Japanese Language Lesson 11 - Interrogatives and Counters





The interactive transcript could not be loaded.



Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Jan 29, 2013

Please view previous lessons for additional vocabulary and grammar.

In this lesson you'll learn the wide variety of counters in Japanese! Did you know there's specific counters you use depending on a range of circumstances? From flat objects, to tall, cylinder shapes, to small and big animals and even a special counter for tofu! Along with these counters, we'll also go over some basic interrogatives to help you ask who's object it is and what kind of object it is. Good luck studying!



nanmai desuka? なんまいですか? - How many (flat things)?

# + mai まい - counter for flat objects (t-shirt, paper, stamps, postcards)
ichimai いちまい - 1 (flat thing)
nimai にまい - 2 (flat things)
sanmai さんまい - 3 (flat things)

nanbon desuka? なんぼんですか? - How many (long cylindrical objects)?

# + hon/pon/bon ほん/ぽん/ぼん - counter for long cylindrical objects (umbrella, beer, wine, banana, pen)

* Depending on the mouth position, you will use # + pon (for closed) / # + hon (open) and 3 is exception san-bon

ippon いっぽん - 1 (cylinder thing)
nihon にほん - 2 (cylinder thing)
sanbon さんぼん - 3 (cylinder thing)

# + dai だい - counter for car/machine

# + wa わ - counter for birds

# + piki/hiki/biki ぴき/ひき/びき - counter for small animals

# + tou とう - counter for big animals

hitori ひとり futari ふたり / # + nin (3 and up) - counter for people

# + ken/gen けん/げん - counter for homes

# + chou ちょう - counter for tofu

All around counter (up to 10)

hitotsu ひとつ - 1
futatsu ふたつ - 2
mittsu みっつ - 3
yottsu よっつ - 4
itsutsu いつつ - 5
muttsu むっつ - 6
nanatsu ななつ - 7
yattsu やっつ - 8
kokonotsu ここのつ - 9
tou とう - 10

dare/donata (more polite) desuka? だれ/どなたですか? - who is it?

donna (object) desuka? どんな(___)ですか? - what type of (object) is it?

doko (object) desuka? どこ(___)ですか? - where/what company made (object)?

For more information about Japanese language classes at the Japan Society, please visit our website! Also, be sure to check out our other language videos and be sure to subscribe if you enjoy!


  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License


to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...