Counting Things in Japanese using 本 hon

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How to Count in Japanese – Part Five – Review Notes

There are many ways to count things in Japanese depending on the type of object being counted! In these review notes, we will look at how to count long, cylindrical objects using the Japanese counter 本 (hon).

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Today’s Counter is:

You can use the Japanese counter 本 (ほん – hon) to count long, cylindrical objects. For example, pens, bottles, umbrellas, neckties and trees are all counted using 本 (ほん – hon).

You might already know that the word 本 (ほん – hon) can mean “book.” However, when used as a counter, it does not mean “book.”

In fact, books are not counted using the counter 本 (ほん – hon); they are counted using the counter 冊 (satsu) which is used for counting bound objects.

When counting long, cylindrical obejects, all of the numbers end in -hon except the number 3 (which ends in -bon) and the numbers 1, 6, 8, and 10 (which end in -pon)

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Number 1:

The Japanese word for one (long, cylindrical object) is 一本 (いっぽん – ippon).

Be careful! The ending sound changes to a p-sound in the number one; 一本 is not spoken as (いちほん – ichihon)!

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Number 2:

The Japanese word for two (long, cylindrical objects) is 二本 (にほん – nihon).

Some of you might have noticed that this word looks similar to the word for Japan which is also nihon. However, the kanji is different! Japan is written 日本 (nihon) and two (long cylindrical objects) is written 二本 (nihon).

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Number 3:

The Japanese word for three (long, cylindrical objects) is 三本 (さんぼん – sanbon).

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Number 4:

The Japanese word for four (long, cylindrical objects) is 四本 (よんほん – yonhon).

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Number 5:

The Japanese word for five (long, cylindrical objects) is 五本 (ごほん – gohon).

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Number 6:

The Japanese word for six (long, cylindrical objects) is 六本 (ろっぽん – roppon).

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Number 7:

The Japanese word for seven (long, cylindrical objects) is 七本 (ななほん – nanahon).

Another way to say it is: 七本 (しちほん – shichihon).

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Number 8:

The Japanese word for eight (long, cylindrical objects) is 八本 (はっぽん – happon).

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Number 9:

The Japanese word for nine (long, cylindrical objects) is 九本 (きゅうほん – kyuuhon).

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Number 10:

The Japanese word for ten (long, cylindrical objects) is 十本 (じゅっぽん – juppon).

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Counting Past 10:

To count more than 10 long, cylindrical objects, refer to the numbers below. Try to notice the pattern! (11 is 10 and 1, 12 is 10 and 2, etc.)

十一 11 jūippon

十二 12 jūnihon

十三 13 jūsanbon

十四 14 jūyonhon

十五 15 jūgohon

十六 16 jūroppon

十七 17 jūnanahon

十八 18 jūhappon

十九 19 jūkyūhon

20 nijuppon

二十一 21 nijūippon

二十二 22 nijūnihon

二十三 23 nijūsanbon

二十四 24     nijūyonhon

二十五 25 nijūgohon

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Example Sentence 1:

ネクタイ二本買いました。

Nekutai o nihon kaimashita.

I bought two neckties.

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Example Sentence 2:

机にペン三本あります

Tsukue ni pen ga sanbon arimasu.

There are three pens on the desk.

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Example Sentence 3:

ビール六本飲みました。

Bīru o roppon nomimashita.

I drank six beers (in bottles).

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お箸は”本”と数えません!”膳”(ぜん-zen)と数えます \(◕ω◕)/☆

Pink and Yellow Rilakkuma Chopsticks

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Conclusion:

Today we learned how to count long, cylindrical objects in Japanese! Check out more lessons on counting in Japanese below!

How to count flat, thin objects

How to count people

How to count small animals

How to count cars and other machines

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Do you want a Japanese tutor?

Take Japanese Skype Lessons with Professional Japanese Teachers on kakehashijapan.com!

Find Your Japanese Tutor!

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