Concept

Japanese counter word

Summary
In Japanese, counter words or counters (助数詞, ) are measure words used with numbers to count things, actions, and events. Counters are added directly after numbers. There are numerous counters, and different counters are used depending on the kind or shape of nouns that are being described. In Japanese, as in Chinese and Korean, numerals cannot quantify nouns by themselves (except, in certain cases, for the numbers from one to ten; see below). For example, to express the idea "two dogs" in Japanese one could say 二匹の犬 (literally "two small-animal-count POSSESSIVE dog"), or 犬二匹 (literally "dog two small-animal-count"), but just pasting 二 and 犬 together in either order is ungrammatical. Here 二 is the number "two", 匹 is the counter for small animals, の is the possessive particle (a reversed "of", similar to the " 's" in "John's dog"), and 犬 is the word "dog". Counters are not independent words; they must appear with a numeric prefix. The number can be imp
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