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Grammar detail: 七 and 四

七 and 四 - how to read the kanji for seven and four
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You are probably aware that in Japanese there are two ways to say the number 7 and the number 4. So when do we use しち or なな for 7 and when do we use よん or し for 4? Here is a guideline to help you navigate this.

Counting

しち is most often used for 7 when counting. Likewise し is typically used for 4 when counting. いち、に、さん、し、ご、ろく、しち, and so on. Please refer to the following list for patterns in numbers with 7 and 4 when counting.
7
じゅうしち
十七
にじゅうしち
二十七
さんじゅうしち
三十七
and so on
Note that the common way to say 七十七 is ななじゅうなな!
ななじゅう
七十
ななひゃく
七百
ななせん
七千
ななまん
七万
4
じゅうし
十四
にじゅうし
二十四
さんじゅうし
三十四
よんじゅう
四十
よんひゃく
四百
よんせん
四千
よんまん
四万

Months and time

Months
しちがつ
七月
しがつ
四月
Time
しちじ
七時
よじ
四時
- never よんじ or しじ!!
ななふん
七分
よんぷん
四分
- never し!
In regards to months and times, you may encounter the use of なな and よん rather than しち or し. One reason for this is to avoid the chance of these words being mistaken for いち or for the possibility of し and しち being heard incorrectly, particularly when interactions take place over the phone and involve discussions about itineraries and schedules.

Other counters

Various counters are used for Japanese and when specifying the number of particular objects, なな and よん are more commonly used. Here are some common counters. You will encounter cases where しち or よん may be used for some of the counters listed below and others that are not included in these lists.
ななかい
七回
ななかい
七階
ななほん
七本
ななまい
七枚
ななひき
七匹
ななつ
七つ
よんかい
四回
よんかい
四階
よんほん
四本
よんまい
四枚
よんひき
四匹
よっつ
四つ
There is no single rule of thumb for determining when to use each way of expressing these numbers, but as you progress with your studies you will likely get a feel for which rolls off the tongue better. Eventually you will come to feel it is less complicated then it initially seems!
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Kanji used in this grammar

ジュウ   ジッ   と    とお ten   
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シチ   なな    なな    なの seven   
ニ   ふた    ふた two   
サン   み    みっ three   
ヒャク    hundred; 100   
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セン   1000; thousand   ち 1000   
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マン   バン    10,000   
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シ   four   よ    よ    よっ    よん    
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ガツ   ゲツ   つき month; moon   
ジ   とき time, occasion   
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ブン   ブ   フン   わける to divide, to distinguish   わかる to understand   わかれる to be divided   わかつ to share, distribute   
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カイ   エ   まわ to revolve   まわ to make turn   
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カイ    floor   
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ホン   book   もと origin   
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マイ   sheet
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ヒツ   ひき counter for animals   
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