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  • Alternatively, look for a component in the list. 氵 艹 口 each have three strokes; 夫 has four strokes
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Grammar detail: counters for objects and other things

counters for objects and other things -
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For counting actual objects as opposed to just expressing a number, Japanese uses a unique system of 'counters', terms which are placed after the number and which partially describe the object being counted.
For example,
まい
is the counter for flat objects such as sheets of paper, so to say 'five sheets of paper' in Japanese, you would say
かみごまい
紙五枚
which literally means 'paper 5 flat objects'.
While this seems unusual at first, and is often touted as a difficult feature of Japanese, we are actually doing exactly the same thing in English (five sheets of paper), but English is much less regular than Japanese.
Dates and times use counters in the same way - see dates and time for details.
Counters on Kanshudo
Japanese has several hundred counters. Below we provide a summary of the forty or so most common ones. You can use the following search to find all counters in Japanese: search for all counters. For each counter, you can use the following syntax to find all words in the system that use the counter, which will help you understand how to modify the reading as you use the counter: counter:切れ.
The most common counters
counter             usagesearch                            
まい
flat objects such as paper or bookscounter:枚
ほん
cylindrical or long objects such as bottles or chopsticks
note: this is a little confusing, since ほん means 'book', but it is not used to count books
counter:本
さつ
bookscounter:冊
じん
peoplecounter:人
ひき
small animalscounter:匹
かい
number of times something happenscounter:回
ふん
minutes - see telling the time in Japanese - counter:分
small round objectscounter:個
かしょ
箇所

かしょ
ヶ所
placescounter:箇所
counter:ヶ所
birdscounter:羽
さい
years old / age
note: '20 years old' is irregular: 二十歳 is not read にじゅっさい as you would expect, but instead はたち
counter:歳
さい
years old
note: this is commonly used, but not technically correct: 歳 is the correct counter
counter:才
じょう
tatami mats
note: this is the typical way to measure the area of a room
counter:畳
だい
cars and other vehicles, machinescounter:台
めい
people (polite alternative to 人, used by businesses and restaurants etc.)counter:名
wordscounter:語
かこくご
カ国語
languagescounter:カ国語
かげつ
か月
months
月 alone can also be used in certain situations
counter:か月
counter:月
にち
day (of the month)counter:日
かかん
日間
period of dayscounter:日間
けん
buildingscounter:軒
つう
letters, telegrams etccounter:通
ぎょう
rows (in a document etc)counter:行
ばん
platforms (in a railway station etc)counter:番
かい
floors (in a building)counter:階
びん
便
(plane) flightscounter:便
さつ
banknotescounter:札
きゃく
chairs, tables, legs (of chairs and tables etc)counter:脚
こう
items (in a checklist); paragraphscounter:項
はく
nights (eg of a stay in a hotel)counter:泊
せい
generations; monarchs (Elizabeth I etc)counter:世
とう
large animals, cattlecounter:頭
かん
volumes (eg books); reels (eg film)counter:巻
copies (eg of a publication)counter:部
きれ
切れ
pieces of sashimi (literally 'cuts')
note: this counter is slightly irregular - use the search link for details
counter:切れ
ちゃく
suits of clothingcounter:着
そく
pairs of shoes etc.counter:足
わり
tenths; lots of 10%counter:割
childrencounter:児
つぶ
pills, tablets etccounter:粒
In Japanese, counters are known as
じょすうし
助数詞
.
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Words used in this grammar

2
noun
1. piece; slice; strip; scrap
2. cloth  (also written as 布, 裂)
(click the word to view an additional 2 meanings, examples and links)
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Kanji used in this grammar

マイ   sheet
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シ   かみ paper   
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ゴ   いつ-    いつ five   
セツ   サイ   き to cut   きれる to break, to snap   
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ホン   book   もと origin   
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サツ   サク    volume   
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ジン   ニン   ひと person   
ヒツ   ひき counter for animals   
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カイ   エ   まわ to revolve   まわ to make turn   
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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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コ    individual   
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カ    item; counter for months, places, provisions   
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ショ   ところ place   
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ウ   はね feather   は counter for birds   
サイ   セイ    X years old, year-end   
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ニ   ふた    ふた two   
ジュウ   ジッ   と    とお ten   
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サイ    genius   
ジョウ   たた to fold up   たたみ tatami   
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ダイ   タイ    pedestal   
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メイ   ミョウ   な name   
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ゴ   かた to talk, relate   かたらう to talk together, chat   
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コク   くに country   
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ガツ   ゲツ   つき month; moon   
ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    
カン   ケン   あいだ interval, between   ま space, room   
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ケン    building   のき eaves   
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ツ   ツウ   とお to pass through   とお to let pass   かよ to commute   
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コウ   ギョウ   アン   ゆ    い to go   おこな to take place   
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バン    turn   
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カイ    floor   
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便
convenience; tidings   ビン tidings   ベン convenience   たよ tidings, news   
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サツ   ふだ label, tag   
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キャク   キャ   あし leg   
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コウ    paragraph, item   
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ハク   とまる to stay, to lodge overnight   とめる to give lodgings   
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セ   セイ   よ the world   
トウ   ト   ズ   あたま    かしら head   
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カン   roll up   ま to roll (up)   まき roll, reel, volume   
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ブ   part
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チャク   ジャク   つ to arrive   つける to attach   き to wear   きせる to make wear   
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ソク   あし foot; leg   た to add   た    たりる to be sufficient   
カツ   わ to separate, to divide   われる to split apart, to crack   わり proportion, 10%   さ to cut up   
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ジ   ニ    newborn babe   
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リュウ   つぶ a grain   
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ジョ   すけ help   たすける to help, save   たすかる to be helped   
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スウ   ス   かず number   かぞえる to count   
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シ    part of speech, words, poetry   
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