九 vs 九つ does it matter?

WaniKani teaches that 九つ means “nine things” but if someone asked you how many things there were, would you say 九 or 九つ?

Hope this makes sense (๑・̑◡・̑๑)

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Japanese has many counter words for many different things, which are certainly used. ^^

I think the ‘counters’ are more used for clarity when you are talking. It’s a conversational clue to keep things on track, especially since pronouns are often omitted. You are talking about 9 things, instead of the 9 friends you brought into the store with you.

Counter words are going to be the bane of your existence.

That being said, they’re actually quite important in japanese language. Basically the non-sugar coated way to put it is: you will sound weird / uneducated / vague if you don’t use these when talking to a native speaker unless you’re specifically referring to the number 9 (or whatever number)

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You would say 九つ. You could say 九 and be understood, and sometimes, depending on the situation, you’ll hear native speakers do that, but it’s non-grammatical and the safest thing to do is use the counter. The number words themselves refer to the concept of a number, rather than a physical count, which is what all the various counter suffixes change them into. It’s not a distinction we have in English.

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Yes! 九つ is used when counting things :slight_smile: It is the generic counter for words that do not have a specific counter (it looks like Omun already linked something)

九 is just the number nine. You add a counter depending on the context.
For example, the counter for age is 歳 (Or 才 when simplified)
So, you wouldn’t say 私は九です。 You would say 私は九歳です。

From what I’ve seen, the most common way to use a counter is to use it as an adverb (I could be wrong though)
For example:
私はペットを九匹に飼っています = I have 9 animals. (匹=ひき= Counter for small animals)
It would be wrong to say 私は九ペットを飼っています。

You can also connect it using the の particle if there isn’t a verb involved.
一枚の紙(=いちまいのかみ) = One sheet of paper
枚 is the counter for thing objects

You might have already seen these vocabulary: 一日、二日、三日、etc. 日 is the counter for days :slight_smile:
It gets a little complicated though, as there are many exceptions. The reason Wanikani teaches you all the words above instead of the counter is because they are pronounced in a special way. Instead of ににち it’s ふつか.
There are a lot of exceptions, like 一歳(いっさい)so just be careful!

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

If not, this might help too: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/count-in-japanese/

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