Which reading when?

Hi everyone!!
I’m kinda confused about whiv readings to use for numbers and when.
It is to my understanding that for counting things they use the kun’yomi readind, like やっつ for eight things.
Counting days is where it gets confusing. It’s also confusing to me when to use the よん reading for four and the なな reading for seven on for nine, if I should use the く or きゅう readings.
Is there a specific rule for any of these or not?

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Sadly, counting in Japanese is a fairly complicated business. You’ll encounter several counters - suffixes to hang onto the end of the thing that’s counted - here on WK. But you can take a look here to get a good overview of how it all works.

Edit: Sorry, I thought this bookmark was their article about counters. But, I’ll post that one also in a moment…

Here it is:

I recommend reading both of these articles as they cover the issue of counting very well. :slight_smile:


So, for generic counters (as in, not words, 四季 can only ever be しき). But for something like 七枚 while the technically correct thing is しちまい, you can hear both ways, For the number 4 however, you can probably just use よん all the time. For reasons, 7 seems to be more variable than 4.

As far as 9 goes though, it basically doesn’t matter but きゅう is definitely the more common one by a lot.


But i heard くがつ is more common than きゅうがつ for 9月september
Am i wrong?

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Thanks all of you guys, all these answers really helped me out in understanding things better

Must avoid death number.


It‘s always くがつ, and April is always しがつ. July is always しちがつ.
4 o’clock is also an exception because it’s よじ, not よんじ. 9 o’clock is くじ. 7 o’clock is しちじ (although some people say ななじ).

I guess you might say that the months aren’t really counters + 月, but their own words at this point? (if it helps thinking about it this way :laughing:)

Time and dates have some exceptions you have to be aware of, but generally speaking, when using other counters, reading 九 as きゅう is going to be correct most of the time.


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