Help with multiple readings for 日

Currently I am level 6. And I continue to get confused with the correct reading for 日

sometimes is reads か
sometimes it reads にち
sometimes it reads じつ
Sometimes it reads っか

My question: Are there any rules or guides to help me know which to use each? Or is it just brute memorization?

Bonus Question: 月 Reads either げつ or がつ
I mix these up also… any rules to help with this… like does the げ switch to が after particular sounds similar to the way we use a and an ? if the answer is yes please tell me the rule.


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Unfortunately there are no set rules for which reading 日 will take, same goes for 人 for にん vs じん, so it really comes down to memorization :upside_down_face: as you keep going, you’ll start getting a “feel” for it though and it’ll come more naturally to you to remember which reading it will be in the different vocab, so try to memorize it the best you can for now!

As for げつ vs がつ for 月 when referring to months, there aren’t really any set rules either but the way I like to think about it is:

  • The がつ reading can be seen when referring to something specific, like months of the year
    → “January” → 月 = いちがつ
    → “February” → 二月 = にがつ
    → “March” → 三月 = さんがつ
    → “April” → 四月 = しがつ

As for something like 何月 (なんがつ) - “what month”, it’s asking for a specific month as an answer, thus this also uses the がつ reading

  • げつ can be seen for broader terms, examples being:
    → “end of the month” → 月末 = げつまつ
    → “every month” → 毎月 = まいげつ
    –>“next month” → 翌月 = よくげつ
    –>“month after next” → 再来月 = さらいげつ

Since these aren’t referring to a specific month and are being used in a more general sense, they are seen to take the げつ reading

Of course, this isn’t perfect, there really aren’t set rules for these – they’re are just patterns I picked up that helped me remember some of the readings, so I hope they can be of use to you too! Keep pushing on and you’ll get better at remembering the different readings for each individual item and it’ll become more second nature to you :slightly_smiling_face:

頑張ってね ! :crabigator::sparkles:


MissMisc is totally right, but as far as I’m aware the か readings are used exclusively when it’s acting as a counter?

So you can narrow it down to にち, じつ, に and ひ/び for any non-counter words :wink:

Also, it will never be ひ if it’s at the beginning of a word, I don’t think.

I think 毎月 is more commonly read as まいつき, yeah?


Looking back the Specific vs not specific rules really helps when talking about Months… Thank you @MissMisc

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Yes まいつき is the more common reading, I was just further elaborating on the possibilities of げつ specifically

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My tutor has had to correct me more than once on that one, lol. I KNOW the right way to say it, but for some reason, it always slips my mind…


Sunburn → 日焼け (やけ)
Sunrise → 日の出 (ので)
Shadow → 日陰 (かげ)
Sunlight → 日差し (ざし)



Why am I learning this language.


HAHA just spit my coffee out…



Wait I thought にっこう was Sunlight… 日光

Why is there a different sunlight? 日差し (ひざし)

Because you are a beautiful, determined radish that will blossom into an amazing 大根 :durtle_love:


Oh my god MissMisc you are literally the best person ever :sob::purple_heart::orange_heart::blue_heart:


Why is there “sunshine” if we have “sunlight”?

But anyway, 日光 is Sino-Japanese in origin, 日ざし is just Japanese.


It’s just one of many synonyms for sunlight ^^ just like we have “sun rays”, “sunshine”, etc

–>all of these are common words than can be used to mean “sunlight”



Thank you both!


Just by chance I ran across this word today that starts with ひ.

meaning parasol… or umbrella that you use to give shade from the sun.

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This! I cannot stress this enough! Listen to a lot of Japanese while learning grammar and vocabulary. It’s really bothersome in the beginning, because you have to look up most of everything, but when you hear/see something you just learned in the wild, it gets reinforced like no amount of repetition/mnemonics can get it to (does that phrase even make sense?).

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Perfect sense, good english-ing 後輩



Thanks (sorry for bad English).

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