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Numbers and Time in Japanese

written by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/5/2012

When studying Japanese, you will need to learn about counting in Japanese. Learn the Japanese numbers and the Japanese kanji numbers. Also learn how to tell time in Japanese.

  • slide 1 of 4

    One Through One Hundred

    Most numbers in Japanese follow a regular pattern. Once you learn numbers 1-10 in Japanese, you are good to go! For example, the number 11 in Japanese is 10 + 1. All numbers have a Chinese character, kanji; however, one number may have multiple readings. In many cases, the different readings can be interchanged. Below are the Japanese numbers from one to 100, with the Japanese kanji numbers before the numerical:

    0 ゼロ (zero), へい (rei)

    1 いち (ichi)

    2 に (ni)

    3 さん (san)

    4 よん (yon), し (shi)

    5 ご (go)

    6 ろく (roku)

    7 なな (nana), しち (shichi)

    8 はち (hachi)

    9 きゅう (kyuu), く (ku)

    10 じゅう (juu)

    十一 11 じゅういち (juuichi)

    十二 12 じゅうに (juuni)

    十三 13 じゅうさん (juusan)

    十四 14 じゅうよん (juuyon), じゅうし (juushi)

    十五 15 じゅうご (juugo)

    十六 16 じゅうろく (juuroku)

    十七 17 じゅうなな (juunana), じゅうしち (juushichi)

    十八 18 じゅうはち (juuhachi)

    十九 19 じゅうきゅう (juukyuu), じゅうく (juuku)

    二十 20 にじゅう (nijuu)

    三十 30 さんじゅう (sanjuu)

    四十 40 よんじゅう (yonjuu)

    五十 50 ごじゅう (gojuu)

    六十 60 ろくじゅう (rokujuu)

    七十 70 ななじゅう (nanajuu)

    八十 80 はちじゅう (hachijuu)

    九十 90 きゅうじゅう (kyuujuu)

    100 ひゃく (hyaku)

    Numbers 21 through 99 follow the same pattern as 11 through 19. These numbers are used in many ways, such as counting, mathematics and money. However, in Japan, the larger numbers are used most often in shopping, since 100 yen is around a dollar (the exact monetary equivalent varies each day).

    Let's go over some basic words to do calculations in Japanese:

    plus: プラス (purasu)

    minus: マイナス (mainasu)

    equals: イコール (ikooru)

  • slide 2 of 4

    One Hundred to Ninety Thousand

    These Japanese numbers are important to know for shopping, as items will be marked with prices above 100 yen. Once numbers go into the triple digits in Japanese, some of the numbers (300, 600, 800, 3000 and 8000) do not follow the normal patterns:

    100 ひゃく (hyaku)

    二百 200 にひゃく (nihyaku)

    三百 300 さんびゃく (sanbyaku)

    四百 400 よんひゃく (yonhyaku)

    五百 500 ごひゃく (gohyaku)

    六百 600 ろっぴゃく (roppyaku)

    七百 700 ななひゃく (nanahyaku)

    八百 800 はっぴゃく (happyaku)

    九百 900 きゅうひゃく (kyuuhyaku)

    1000 せん (sen)

    二千 2000 にせん (nisen)

    三千 3000 さんぜん (sanzen)

    四千 4000 よんせん (yonsen)

    五千 5000 ごせん (gosen)

    六千 6000 ろくせん (rokusen)

    七千 7000 ななせん (nanasen)

    八千 8000 はっせん (hassen)

    九千 9000 きゅうせん (kyuusen)

    一万 10000 いちまん (ichiman)

    二万 20000 にまん (niman)

    三万 30000 さんまん (sanman)

    四万 40000 よんまん (yonman)

    五万 50000 ごまん (goman)

    六万 60000 ろくまん (rokuman)

    七万 70000 ななまん (nanaman)

    八万 80000 はちまん (hachiman)

    九万 90000 きゅうまん (kyuuman)

  • slide 3 of 4

    Telling Time

    When we tell time in Japanese, we need to add the appropriate marker. For an hour, the marker is (ji):

    One o'clock: いちじ (ichiji)

    Two o'clock: にじ (niji)

    Three o'clock: さんじ (sanji)

    Four o'clock: よじ (yoji)

    Five o'clock: ごじ (goji)

    Six o'clock: ろくじ (rokuji)

    Seven o'clock: しちじ (shichiji)

    Eight o'clock: はちじ (hachiji)

    Nine o'clock: くじ (kuji)

    Ten o'clock: じゅうじ (juuji)

    Eleven o'clock: じゅういちじ (juuichiji)

    Twelve o'clock: じゅうにじ (juuniji)

    Minutes also follow a similar pattern, with the counter ふん (fun):

    1 いっぷん (ippun)

    2 にふん (nifun)

    3 さんぷん (sanpun)

    4 よんぷん (yonpun)

    5 ごふん (gofun)

    6 ろっぷん (roppun)

    7 ななふん (nanafun)

    8 はっぷん/はちふん (happun/hachifun)

    9 きゅうふん (kyuufun)

    10 じゅっぷん (juppun)

    11 じゅういっぷん (juuippun)

    12 じゅうにふん (juunifun)

    13 じゅうさんぷん (juusanpun)

    14 じゅうよんぷん (juuyonpun)

    15 じゅうごふん (juugofun)

    16 じゅうろっぷん (juuroppun)

    17 じゅうななふん (juunanafun)

    18 じゅうはっぷん/じゅうはちふん (juuhappun/juuhachifun)

    19 じゅうきゅうふん (juukyuufun)

    20 にじゅっぷん (nijuppun)

    30 さんじゅっぷん (sanjuppun)

    There are shortcuts when telling time. For the half hour (30 minutes), はん (han) can be used. If the exact time is not known, the word ごろ (goro) can be used. For example, if it is around 7 o'clock, we would say しちじ ごろ (shichiji goro). Japanese time is on the 12 hour schedule. If it is the morning, the word ごぜん (gozen) is used. If it is the afternoon, the word ごご (gogo) is used. However, unlike in English, the words for AM and PM are put before the time. For example, 8:30 AM in Japanese is ごぜん はちじ はん (gozen hachiji han).

  • slide 4 of 4

    Additional Reading

    How to Ask the Time in Japanese

References

  • Banno, E., Ohno, Y., Sakane, Y. and Shinagawa, C. An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese. The Japan Times, 1999

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