Lesson 2: Numbers

“I want three of those!”, “It’s 4 o’ clock!” ………..all about numbers this time! Just learn 13 numbers and you will know every practical number in Japanese!

Bango (Numbers)

1.   一 ichi (pronounced somewhat like “itchy”)

2.  二 ni (pronounced like “knee”)

3.  三   san (pronounced as “saan”)

4.  四 yon / shi (the “yo” in “yon” is pronounced like that of  “yo-yo”,                                                       and “shi” is pronounced like “she”)

5.  五 go (pronounced just like “go”)

6.  六 roku (pronounced like “row ku”)

7.  七 nana / shi chi

8.  八 hachi (the “ha” in “hachi” is pronounced like the “ha” in  “hard”)

9.  九 kyuu (pronounced like “cue”)

10.十 jyuu (pronounced like “jew”)


100.    百  hyaku

1000.  千  sen

10000.万  man (pronounced as “maan”)


OK!!Now you have the numbers you need! But wait! What about the ones from 10 – 100?? It’s super easy!

Just note that Japanese numbers follow the pattern of (Tens) + (Units)!

For example, 16 = 10 + 6, so in Japanese it is called (10, 6)  i.e. 十六 jyuu-roku, similarly 19 = 10 + 9, so it’s 十九  jyuu-kyuu. Simple right?

And the other tens?? Let’s say 50. 50 = 5X10 hence it is (5,10) in Japanese i.e. 五十 go-jyuu! Similarly 70 = 7X10, hence it is 7,10 i.e. nana-jyuu!

What about 33? Well 33 = 30 + 3 = (3X10) + 3, so in Japanese it is called (3,10,3) i.e. 三十三 san-jyuu-san, similarly 94 = 90 + 4 = (9X10) + 4, so it’s (9,10,4) i.e. 九十四 kyuu-jyuu-yon.

Basically what you want to remember is that if you put any number from 1-9 before 10, it multiplies 10 by that number. If you put 1-9 after 10, it adds that number to 10.


OK! Now hopefully you have learned the numbers! However, say you want a certain number of items, then you need to add “ko” after the number. For example, say you want to buy 5 oranges, then you can just say “Orenji (orange) 5ko (goko) kudasai!” which means “5 oranges please!”