" is (ふん) and there are sound changes with certain numbers that you have to be aware of. However, "seconds" is (びょう) and there are no sound changes to worry about. As for minutes and seconds, 4, 7, and 9 are usually よん, なな, and きゅう.

 1 min. 一分 いっぷん 2 min. 二分 にふん 3 min. 三分 さんぷん
 4 min. 四分 よんぷん 6 min. 六分 ろっぷん 7 min. 七分 ななふん
 8 min. 八分 はっぷん・はちふん 9 min. 九分 きゅうふん 10 min. 十分 じゅっぷん・じっぷん
 100 min. 百分 ひゃっぷん 1000 min.
 千分 せんぷん ? min. 何分 なんぷん

Reading Note: More and more speakers are starting to pronounce 四分 as よんふん. To a lesser degree, 三分 is starting to be pronounced as さんふん by some people. In the coming years, these pronunciations will be become more common. In the mean time, use the standard pronunciations above.

Periods of Time

To count period of days, hours, minutes, seconds, months, or years, use ~日間にちかん, ~時間じかん, ~分間ふんかん, ~秒間びょうかん, and ~月間げつかん, and 年間 respectively. As for 4, 7, and 9, よ and しち are used with hours, but よん, なな, きゅう, are pretty much the dominant variants. 間 is only required in 時間. 

    ~間 can also follow exceptional variants for days. Instead of ~にち間, you can see the irregular native words. For example, 三日(みっか)(間) can be read as such instead of as さんにち(かん). 

11. 10じゅっ月間げつかん
A period of 10 months

12. 1じゅう1いちがつ29にちげつよう7しち7ななふん
Monday the 29th of November at 7:07. 

13. 何日なんにちですか。
      What's the date?

14. 六月二十日ろくがつはつか日付ひづけはいっている。
      It's dated as June 20th.

15. 書類に書いてある日付は2010ねん4がつ22にちです。
      The date of the document is April 22, 2010.

16a. つぎ電車でんしゃ何時に来ますか。
16b. 次電車はいつ来ますか。
        When is the next train?

17. その3日()
      Three days after

18. いっげつ約4週間やくよんしゅうかんです。
     There are about four weeks in a month.

19. 月分げつぶんはらう。
      To pay 2 months’ worth.

20. 8時台はちじだい番組ばんぐみ
Eight o' clock program

21. 中2日 
    Two days in between

Phrase Note: Using なか before such a time phrase shows a period of time sandwiched in between two time points. Say you write a blog post on the 5th and make another on the 8th. That period of time in between can be referred to with 中3日. The same readings for the days of the month are used.  

22. 一両日中に
   In a day or two

Phrase Note: This phrase is formal and read as いちりょうじつちゅうに. 両 is used to show repetition of a day, which would then be "two days".  

The Suffix ~旬

    ~旬 means "tens days of a month" and is used in the following phrases. 

 上旬 じょうじゅん First ten days of the month
 中旬 ちゅうじゅん Middle ten days of the month
 下旬 げじゅん Last ten days of the month

       We will announce it in the first ten days of next month.

24. 7月中旬がつちゅうじゅん出張しゅっちょうすることになりました。
      It has been decided that I am to go on a business trip in the mid-September.

25. 2012年11月下旬
      The latter part of November in 2012.

Phrase Note: You may also see 月のはじめ and 月の終わり. 

A.M & P.M and Other Time Specifying Phrases

     A.M and P.M are replaced by 6 expressions that come first in a time phrase. They may either be used as nouns or adverbs. As nouns they refer to the time of day.

 Morning 5 to 11 AM 午前、朝 ごぜん、あさ  Noon 12 PM 昼 ひる
 Afternoon 1 PM~evening 午後 ごご Evening Evening 夕方 ゆうがた
 Night Night~12 AM 夜 よる  Dusk 12 AM~4 AM 深夜 しんや

Word Note: This process can be simplified by simply using 午前 for a.m and 午後 for p.m. 

       Quarter and Half

 Half Past (..:30) 半(はん)
 Quarter Past (..:15) 過(す)ぎ
 Quarter To (..:15) 前(まえ)

Meaning Note: The latter two words 過ぎ and 前 are given ballpark estimates of the general time most people think is implied when you use them.  

26. 今は午前7時半です。
      It is 7:30 a.m now.

27. 午後3時過ぎ
      Quarter past 3 p.m

28. 夜10時前
      Quarter to 10 p.m

The Date

In Japanese the date is made by saying the year first, month second, and day last with no use of particles. This all agrees with "macro vs micro" syntax hierarchy. There is a traditional way of forming the date, but we will see this later on. Dates are normally written in Arabic numerals, but you can still see instances that the date is written in 漢字. For instance, the date on a coin is always in 漢字.  

29. 二千九年八月十日  
      August 10, 2009

30. 二千十年二月二十四日
     February 24, 2010

31. 二千七年九月九日
     September 9, 2007

Word Note: 世紀 means century and we are in the 21世紀. The 21 century began on 2001年1月1日.  

I'm Moving!

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