Why the onyomi reading with - 形 and the kunyomi with -札?

Hi all. Been making this mistake a lot. I read somewhere (dont remember where on the website) that we should just ignore the tilde. Shouldn’t it be then the kunyomi since both were vocabulary words?

Maybe I’m misunderstanding your question, but I thought both ~形 and ~札 did use the kun’yomi readings? The only suffix kanji I can think of off the top of my head that uses an on’yomi is ~局.

1 Like

There’s no rule that a kanji alone has to be the kunyomi. It’s just a general guideline. Remember good old 本? And in this case, these are suffixes. Suffixes are often read with the onyomi.


I think part of your confusion comes from not getting what was meant by “ignore the tilde”. That advice was meant for people who were typing the actual punctuation in when giving the reading and were thus getting it marked wrong. You should absolutely pay attention to the tilde to know that it’s asking for the suffix form, but don’t actually type the punctuation when you answer.


I should add that the reading for -形 is kei (onyomi) and the reading for -札 is fuda (kunyomi).

1 Like

It’s not a good idea to assume all kanji provide onyomi and all Vocabulary provide kunyomi. The tilde in 形 is very important as it’s indicating that its at the end of a word (usually jukugo). More often than not, kanji will use the onyomi in jukugo, especially if it flows better (there are always exceptions though). The vocabulary of the kanji standalone does indeed use the 訓読み [かたち」such as the recent movie base on manga, 声の形「こえのかたち」. When placed in jukugo however (as is being indicated by the tilde, it is almost always 「けい」(it flows much better). You’ll see ~形 a lot if you look up Japanese grammar terms.

札 on the other hand is still somewhat a mystery to me. It feels like more often than not 「さつ」is used when referring to money and 「ふだ] is used more in reference to labels and cards in jukugo, but it’s not terribly consistent. It’s a more strange kanji compared to the one’s at its level range anyway since it can stand alone using two different readings for two different meanings. The readings of the jukugo more often than not seem to reflect those stand-lone meanings.

1 Like

I was a bit confused about this after unlocking “heart-shaped” and “triangle” (the one used in math class).

ハート形 is read as ハートがた

but 三角形 is read as さんかくけい

The reading isn’t consistent for “form” (or “tense”) 〜形 when used as a suffix. Do you know when one is used over the other?

1 Like

Generally speaking, all usages that would be translated as “tense”, basically things related to grammatical forms, are going to be read as けい. There are some other things that use the reading かた, but you just have to remember them. They’re not terribly common though.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.