When to use がつ or げつ and ごく or こく

I have no idea of when to use がつ or げつ and ごく or こく.
For example why do we say なんがつ and not なんげつ
Why do we use べいこく instead of べいごく

There’s been a couple of good threads previously on げつ versus がつ. Essentially it’s mostly the former, but がつ when talking about specific months. With なんがつ, it’s asking which specific month, hence why it takes that form.



On WK, only 天国 and 中国 use the ごく reading. Everything else is こく. As for why one gets rendaku and the other doesn’t, it’s all down to the etymology. A good rule of thumb that I’ve found is that rendaku isn’t used when it feels like two words rather than the continuation of a word. It’s hard to explain. lol


Why do we use べいこく instead of べいごく

From https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/rendaku/ (which is a really long article but a great read):

Why does 中国 rendaku but 韓国 doesn’t? This is one of the most frequently asked rendaku questions, and there are a few possible answers.
“China,” because by itself it’s also used for “middle” or “center;” it has to be combined with 国 to mean China. However, if you see 韓 by itself, you’ll always know it’s “Korea,” because that’s almost always how it’s used.
Also, the stronger it feels like one word instead of a two word compound, the more likely that word is to rendaku. 韓国 doesn’t need the 国 to mean “Korea,” which makes the combination less likely to rendaku.
Another possible reason is simply because of the misunderstandings we talked about earlier.

中国 without rendaku could be confused for 忠告 (ちゅうこく), meaning “advice” or “warning.”
韓国 with rendaku could be confused for 監獄 (かんごく), meaning “prison.”


What also works: Letting the SRS do its magic. At some point you’ll be so sick of some of the items you get wrong all the time, that you start getting them right. :joy:


And there is also 隣国 (りんごく) - the Neighboring Country. But those are the only three countrys in the WK database that rendaku. If you struggle with other cases, where you don’t exactly know why something redaku’d or didn’t rendaku, the [Userscript] WaniKani Rendaku Information might be helpful.


Hah, I knew it. lol

I picked this up just from doing WK but it’s cool that Tofugu confirms it.

Thanks. :smiley: I missed that one.

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