Why isn’t a counter used in this context sentence on WaniKani?

From the vocab page for 八 (eight), one of the context sentences says:


I put eight candies in my purse.

How come they are able to use the number without the counting things symbol つ? Shouldn’t they have to say やっつ here instead of はち?

I tried googling this and I just found a bunch of pages listing when to use つ, which is like… most of the time. I figured I understood when to use it. The other two context sentences make perfect sense to me, using it for “page eight” and “eight o’clock”. But the sentence I quoted goes against my intuitive understanding of when not to use the numbers that don’t have つ.

Thank you! :blush:

It is using a counter actually, just a more specific one. There are a bunch of counters that are used for different categories of things, which you’ll get a feel for over time. In this case, こ is the counter. I found a tofugu article on it, actually:

So yes you’re totally right, you do a need a counter in a case like that; it just won’t always be in the form of ~つ!


This is one of those sentences that’s a bit confusing because it writes words only half in-kanji. It’s not はちこ, but はっこ, or 八個 in full kanji. So it is indeed using a counter!


Ohhh, okay, that makes sense! I didn’t consider it being another counter. I am brand new to the idea of counters, so thank you for clearing that up for me!

Thank you! And so is はっこ another way to say eight, or did you mean to type やっこ?


はっこ is how you pronounce 八個. There are patterns to how numbers are combined with counters, but there’s also a lot of exceptions. It means “eight (small) things”, compared to はち which means “eight (as an abstract concept)” and やっつ which is “eight things” with the generic counter.

Edit: for comparison, the equivalent of 一つ using 個 is 一個 which is pronounced いっこ.


The こ of 個 is an onyomi, so it’s more likely to pair with the onyomi of 八 (はち), rather than the kunyomi, which is the や related one.


Understood! Thank you both for the lesson!!

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