Ge-tsu vs ga-tsu when using moon kanji

I was wondering if there are any rules for when to use the “ge-tsu” pronunciation vs the “ga-tsu” pronunciation of the “moon” kanji. I’m always getting them mixed up, and it’s driving me crazy.

I wonder if anyone else has asked this before

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がつ is only for specific months, so January - December and 何月
Anything else is げつ.

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For 月, the がつ reading is utilized when referring to a specific month (ex: April: 四月=しがつ) and the げつ reading is utilized as a general reference to months (ex: Every month: 毎月 = まいげつ)

For 何月 - “what month” is asking for a specific month as an answer, thus you also use the がつ reading (なんがつ)

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So, kind of like the difference between the particles は and が?

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For the difference between は and が, someone posted this link the other day and I really liked the explanation:

https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/6u2gaf/let_me_try_and_explain_は_and_が_for_you/

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Kouchi wrote the best cheat sheet ever on hacking particles. Think it’s on the front page of tofugu.com Wrote him a letter about it the other day it’s so good! Let’s get him to do a sore, dore, sono, are, dare, doko, etc. one!

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I’ve seen this before, but it really is a good explanation :upside_down_face:

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In what way?

In the way は is used to talk generally about a topic, and が is used to identify something. My thought is that げつ behaves like the は particle in that sense (it’s used to make general references to months), while がつ is kind of like the が particle (talk about a specific month)

Considering how many nuances there are to は and が, I don’t know how helpful that is. For instance, question words like だれ can’t take は, even though in the relationship you mentioned, は would be the less specific particle. Never mind the many other layers of the two particles. But that’s just me.

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yeah, I don’t fully grasp everything about those particles yet, so it’s just something that popped into my head randomly according to my current knowledge.

Eh, if it makes sense for you and helps you remember then that’s all which matters. You’ll get a better understanding of the particles with time either way.

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