Asking the right questions in Japanese: How Many or Much 「いくつ(Ikutsu)」「いくら(Ikura)」 : Have you always wanted to walk the markets of Japan and haggle for the best deal? Perhaps you want to ask how much that dress is in the window over there. Or maybe even you want to know how many presents your girlfriend wants for christmas? If that’s the case, then this is the lesson for you.

Learn Japanese – 5W1H – Japanese Question Words – What,Where,When,Who,Why,How

Asking the right questions in Japanese: How Many or Much 「いくつ(Ikutsu)」「いくら(Ikura)」

Hey guys, how’s it going today? Are you ready for another amazing online Japanese lesson? Fantastic! Today we will be looking at いくつ(Ikutsu) andいくら(ikura), how many and how much. These are two of the most essential and most used phrases in everyday Japanese conversation. The aim of today’s online lesson is to master いくつ(Ikutsu) and いくら(ikura) to give you the skills to ask about quantities in Japanese.

 We will first stat by taking a look いくつ (How Many) and learning about which situations it can be used in. We will also be building some example sentences too to see how this can be used in situ. This is such an integral phrase guys so get out your pens and paper guys, you are going to need to take some notes on this.

All about いくつ (Ikutsu) when and how to use it

 いくつ “Ikutsu” means how much in Japanese and it can also mean “How old” too in certain situations. Let’s firstly take a look at a really simple example sentence:

いくつほしいですか?
Ikutsu hoshii desu ka
How many do you want?

This is an extremely useful sentence to use in a vast array of situations. Imagine yourself at the local market and you see some delicious apples. You turn to your friend and simple ask, “いくつほしいですか” How many do you want?

You can also use いくつ(Ikutsu) to ask how many of a specific item there are. The following sentence demonstrates this and asks about how many prefectures there are in Japan.

にほんには、けんがいくつありますか。
Nihon ni wa, ken ga ikutsu arimasu ka
How many prefectures are there in Japan?

This is such a great pattern to get good at and familiar with so make sure to practice with it and write a few of your own example sentences. This way you can ensure that the pattern will be at your disposal quickly and fluently next time you want to use it. 

Remember how we said that Ikutsu can also be used for age? Well it’s true! Here is an example of how to ask someone’s age:

かれのとしはいくつですか
Kare no toshi wa ikutsu desu ka
How old is he?

The direct translation of this sentence is actually “how many years is he?” The sentence is asking about how many years in this case. To make this more polite you should add お Infront of いくつ(Ikutsu) to make おいくつですか. This is a really polite way to ask someone’s age. There is no need to state とし “years” here as it is implied within the context of the phrase.

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All about いくら (Ikura) when and how to use it

Ikura いくら means “how much” in Japanese and is mainly associated with asking about the cost of something. It can also, in some cases, mean how many, but today we are going to focus just on the “how much” meaning of the word. Let’s have a look at a simple example sentence.

いくらですか
Ikura desu ka
How much is it?

Can you think of a more essential phrase for when you are shopping? I don’t think so! This is the ultimate phrase to remember today, if nothing else. Lets not expand this a little and looks at a few more examples.

このソファーはいくらですか。
Kono sofua wa ikura desu ka
How much is this sofa?
そのかばんはいくらですか
Sono kaban wa ikura desu ka
How much is that bag?

As you can see here it is a super important word to know as it opens up a lot of possibilities for your ability to ask questions about price.

Conclusion, your new found power

So now you have learnt the tools to ask all about quantity and value of objects, how fantastic. You can peruse around the stores and markets with confidence now. In all seriousness, these are a great couple of foundation phrase patterns for you to have in your arsenal and will serve you well in your communication with Japanese. They are also easily applied to everyday situations.

Thanks again guys for taking the time to read our online Japanese lesson today. We really appreciate all of our fans and followers and want to continue to create amazing content for you to help expand your Japanese knowledge. If you have any ideas around other subject you would like us to teach to you guys, please let us know in the comments section, we want to know what you want! Until next time everybody, またね。

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