Why is 枚 a thing?

what exactly is the use for it? the kanji just says “flat item counter”, but why?? XD

I will probably unlock some vocab for it eventually, but I like to understand things while learnign them, because it helps me memorize it.

You’re level 18… this is the first counter word that is puzzling to you? There are dozens.


Counters are used to indicate what kind of thing you’re indicating when you throw out a number. This particular one is used for flat things, like sheets of paper. So, if you were looking for paper to put in the printer, you might buy a pack that’s labeled 200枚 (200 sheets).

We’ve seen other ones before, too. 台 is used for machines, for example (一台,十台, etc.). 日 is for days (one day = 一日).

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Similar to how English has say two ‘bottles’ of beer, two ‘sheets’ of paper. But more like, two round things of beer, or two flat things of paper, in Japanese.


Also, I remember learning this really early on in Japanese. It’s pretty common to have a shopping practice dialog where you buy 3 shirts or something, and shirts use the flat object counting word.

You can use universal tsu ~つ counter till ten. After that other counters must be used.

Here is video lesson about counters.

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There’s so many counters in Japanese, for so many different things.

Small animals? 一匹、二匹、三匹!
Small objects? 一つ、二つ!
Flat objects? 一枚、二枚!
Books? 一冊、二冊。。。
Thin, long objects? 一本、二本、三本

As Wikipedia says, the ay we count in most (?) western languages (“Number”+“Object”) is agrammatical in Japanese. You just need to memorise the counters, and watch out for the ones that change pronunciation (such as small-animal-counter and long-object-sounter).

BTW, has anyone ever heard the counter “てん”? I heard it once in a Japanese waffle shop, on buying some waffles the employee counted them like that. 一ってん、二てん、三てん. No idea what the kanji might look like.

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Yeah, I’ll be honest, I got thrown off a bit at the airport the other day when I was asked if I had 2 pieces of luggage with 二点. Hadn’t heard it used before, but you learn something every day.

Almost seems like a catch-all. Counter for items/goods? Pretty much everything is an items/goods…

Basically… it just has to have some kind of physical form, I’m pretty sure, so you can’t use it for abstract things or non-physical things.

You can use universal tsu ~つ counter till ten. After that other counters must be used.

This isn’t actually correct. つ is indeed only used for 1-9. But while つ is a generic counter, it isn’t universal; if a specific counter is available, you should use that, not つ. You wouldn’t go from 七つ to 十五枚 when counting pieces of paper, for example, you’d use 枚 throughout and start with 七枚. つ should be used when you don’t know an appropriate specific counter.

And second, if you need to count higher than 10 and there isn’t an appropriate specific counter (so, you’d use つ if it was 1-9), you should just say the number and leave it at that. You don’t need to switch to a different counter; that will probably just confuse people. Think of it in English–if someone doesn’t know the word ‘bottle’, they should just say “ten sodas”, and people will be able to understand that. If they tried to pull in whatever counter they happened to know, and said “ten sheets of soda” or something, that would be a lot harder to interpret! But ultimately there are specific counters that cover most things, especially things you’re likely to talk about in large numbers, so this doesn’t come up often.

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Wow, it’s just 点?? Never would’ve guessed.

…I really wanted it to be a waffle-only counter.


I’ve probably posted this before, but one of my favorite clips from 日本人の知らない日本語 illustrating the complexities of Japanese counters:


Yes i agree with your stuff but would like to add that generic counter for ten is 十 pronounced as とお. It still works like other つ counters. So there is generic counter to be used for things 1-10. Luckily I don’t usually count things out loud from 1 to 11 or more while shopping so I’m good.

I use 枚 almost everyday. It seems to come up a lot. For example, when I’m at the supermarket and I need a bag for my groceries. 袋を一枚ください。

Some people really hate romaji, for reasons that aren’t quite clear to me. It’s a tool, and you can either use it for what it’s useful for or not. If you want to improve your reading, you should avoid romaji. If you want to focus on speaking, romaji helps you get into more content quicker. Everyone has different goals (although here on WK, we are obviously going to be skewed toward people who want to learn to read).

But the hatred toward romaji always strikes me as odd, like people hating saws because they personally are hammering nails instead of cutting wood. It’s a different tool for a different job.

I love when you go to the 100 yen shop and as they’re ringing you up the clerks go
boop 一点 boop 二点 boop 三点…”

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