Any markers for 日 pronounciation as kanji?

hi there. early levels.

i am not uncomfortable about this but i have a struggle comprehending when to use にち or じつ for the 日 radical

毎日 = まいにち
先日 = せんじつ

for people who have seen more vocabulary examples, have you observed any pattern? or is it just “go with the flow”…?


Hi, I got the same problem and become frustrated at the issue when to use にち/じつ/ひ. I would say they are equally common and you just have to learn them as they appear. Type 日 in the upper right corner of WK and you’ll get all the words that use 日 across all levels.

The same thing happens when it comes to 月: げつ, がつ, つき are just random and sometimes shortened to just one syllable or connected to the next syllable by small tsu.

hello. thanks for the opinion.

as for 月, i figured out that inquiring specific months are がつ while inquiring general months are げつ. i.e. if the usage fits as a general case for whatever month versus if it fits for a specific month.
don’t know if this breaks in higher levels.

i wanted to know if there was a same case for 日.

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This may or may not be helpful, but I’m usually able to figure it out based on what ‘sounds the best’. It will typically be にち unless that sounds odd, in which case it will be じつ. For example in 先日, せんにち would be awkward to say because of the double n sounds. せんじつ flows much better.


I haven’t got anything as clear as 月 being specific months, but I’m remembering it as じつ when it doubt, but 毎 and 何 tend to use the stranger readings - にち, つき and とし. (then again, 何年 is なんねん so…)
Still though, something more concrete would make remembering easier.

I think there is a pattern, because things that ‘sound the best’ are usually based on an underlying linguistic phenomenon. Couldn’t tell you what it is in this case though, if it exists I think it’s too complex to help you.
edit: this part is wrong, check out @Saida’s reply below!

However, most two character pairings with 日 as the second character are pronounced as じつ (at least in WaniKani). So you could try just memorizing the exceptions. 毎日、何日 are the only ones I can think of.


There is probably a much better way to explain it than ‘sounds best’, but that’s way above my skill level.

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Here is the list of the days of the month. The pattern is not apparent, because WK mostly only teaches the exceptions:

一日 ついたち いちにち
二日 ふつか
三日 みっか
四日 よっか
五日 いつか
六日 むいか
七日 なのか
八日 ようか
九日 ここのか
十日 とおか
十一日 じゅういちにち
十二日 じゅうににち
十三日 じゅうさんにち
十四日 じゅうよっか
十五日 じゅうごにち
十六日 じゅうろくにち
十七日 じゅうしちにち
十八日 じゅうはちにち
十九日 じゅうきゅうにち
二十日 はつか
二十一日 にじゅういちにち
二十二日 にじゅうににち
二十三日 にじゅうさんにち
二十四日 にじゅうよっか
二十五日 にじゅうごにち
二十六日 にじゅうろくにち
二十七日 にじゅうしちにち
二十八日 にじゅうはちにち
二十九日 にじゅうきゅうにち
三十日 さんじゅうにち
三十一日 さんじゅういちにち

毎日 まいにち Every day
何日 なんにち How many days/which day of the month

All of these can mean both a timespan of the number of days, or the specific day of the month. Except ついたち, that one is specifically the first day of the month.

So, the pattern is, most days end in にち, except the exceptions.

Also, all words that refer to Japan the country, (and have the 日 kanji in it) will be にち, like 来日、駐日、日欧、日(ち)本.

Days of the week end in ~曜日 ようび

Then, in compounds, if it is the second kanji, it will most likely be じつ, unless it’s from the above list.
Sometimes it will be び, like in 記念日、誕生日, which are compounds with the suffix ~び (day of remembrance, day of birth).


Ah, you’re totally right! I forgot about the days of the month bc they’re not in Wanikani. Thanks for writing this all out!

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I’m bored and on furlough, so I made the computer count some words from a dictionary.

pronunciation 日+A A+日+B A+日
じつ 1 14 62
にち 23 22 46
にっ 45 5 0
70 13 16
0 7 48

Starting with 日:日+A
日 in the middle:A+日+B
Ending with 日: A+日

Make of that what you will.

Sauce: 440 words containing the kanji 日 from the NHK Pitch accent dictionary (ignoring cases where it’s usually written in kana).

P.S. On the off chance that anyone was wondering what the lone word that begins with じつ is, it’s 日月じつげつ

P.P.S. I probably need a new hobby.


Not an advice, but I find it amusing how the word Sunday has 日 twice, with two different readings:
日曜日(にちようび). And it’s feels common and Ok to me now :slight_smile:


For 月, a poster here had a great explanation from her husband.

If there is a number before 月 or a number is expected (何月) then the pronunciation is がつ.


Brilliant explanation of 何月 which has been causing me all sorts of trouble. Much better than WK’s explanation of ‘a specific month’.

The explanation of “a specific month” is arguably more correct, though; number + 月 can also be using the つき counter. For example, I believe that the 二月 in 二月に一回 would use ふたつき if you mean “bimonthly” or “once every two months”, but にがつ if you mean “once in February”.
何月 can also be read as なんつき if you mean “some month” or “whatever month”, but なんがつ if you mean “which calendar month”.

I simply remember that all of the months that I know in English have the letter a in them:


I believe there are a few more months, but I’m sure the pattern continues.

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Apparently this is more complicated than I thought. I appreciate the info.

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June, July, September, October, November and December. Sorry to pop your bubble.

Never heard of those months. Are you sure they’re not just folksy dialect versions of Janus, Julianus, Septamon, Octamon, Undecamon and Duodecamon?

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Shouldn’t this be 二か月?

If you’re using the げつ, then yes, but not with the つき counter. Not sure how ommon that is, though.

Weblio lists 二月に一回の出版物 for “a bimonthly publication”, but doesn’t provide a reading.

The Tofugu article on 月 counters uses 「二月後には返事をします。」 as an example of ふたつき.

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Nice try, but Janus is January… at least, in Latin. June is named after Juno.

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