Translation:There is one table.

June 10, 2017

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How do you differentiate 'ichi' from the long vowel dash?


If you look closely, ichi is a few pixel longer. Yay, Japanese!


Unfortunately it doesn't really help with the exercises here, but in many fonts, ichi also has a small upturn on the end on the right-hand side which typically isn't there on the dash: 一 (ichi) vs ー (dash).


The dash is used to extend the vowel sound in a katakana word. You will only see it used with katakana, so as long as you can read the word itself, there should never be any ambiguity as to whether it is a long vowel or the kanji for one.


let's take a break. you may enjoy "いっぽんでもにんじん” on YouTube. it is a video clip for children to remember 1 to ten.


Ah, yes! Welcome to the world of the many useless horizontal bars! Let me also introduce you to:

Hyphen-minus: -
Soft hyphen: ­
Armenian Hyphen: ֊
Mongolian TODO soft hyphen: ᠆
Hyphen: ‐
Non-breaking hyphen: ‑
Hyphen bullet: ⁃
Small hyphen-minus: ﹣
Fullwidth hyphen-minus: -
Figure dash: ‒
En dash: –
Em dash: —
Horizontal bar: ―
Two-em dash: ⸺
Three-em dash: ⸻
Small em dash: ﹘
Kana prolonged sound mark: ー
Kangxi radical one: ⼀
Ideographic annotation one mark: ㆒
CJK Unified Ideograph-4E00: 一


You usually use the context to differentiate between the two. Reading ahead just a little bit helps as well, so if you see a つ right after the 一, like in this sentence, then it's probably the character for いち, rather than the vowel dash.

There might be another way, but I'm not sure of it.


Numbers from Chinese (ichi san etc) can use counters. If no counter is used then the Japanese numbers hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, yottsu, itsutsu, muttsu, nanatsu, yattsu, kokonutsu, to (long o) etc are used. Tables, chairs, boxes, fruit etc use hitotsu.


I don't know why you got a downvote. This is a good explanation, and please let me make it more clear: There are two counting systems in Japanese, and are not interchangeable.

Chinese system (On'yomi) is used:
1. For numbers + 時 or 月 to mean "o'clock" or "month", except 四時-よじ.
2. For the dates of a month, or when counting days over 10. Notice that 十九日 is じゅうにち. 2. With most counters, like 羽 (わ, for birds), 冊 (さつ, for books), etc, except 4 and 7, for which Kin'yomi is still used.
3. With 百 (ひゃく, hundred), 千 (せん, thousand).
4. When just counting 1, 2, 3 or read a string of numbers.
There might be some consonant mutation, and you have to memorize them.

Japanese system (Kun'yomi) is used:
1. For the general counter つ (See tips notes).
2. For the dates of a month from 1st to 10th, or when counting days, from 2 days to 10 days.
3. For counting people, 1 and 2 (See tips notes).

There might be some missing or wrong parts, please correct me if I made a mistake. In my opinion this is the most difficult part to memorize in basic Japanese, but it's easy to tackle: Just read them every day until you get used to them.


Thanks for the explanation, this was really confusing me.


'One' sounds like 'shito' than 'ichi' to me.


一つ is read ひとつ in this context. I think (but am not sure) that つ is a counter particle for the group of objects that table is in. Alone, Duo translates it as "one" or "one piece."


Correct, the つ counter is a general one.


In this case, "one" is "hitotsu". I've heard it used before, but I'm not sure if it's just "one" or the subtlety is "the only one", as in "This table is the only one there is."


When its a prefix, 一 is ひと。its not exclusively used for counters but its pretty common.

E.g. 一人 is ひとびと or ひとり in most (all?) dialects, not いちじん。


So 一 is ひと when combined to certain words, but it dows not have a subtle meaning of "only one." 一人 is read as ひとり or いちにん (one person), whereas ひとびと is written as 人々 (everybody).


Ok, table is spelled in katakana, meaning that it was a borrowed word from another language... meaning the Japanese didn't have tables until western contact?? That can't possibly be true...


Tables indeed did not exist in Japan. Japanese style table - ちゃぶ台(だい) is a lower version of table used on tatami. See https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ちゃぶ台


What are the rules to how numbers are pronounced? How do I know when to use ひと and when to use いち?


A better question might be why is Duolingo asking me to answer something it hasn't taught me yet?


It forces you to learn by mistakes which increases the learning efficiency. I found this in all the other courses that I have taken too.


So no counter here?


The "tsu" at the end of 一つ is the counter. It's the general counter meaning roughly "X number of things."


Why is the counter here つ and not 台?


you can use either.

  • 1970

Can someone write the syllables in this sentence. i can't seem to catch the middle ones. Thanks


テーブルが一つ (ひとつ) あります。

Or in romaji: "*teeburu ga hitotsu arimasu"


Domo arigato JashuaLore9


Ah, thx so much for the romaji vers. I'm taking notes on what I'm learning and was trying to follow what romaji would look like from the symbols but I got lost after "ga" (would do the symbol vers but my stupid computer won't load other keyboards >.<;). Arigatougozaimasu!!


You're welcome! I would recommend getting away from romaji as soon as you can though; it might take longer and seem like more effort at first, but really brush up on your hiragana so that you can make your notes using it :) good luck!


... with the caveat that..

It's helpful though to use romaji for pronounciation exceptions, though.

For example, when specifically asking about pronounciations it would be helpful to put UNpronounced letters in parenthesis: des(u).

I don't remember which words off hand, but a few lessons back, there were a few words we learned that weren't actually pronounced out loud the same way they were 'spelled'.

In such cases falling back to romaji to HIGHLIGHT the inconsistencies is still helpful,

... even when otherwise we would no longer need romaji as a crutch/bridge.


If I am tasked with Nihongo-to-Eigo Translation, Is it okay to say,

"There is 'A' table"

Instead of

"There is 'One' table".

I don't want to make a mistake in my lessons to check that.


Is this pronounced "ga hitotsu"? Because it sounds more like "gai (guy) hitotsu".. Also, what does the "ga" do?


It is pronounced ga hitotsu, and that's what I hear on my audio. You may be mis-hearing the ga and hi sounds blending together.

Here, I think of が as the "subject particle". It indicates that テーブル is the thing doing the verb, あります "to exist". More specifically, it is "one thing existing" (一つあります), so "there is one table."


I wonder what the history behind the change in pronunciation of the numbers as in these exercises. My brain can't understand why they would ever need to change in this context.


It has to do with some of the language that came over from China. This counting with "tsu" is the Chinese ancestry stuff. The "ichi, ni, san" is from original Japanese.


You got it reversed. ひとつ/ふたつ/etc. are original Japanese words and いち/に/etc. were imported from China (quite early in Japanese language history actually - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go-on).


I literally cant make out whats its saying... I get he sentence structure right i jist cant hear whether it os one or two... So just guess... Andbget it wrong


This may be the first time that you are hearing 一つ。In this case, 一 is read as "ひと” and not "いち”. So "one thing[counter]" is read as ひとつ。

If you are listening for いち、に、さん、&c. then that may be why you can't make out what it is saying.

many/most kanji have at least two readings: this is true for the kanji for numbers 1 through 10 as well. Knowing which is which may be difficult to identify for a non-native speaker (it is for me!) but you can just memorize common usage patterns.

In this case, when counting small numbers (<10) of things which do not have their own counter (so use the generic つ)the numbers are:

  1. hito(tsu)
  2. futa(tsu)
  3. mi(tsu)
  4. yo(ttsu)
  5. itsu(tsu)
  6. mui(tsu)
  7. nana(tsu)
  8. yo(tsu)
  9. kokono(tsu)
  10. tou (although note that 十つ is "jyu tsu", because it is not less than 10!)

This pattern also holds for people, 人 but in this case the counter is also the other reading! (り!)so 一人 is "ひとり”


Why is hitotsu (一つ) pronounced shtotsu?


It is not shtotsu. It is htots or htotsu. The i is not commonly pronounced due to vowel reduction.


Would 一つのテーブルがありますbe an alternative?


Should be correct


Are there any difference in meaning or usage between the two possibilities?


I think the subtle difference is that, 一つのテーブル has the emphasis on "table" while テーブルが一つ has the emphasis on the quantity "one."


Wasn't the general counter ko?


Ko is for small things.


Fun fact: as far as I know, 個 (ko) is the general counter, in Chinese ;)


I thought あります meant there is/are. Can someone explain this to me?


Yes it means there is/are and literally, "(subject) exists." Anything special you want to be explained?


In this sentences is "Koko wa" or "doko wa" implied?


You got it! You can say "ここはテーブルが一つあります" if you want. But どこ means where, which should be used in interrogative sentences.


Duo counts me incorrect if i add "here"... "There is one table here."... Is there a particular reason why "here" must be omitted?


Because the Japanese sentence doesn't specify a location and Duo wants you to learn ここ = "here".

This sentence could be used in response to the question "What is in your spare room (which we are not currently in)?" and thus, "There is one table here" is incorrect.


It seems that this marks "there is a single table" as incorrect even though it's the same meaning. Is this just an oversight, or is there some connotation that is incorrect?


I would say it should be acceptable, though I think "a single table" subtly emphasizes the oneness of the table more than the Japanese sentence does, much in the way "only one table" would.


How do you pronounce "there is one", its too fast anx unclear for me to hear (no Japanese option on my phone).


hTOtsu aRIMAs

(capital letters are high pitch)

Note that the vowel of ひ is not pronounced in ひとつ, that's why it is htotsu.


Is this similar to how 「あの人」(あのひと) is heard as "a no shh to" instead of "a no hi to" ...? At least that's how it sounds to my ears


Why is が not connected to あります ?


Particles in modern Japanese are not prepositions. They are postpositions attaching to words/phrases/clauses before them. が is a type of particle that attaches to a noun-equivalent to denote that noun-equivalent is a subject of the sentence.


How is this being pronounced in romaji? I hear "taberu ga(...?) arimasu", the middle part is really hard to make out without slow speech mode. It sounds like "gaichitotsu" but that doesn't make any sense from the letters (I see "ga ichi tsu" before arimasu)


Please try to read the other comments first. 一つ is pronounced ひとつ "hitotsu", not "ichi tsu".


What's the purpose of が here? The literal meaning says 'but', but I don't see any logic behind using 'but' in this sentence.


Also people I'd be grateful if you could tell me some way to return back to my own comments, cause i have been unable to find any such option. Eventually all my comments and replies get lost :(


I just got up to this lesson (counting) and can't help but notice that in every single sentence there is the hiragana for "ga" but it is being pronounced as "na", can anyone please explain this to me?


Explaining the Japanese nasal 'G' sound by Dogan:



一 and 一 look so different, thanks duo!


I wrote as an answer: "there is a single table", and it was rejected. I reported it, but I wanted to know if there actually is a difference I should be aware of?

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