助数詞

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
じょ
Grade: 3
すう
Grade: 2

Grade: 6
on'yomi

Etymology[edit]

(jo, help) + (, number) + (shi, word)

Noun[edit]

助数詞 (hiragana じょすうし, romaji josūshi)

  1. counter word, a Japanese part of speech

Usage notes[edit]

In Japanese, numerals cannot quantify nouns by themselves, except in certain cases for the numbers from one to ten (and then only using the forms ending in -tsu, such as hitotsu or futatsu). Instead, 助数詞 (counter words) are used after the number to count objects and events.

For example, (hiki) is the counter for small animals:

  • 犬二
    いぬにひき
    inu nihiki
    "two dogs" (literally "dog two-small-animal")

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakkan, ISBN 4095102535.