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Matjlav
 Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 05:01 pm:

Okay, I have a question about classifiers.

The three main classifiers are people, animals, and things. Well, what I don't understand about classifiers is: For "three mice" would one say: "Sanbiki no nezumi," or just "San no nezumi"? And, if it's "sanbiki no nezumi", would I write it as 三匹の鼠 or 三の鼠? And what other classifiers are there, and in what cases would you use just the lone numbers? I would appreciate it if you would answer.

Mr.アノニマス
 Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 07:25 am:

Hmmm... Very interesting! I've never really given too much thought...

Let's seeeee...

In general, you must use a counter. Therefore, you must say 三匹の鼠.

A 匹 (hiki) is a counter for animals.

Some other examples of counters are as follows:
〜倍 (-bai) multiples (二倍(nibai)=2 times as much/many)
〜晩 (-ban) nights
(1) hito-ban, (2) futa-ban, (3) mi-ban, (4) yo-ban, (?) iku/nan-ban
〜便 (-bin) airline flights
(1) ichi-bin, (2) ni-bin, (3) san-bin, (?) nan-bin
〜部 (-bu) parts, copies (of documents/books/etc)
ichi-bu, ni-bu, san-bu, nan-bu
〜分 (-bun) parts, portions
ichi-bun, ni-bun, san-bun, nan-bun
〜台 (-dai) machines, vehicles
ichi-dai, ni-dai, san-dai, nan-dai
〜ドル (-doru) dollars
ichi-doru, ni-doru, san-doru, nan-doru
〜円 (-en) yen
ichi-en, ni-en, san-en, nan-en
〜分 (-fun) minutes, minutes-past-the-hour
ip-pun, ni-fun, san-pun, yon-pun, go-fun, rop-pun, nana-fun/shichi-fun, hap-pun/hachi-fun, kyuu-fun, (10) jup-pun/jip-pun, (100) hyap-pun, nan-pun
〜語 (-go) words
ichi-go, ni-go, san-go, nan-go
〜歳 (-sai) years of age
is-sai, ni-sai, san-sai, yon-sai, go-sai, roku-sai, nana-sai/shichi-sai, has-sai, kyuu-sai, jus-sai/jis-sai, (20) hatachi, (100) hyaku-sai, nan-sai

〜羽 (-wa) birds, rabbits
ichi-wa, ni-wa, san-wa, nan-wa
Here's a side-note:
try to say this: 庭には二羽鶏がいる。裏庭には二羽鶏がいる。 (niwa niwa niwa niwatori ga iru. ura niwa niwa niwa niwatori ga iru.) It's a tongue-twister in japanese (or 早口言葉 (hayakuchikotoba))!!

When no counter is available (or just not chosen) you append つ (tu) instead of any counter.

was that enough counters for you? hehe. i'm sure you can get lists somewhere online (or even in your trusty dictionary).

-------------------------------------------------
I think that you are referring to 千の言葉... As for that, i just added back to that thread.
-------------------------------------------------

Matjlav
 Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 08:17 am:

About the 〜晩 counter, would "5 nights" be "itsu-ban," 6 nights be "mo-ban," 7 is "nana-ban," 8 is "ya-ban," 9 "kokono-ban," 10 "too-ban," etc.?

Matjlav
 Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 08:37 am:

Oh yeah, about the 〜倍 counter, am I correct in thinking that 三倍の鼠 would mean "three times as many mice?"

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 03:28 am:

Actually, i don't really know above four if it's counted like that or not... usually you wouldn't say anything above three......... if you did want to, you would use 〜日.

〜日 (-nichi/ka) (1)days (as a cardinal) (2)days of a month (as an ordinal)
(cardinal)tsuitachi/(ordinal)ichi-nichi, futsu-ka, mik-ka, yok-ka, itu-ka, mui-ka, nano-ka, you-ka, kokono-ka, too-ka, juuichi-nichi, juuni-nichi, juusann-nichi, juuyok-ka, juugo-nichi, etc., nan-nichi

NOTE: 24th would be "nijuuyok-ka", but since there are only 31 days in a month, 34-days would be "sanjuuyon-nichi", etc.

if you wanna say "six nights ago" you'd better say: 六日前の夜 (mui-ka-mae no yoru)

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 03:46 am:

〜倍 (-bai) counter is strange. it must be used in this fashion:

２倍の長さの棒 (ni-bai no nagasa no bou) a stick two times as long.
シアーズタワーの1.5倍の高さの塔 (sears tower no it-tenn-go no takasa no tou) a tower one-and-a-half times as tall as the sears tower.

and used when meaning "to increase by-"

and used when meaning "double"

So, for rats, here's an example:

Matjlav
 Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 10:42 am:

what would it be for "it hurts them 4 times as much" or "it deals 4 times as much damage"?

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 11:36 am:

４倍の痛み "four times as much pain"
４倍の損害を与える "give four-times-as-much damage"

Matjlav
 Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 09:45 am:

Er... would you use 与える, really? because I've thought that 与える (ataeru) meant "to give" as in "to award"... and I don't think you "award" damage...

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 11:41 pm:

Yeah, you say 損害を与える.

And, i've heard "award damage" in english before, i think, but I could be mistaken...

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 11:51 pm:

etc. etc. etc.

Matjlav
 Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 03:22 pm:

I'm correct in thinking that "? years old" would be written: 何歳 (nan-sai) or 幾歳 (iku-sai) right? And "how old are you" would be 何歳ですか？ (Nan-sai desu ka), right? And can you write 幾歳ですか？ (iku-sai desu ka)? Thanks!

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 07:44 pm:

aa... 幾歳 is kind of weird...

Yes!! 何歳ですか = "how old are you"!!! good job!

Matjlav
 Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 10:53 am:

Could you write ？歳 ?

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 12:00 pm:

um... maybe? it would depend upon who you are talking with, wouldn't it?

Matjlav
 Posted on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 11:56 am:

What I'm saying is could you write ？歳 to signify "Age: ???" or something?

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 05:13 am:

Maybe like:

Does that answer the question?

Matjlav
 Posted on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 10:31 am:

yeah, i guess. Thank you!

Mr. Anonymous
 Posted on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 06:20 pm:

No problem!