Distinguishing on/kun readings

the reading explaination of the vocab 何月 tells us that the vocab uses the kunyomi reading for 何, although it is a vocab made up from only two Kanji. As 月 uses the on-reading I would guess this is a jukugo word. Since on- and kun-readings of 何 are the same, how do they know the kun-reading is applied?

The onyomi reading of 何 is か, as seen in a word like 幾何学きかがく (geometry)

It’s a jukugo, since it’s composed of multiple kanji. So, you are correct. Jukugo aren’t always read on-on. They can be read in basically any combination of readings, but are often on-on.

There are only a few kanji I can think of off the top of my head which do actually have the exact same reading for onyomi and kunyomi.

死 - し
差 - さ

There are probably some more though.

In those rare cases, I wouldn’t worry too much about which it is unless there is really some reason to doubt it’s the one that it would usually be.


There’s a general way that on’yomi readings sound like that kun’yomi don’t, and vice versa (aside from the handful of readings that might be on’yomi for one kanji and kun’yomi for another), and after a while, you’ll start to get a feel for them.


ok thanks, I didnt know about the か reading for 何.
It was a question from linguistic interest anyway.

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The only time you encounter that reading on WK is Level 31 (or just looking at the item page to see all the readings) so you don’t need to worry about it yet!

Lots of information, thanks all ^^