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  5. "今は一時一分です。"


Translation:It is 1:01 now.

June 7, 2017





I'm sorry, novice alert, what?


Ippun instead of ichifun. Some times use fun, some use pun and occasionally bun. You just have to remember which to use.


To ask this question in a different way, why is (minutes) 分 sometimes pronounced ふん fun and other times it's pronounced ぷん pun? How do you know which one to use when?

Here is the answer:

  • 2, 5, 7, 9 minutes are [fun],

  • 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 minutes are [pun].

After 10 minutes, the same pattern will be repeated."

For more information:



Basically, fun if the number ends with an vowel e.g. go-fun and pun in the other cases?


In case you haven't noticed, all Japanese syllables except [あ え い お う ん] are consonant-vowel pairs with the vowel always at the end, including the syllables used to compose Japanese numbers. This rule cannot work for this reason.


Not really necessarily because 1 6 8 and 10 end with a vowel.


It's a fun pun then.


a bun of fun puns


An unfun pun, I'd say.


is it correct that they dont pronounce the second 一 completely or is that how it would naturally sound?


Minutes are sometimes said irregularly, based on the number in front of them. 「一分」 is indeed pronounced "ippun" (「いっぷん」) and not "ichihun" (「いちふん」) which would actually be incorrect. Some minute expressions, like 「二分」 are pronounced regularly, as "nihun" (「にふん」).


What numbers are pronounced irregularly? Is it only one minute that is irregular?


Numbers ending in these all end with -pun ; 1,3,4,6,8,0


I'm not sure if this is right, but I read that the pronunciation of 分depends on the minute. It's a bit tricky but once you remember it, it'll be easy.

一分=いっぷん *
二分=にふん *
三分=さんふん *
四分=よんふん *
五分=ごふん *
六分=ろっぷん 七分=ななふん 八分=はっぷん *
九分=きゅうふん 十分=じゅっぷん Or  じっぷん *
十二分=じゅうにふん *

Hope this helps!

PS: I've also heard that the kanji 分 is also used to talk about fractions.  E.g. 四分の一=よんぶんのいち 1/4 Or 1 quarter


Thank you! This is useful. It would basically just need to be memorized like other Kanji in Japanese in this case, right?


Yes, exactly.


It is so picky!! 今は一時一分です、translated to "It is 1:01 right now", and they marked "Right now is 1:01 o'clock" wrong :( it still make sense though


"Right now is 1:01 o'clock" is not a proper construction in English. The "o'clock" is only ever used for on the hour times. (1:00, 2:00, etc.).


Isn't "o'clock" only used in English if it's a full hour?


You also forgot 'it' as in 'it is 1.01 now'.


It says it so fast, I don't know how to pronounce it...

  • 2359

ima wa ichi-ji ippun des(u).


Does Japanese have something like AM/PM?


There are the words 午前/ごぜん and 午後/ごご.

ごぜん is AM. ごご is PM.

eg.8 a.m./午前8時/ごぜん8じ。2 p.m./午後2時/ごご2じ。

And one day is counted as 24.

eg.午前8時 is 8時. 午後2時 is 14時. 午後5時 is 17時.

(we can understand a,m, and p.m. too. We use them to write note) :D


So what does the 分 (pun?) mean in the sentence??

  • 2359

一時一分 means 1:01 or one minute past one o'clock

一 is one
時 is hour
分 is minute


いち + 分(ふん) = いっぷん


Why is it so early in the morning? Go back to sleep.

(If you don't get the joke: In Japan and many other eastern countries, they use the 24 hour clock so if its 1:01, it's 1:01 am.)


Is it required to write は in this phrase or is it optional?


Depends on context. But I have heard people cut it and I tend to do it myself.




So why is adding o'clock wrong?

  • 2359

In English, we only say "o'clock" when it is exactly the hour.

1:00 is "one o'clock"
1:01 is "one oh one"
1:10 is "one ten".


Really? Thank you for important information. And you have been continue more over 3 years? I respect you!

  • 2359



English is too difficult for me. I am sorry if I said my odd English. ありがとう。

  • 2359

We're all learning here, and I understood what you meant. :)


No its not. If I can learn Japanese, you can learn English. Trust me, I'm the stupidest person alive. Granted though English is one of the harder languages to learn, with all our words that sound the same, but mean different things, and are spelled different. Such as to, two, and too. Or due, dew, jew. Where and wear. Hear and here. Hair and hare. You get the picture, but hang in there. Would be pleased to help you out.


Sora - English is one hell of a difficult language to learn. I am honestly glad that it is my native language or I don't know if I'd be able to learn it myself! I think you'll be happy to hear though that most non-native English speakers/students of English that I've met actually know the language much more thoroughly than native speakers. We may be able to speak and understand it but we often can't explain why something is correct or incorrect beyond "that's just how it is". In my experience, students of English understand the grammar and syntax of English extremely well and can explain what is going on whilst the majority of native speakers (myself included) often only know something "sounds right".


Well, and I say this as a native speaker, it's a stupidly complex mix of languages. But it's a lot simpler now than Anglo Saxon was! When the French invaded in 1066, endings got a lot simpler, thankfully!

But modern English is the result of the Gaelic/Welsh speaking Celts being invaded by the Romans (who brought in Latin), and then by the Angles and Saxons (Germanic tribes) when the Romans left again, then by the Norse (the Vikings), who left a lot of their own words behind (like "give/gift" and "take").

They also started the simplification of plurals and tenses. Before them, you'd not only have horse/horses and "the horses ran/run/are running/will run," but different endings depending on how many horses there are (beyond just one/more than one), and even if they were running towards or away from you. Or parallel to you.

Then the French invaded and things got simplified again; but we also started using the French words for cooked meat rather than the Anglo Saxon ones. So "beef" (from "boeuf") instead of "cow"; "pork" (porc) instead of "swine". Didn't quite do the same thing with "chicken" and "poultry" (poulet), though, probably because only the very rich could actually afford to eat them, so "poulet" wasn't on enough plates to matter.

Then in the 1700s some guys decided to write down the rules for English, but base them on the rules for Latin (on the grounds that it was the "proper" and superior language--mistly because English didn't really have any hard-and-fast rules yet, probably because no one had written them down yet), and, where English allowed something that Latin didn't (such as double negatives), decided that English was wrong, and the Latin rules must be followed.

Anyways, the end result is that modern English is basically at least five languages run through a blender, with the odd useful term (such as "angst" or "entrepreneur") that gave a nuance English didn't yet have liberally sprinkled through.

It really is three languages in a trenchcoat, as the joke says, heh, lurking in dark alleys, knocking other languages on the head, and rifling through their pockets for spare vocabulary!


I can't remember from learning time at school, are PM times usually called e.g. thirteen o'clock, or would that also be one o'clock?


In the military in the US, we usually say 1300 (thirteen hundred) so as not to cause confusion, but in regular life, you just say one o'clock or one PM. This is also why 24-hour time is known as "military time" in the US.

  • 2359

"Thirteen hundred" would be "one o'clock p.m."


Why does it sound like "分" is pronounced like "プン" but tought as "ふん"?

  • 2359

Japanese consonants will voice or de-voice depending on what else is going on. It's called assimilation and it's the same reason it's kana and katakana, but hiragana. The "t" in "katakana" is unvoiced, but the "r" in "hiragana" is voiced, so the "k" voices to a "g".


Hmm, not quite sure I'm getting that. Maybe if I put it in the context of "一時一分です". Does that help put my question in a better light?

  • 2359

No, I understood the context of your question. Maybe I should flesh out my answer more, since I realize I did leave out a detail that is important in this context.

Consider the syllables Fu, Pu, and Bu. They are all written with the same base character with the addition of a diacritic: ふ ぷ ぶ

Consider also the syllables Ka and Ga: か が. This is part of a larger pattern of how Japanese orthography is pretty transparent.

The stand-alone pronunciation of 分 is ぶん. But in context it assimilates with the voiceless "ch" of いち and becomes ぷん. But then a further step is taken and いち reduces to い while the "p" of ぷん is pronounced for an extra beat to make up for the lost ち.



Looks like I have some studying to do. Thanks for such in depth insight into my question. Your answer is way over my head, but like I said, I guess I have more studying to do. Thanks again.

  • 2359

For the time being, just follow the link I included at the end there and memorize how it's pronounced in each case.


Why is the は there after "ima"? It wasn't there in the previous sentences, and I've learnt in my class that it's not needed after ima.

  • 2359

It depends on how "ima" is being used. Here, it's the topic of the sentence: As for now/this moment, it is 1:01.


I put "it is 1:01 right now." and it said it should have been "it is 1:01 now" but hasnt ima been used in other examples as right now? How am i wrong in this case?

  • 2359

Your translation is reasonable. The course contributors simply neglected to add that option to this sentence's answer database. You can flag it next time and report "My answer should be accepted."

Keep in mind, though, that translation is not about a direct correspondence between words, but rather how a native speaker would say it. "Now" and "right now" largely overlap, but "right now" has an urgency to it that "now" does not. So there are variations in how you can translate "ima" depending on the greater context.


The second ー is BARELY audible -__-


When combined with 分 the sounds combine into いっぷん "ippun", so it's just a short "i" before an extended "p" sound, rather than the full "ichi" that you hear with 時


I wrote "It is one oh one now". It says it is wrong. Is it?

  • 2359

We generally write it using numerals: "It is 1:01 now."


What does the "は" in "今は" mean? I know it's used to differentiate subject, but "今" isnt the subject here is it?

  • 2359

が is the subject marker. は is the topic marker. You can think of it as "As for X..." So 今は一時一分です can be interpreted as "As for now, it is 1:01."

As for John, sushi is what he likes.
John likes sushi.


Uff it's pretty difficult for me

  • 2359

If you have any specific questions, this is the place to ask them.


I wrote: It is now one minute after one. It was marked wrong. Go figure.

  • 2359

You can always flag it and report "My answer should be accepted".


The word Bank is missing an "o" to accompany the 'clock

  • 2359

You need to take a screen shot and file a bug report. There's nothing anyone here can do.



Why it didn't work with "It is exactly 1:01"?

  • 2359

Because "now" means currently, not precisely.


I'm English, ”it's one o'clock” is usually at best within five to ten minutes of 1:00 precisely, in my experience. To specify an exact time in minutes is less often the case than a loose approximation. ’Exactly' is the word I have used many times to disambiguate that kind of misunderstanding. ”Right now, it's exactly 1:01” is something I'd almost never say, but that's how I'd specify the exact current time if needed.

  • 2359

There is nothing in the prompt that requires "exactly" and the fact that you're specifying the minute makes it obvious.

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