"Big machine" vocabulary

Hi, in level 3 of the Wanikani system I learned the word “~台” which is translated as “big machine” or just “machine”. I do not understand what that is supposed to mean. From the examples and explanation I guess that I can replace the ~ by any number to express how many machines there are.

On the other hand, there are explicit vocabulary words like “five machines” on the same level. Is there a difference between the two? (i.e. why can’t I just replace the ~ by 五?)

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The ~ in front of the vocab means that it is a suffix. Meaning that the tilde IS replaced by 五 or any other number in this case.

I think this will make things more clear for you :slight_smile:


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I see, so my assumption was correct that this vocabulary can be used to talk about “x machines”. Thank you.

I am still confused though as to why there are additional entries like https://www.wanikani.com/vocabulary/二台. Why is “二台” a special case that is listed as its own expression, rather than just being included in “~台”?

二台 isn’t a special case, it is added to help you understand ~台. You see this less in later levels, but there are still words like ~的 (which means the suffix “~al”) and 日本的 (which means “very Japanese”, “Japanese-al”)

I hope this clears it up

There are just examples to go along with the general rule so you can see it in action.

I see. Thank you all for the help.

It’s a good educational approach in general. Some people benefit most from learning examples, and some people learn best from studying the principle. And most of us benefit from doing both!

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As you’ll find soon, a lot of the counters for things in Japanese don’t follow the traditional number approach you learn (いち、に、さん、etc). WaniKani intentionally provides multiple instances of counters in order to show irregularities. In the case of counters like 台, however, it is showing you that everything is normal. :smiley:

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