Help with numbers

Okay, I’m struggling!!

i seem to get everything that counts someting wrong… eg one person… 2 people… 5 days. i get the onyomi and kunyomi wrong everytime and because of it get 50% reviews.

i dont want to do more lessons until i get this right.

anyone able to offer me any advice on how to deal with this?

thankyou :frowning:


i think you should study how each counter is used.
the way you count people is different from how you count days, and the numbers combine with the word.
Example: 1 person is hitori, two people is futari
one thing is hitotsu, three things is mittsu
one day is ichinichi, ten days is tooka
overall, try not to rush through it and just study the counters
good luck :blush: :grinning:

Seeing things one at a time the way WK presents them is really unfriendly and difficult to track given how full of exceptions Japanese counters are. I found it helpful to look at things in a chart so that you can visualize the patterns and see how some counters relate to one another. Here’s an old one I drew up back when I was having the same problem in the early levels.


You can see that month/people and days/things largely follow the same prefix patterns with a few exceptions. Yellow indicates that an alternative reading for that number gets used (e.g. し instead of よん), green indicates where there’s a variation in a pattern (e.g., むいか doesn’t map perfectly on to むっつ the way みっか maps onto みっつ), and red highlights weird, exceptional readings that come from total left field that you’ll just have to memorize. Oh, the blue is just there as a visual reminder that people/things have the same prefix pattern for the 1 and 2 counters (ひと and ふた).


That said, after two people, it’s standard and perfectly predictable: on’yomi + にん. I mean except for 四人 which is よにん because しにん sounds like 死人, which means “corpse”, but the readings for 四 are often fairly interchangable…


that’s a really good idea and very helpful


that is so very very very helpful. thank you so much!!


You’re very welcome. I remember counters driving me up the wall too, so I’m glad I was able to save somebody some of the frustration I went through. Best of luck!


Forgive me if I’m providing this information inaccurately but I think of numbers sort of like on’yomi and kun’yomi. The sino-japanese numbers came along after the native counters existed which is why the sino-japanese numbers for 4 and 7 are often replaced with the native numbers よ and なな as was stated here previously, due to し sounding too close to 死。most counters using the native word for 4 will add ん to make よん but they aren’t interchangeable when there is no ん、ie 4人 is always よにん、四年生 is always よねんせい、4円 is always よんえん、4枚 is always よんまい etc.

The best way to learn these counters is through an outside resource imo and then just count stuff in japanese to practice them whenever you have the opportunity. These lessons are a good primer imo:

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so i went from my reviews being in the 40-60 percents due to the counters… to now achieving 75-100% after studying your chart.

Thanks for being awesome


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