Difference between 五日and 何時か?

I always wondered if there’s a way to spot the difference between 五日and 何時か during conversation?
Since they’re both pronounced いつか (Itsuka) and even in context are similar because they both represent an amount of time. This has always been confusing to me during conversation…



According to my Japanese teacher, you can tell the difference because 五日 will be followed by に since it’s a specific time, and 何時か won’t.

The pitch is different.

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One way to spot the difference is by the pitch accent, which is different. The accent nucleus is on the first mora on 何時か (i.e. on い), while 五日 is either neutral or falls on the 3rd mora (か).

Go to Jim Breen’s JDIC and search for いつか. They have audio for both words.




Also, check out:

Listen to the word 5日 on Forvo

Listen to the word 何時か on Forvo


Also, 5日 is a specified time and いつか is an unspecified time, so they will have different relationships with the surrounding words grammatically.

If you hear いつかに it can’t be “sometime”. (Edit: at least I’m pretty sure, on my phone and can’t double check)

The question word いつ is never used with に. Just because it’s been changed to いつか shouldn’t make a difference.
On the other hand, に is the correct particle for 5日

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