個: COUNTING (ALMOST) EVERYTHING and ANYTHING in Japanese : Hey guys, how are you today? Welcome to another incredible online Japanese article from Bondlingo. Today we are going to be talking all about counters, specifically one of the most important counters for you to learn to begin with anyway. In Japanese there are different counters for different classifications of things, however, 個 こcan be used in the beginning as a blanket counter for most.

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個: ZÄHLEN (FAST) ALLES und ALLES auf Japanisch

Today what we are going to do is first look at a quick overview of Japanese counters to see how the different counters work. Next we are going to look at 個 こ in specific and learn about why we can use this counter to cover off pretty much everything at the beginning of your Journey.

Then we are going to look at how you can use it with the Grammatik rules that surround the counter. Next we will look at some example sentences and finally finish off with a nice technique that you can use to get you using the counter right away. Let’s get started and jump into today’s online Japanese lesson form Bondlingo.

Counting Systems in Japanese

If you have been studying Japanese for a good amount of time you will have come to realise that there are many different ways to count things. Here is a quick list to summarise a few of the different counters for some of the different categories.

Counter for booksSatsuさ さ
Counter for small animalshikiひき
Counter for flat itemsmaiまい
Counter for vehiclesdaiだ い
Counter for Drinkshaiは は

Yes, it looks like a headache, but it is really important to learn the counters if you want to sound natural in Japanese. However, there is a little trick you can use which lets you get away with  not knowing them all for a while. That is where 個 こ “KO” comes in.

How to count almost everything and anything in Japanese with

Ko is essentially a blanket counter that you can count anything with that has a boundary to it. Look at this table to see how you can use it to count.

1一個い い っ
2二個に に
3三個さ さ ん
4四個よ よ ん
5五個ご ご
6六個ろ ろ っ
7七個ななこ (しちこ)
8八個はちこ/はっこ
9九個き ゅ う う
10十個じゅっこ (じっこ)
11十一個じゅういっこ
12十二個じゅうにこ
100百個ひゃっこ
1,000千個せんこ
10,000一万個いちまんこ

Objects with a 3D shape can be counted with 個.  Most shapes use specific counters, like 枚 for flat things and 本 for long things. You can use Ko 個as a substitute for most of these shapes and it will still sound natural in Japanese.

To use the counter grammatically you usually use the counter before the Verb in most cases like so:

鞄を四個買った。
Kaban Wo Yonko Katta
I bought four bags

Now we are going to look at some more example sentences to get you used to the correct Grammatik placement and using the counters.

Beispielsätze mit

Now let’s look at a few example sentences, make sure to really read these back to yourself as many times as you can too to help with memorizing the patterns.  

魚を二個食べた。
Sakana wo niko tabeta
I ate two servings of fish.
石を三個ずつ並べた。
Ishi wo sanko zutsu narabeta
I lined up stones in threes
ものを四個買った。
Mono wo yonko katta
I bought four things

Zutsu ずつ is also a really nützlich word that you can use to mean “each” or “a piece” one each, two each etc. This will come in very nützlich especially when buying and selling 

Great now that we know some example structures and sentences, lets have a look at a nice technique that you can use to remember them easily.

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Putting it into trainieren: A helpful technique

So now that you know all about 個 こ you are going to need to start using the counter right away in order to not forget it in a few weeks’ time. What we suggest is imagine you are going grocery shopping and using theこ counter list out all the items that you want and, next to them, list the quantity of those items that you want too buy. This way you will experience a practical usage for the counter as well as getting used to using it in real life situations too.  

So guys, there we have it. We really hope that you have enjoyed learning about 個 こ today and we are sure that you will be able to put it to use straight away. As always if you have any questions or suggestions on what you would like us to cover next, please let us know. Join us again in the next online Japanese article from Bondlingo. 

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