Kun'yomi vs on'yomi confusion

Howdy folks, so I’ve noticed that I’m making mistakes in regards to Kon’yomi and On’yomi. The most recent one is 女子 (vocab reading). I typed おんなこ when it should have been じょし. I know about the other version but I decided to type the first one.

Would you guys have any suggestions on how to start tackling this issue now before it becomes a problem in the future? Thanks all for any help ^.^

There is no “other version” here. There is the word 女子(じょし) and the word/phrase 女の子(おんなのこ). The latter is 女 (word) + の (particle) + 子 (word).


女の子 has a の in the middle, which is a good hint that it’s going to use kun’yomi.


Ahhhh, that’s where I’m messing up! I’m remembering a different word/phrase for another one… Thanks for that ^.^


Problem is, I can’t remember what the kun’yomi and on’yomi of words are I just remember several version but not what version each is lol.

I answered a similar question yesterday.


I had the same issue, but the more you advance, the more vocabulary words you learn with the same Kanji the easier it is. Now whenever I have two readings for a Kanji in my mind I try to refer to vocab words in my memory and determine from there which reading is which.

If the Kanji is alone (or with hiragana) I know that reading is (likely) kunyomi, whereas if it is found with other Kanji then it is (most likely) onyomi*.

*Unless it’s like the example you gave, 女の子, two different words connected by の.

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What about words that are just one kanji, though? The only difference there is the color of the screen…

That’s where I mess up. I’ll answer “うえ” for “上” when the answer is “じょう”

That’s not a big deal though. When reviewing the kanji (pink background) you won’t get marked wrong for putting うえ instead of じょう. You’ll just be asked to try again.

Now, when reviewing the vocab (purple background) if you answer with じょう instead of うえ, you’re just outright wrong, so WaniKani will mark you wrong.


Why is it okay one way, but not the other?

Because both readings are valid for the kanji. It’s just that WaniKani (somewhat arbitrarily) chose to teach one with the kanji lesson. They don’t want to penalize you for knowing the other reading, but at the same time they want to make sure you know the one they taught. That’s why they let you try again. For the word 上, it can only be read うえ. If you tried to use 上 in a sentence (as a standalone word) and said じょう, no one would know what you’re talking about.

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Interesting. That’s a big hurdle I’ll have to overcome and I foresee myself making that mistake often…but hopefully I’ll learn to avoid it in time!


For sure! I’ve actually found that I’m making that mistake less and less. My studies have slowed down because of college but things are slowly moving forward!

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