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  5. "It is nine o'clock."

"It is nine o'clock."


June 14, 2017



Why sometimes says "ku" and others "kyu"?


Kyuu designates the number 9, but the pronunciation becomes ku when followed by ji (in the case of 九時)


Then why did they teach us inn this lesson that it was pronounced "ku". What a waste! Better if they taught us it was pronounced "kyu", then we see tat IF Followed by "ji" it would be pronounced "ku". That would be proper, maker more sense, adds follow the same pattern as with "ichi ji" changing to "ii ji". THAT gives us a petty to go by, some level of consistency to follow, And sounds like is more accurate. (Based on your comment, anyway, which I'm assuming to be true).

Thanks for your answer!


I didn't do the whole course from the beginning, because I already have some knowledge in Japanese, but I would hope they started off by teaching the "standard" numbers in a previous lesson (いち、に、さん、よん、ご、ろく、なな、はち、きゅう、じゅう) and just now demonstrated the exceptions for time telling.

I must admit that this is why I love Rosetta Stone - there's no translations, just images that make this kind of things very clear and exercises that let you train the small differences until you really get it.

I'm not sure if いいじ is a thing - I've never seen it ;)
Maybe you just used it as an example. Or maybe you were referring to よん becoming よ時 :)


Sometimes I'll spend a day just doing the practice exercise to internalize what I have learned. I have definitely learned knew phrases and words sometimes because no, Duolingo is mot thorough. It is actually quite flakey and random.


Maybe it is like in English: "I can not" becomes "I can't". Do you teach that from the start or you introduce it later in a course?


Are there other numbers like that if so what are the different pronunciations for other numbers when followed by 時(ji)

  • 一時 いちじ
  • 二時 にじ
  • 三時 さんじ
  • 四時 よじ
  • 五時 ごじ
  • 六時 ろくじ
  • 七時 しちじ
  • 八時 はちじ
  • 九時 くじ
  • 十時 じゅうじ

The above is the same for 時間(じかん) counting how many hours. Additional ones:

  • 百時間 ひゃくじかん
  • 千時間 せんじかん
  • 一万時間 いちまんじかん
  • 一億時間 いちおくじかん


Reaaaly late, but the reason why, is that there are a few ways to pronounce the numbers depending on if they are being used with original Japanese kanji, Chinese hanzi turned kanji, or loan words (usually, english loan words). Usually. When it comes to counters, there are many exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb, that can also be applied to alot of kanji.

Kyuu is Japanese, ku is Chinese. 時 is directly taken from Chinese hanzi.


きゅう and く are both Chinese readings (on'yomi). They are imported into Japan from different times and people, thus different sounds. Japanese reading (kun'yomi) is ここのつ


です is always recommended, when you're using formal, polite speech. Omitting it makes the sentence less formal. When in doubt, use です, ます, ございます and so on ☺


Ommiting です was seen as a mistake. (It wasn't for most other "it's X o'clock"s)

[deactivated user]

    I'm also confused by this. I read another comment saying です is usually ommited when it comes to time but I got it wrong when I did. Can anyone clear this up? Should we or should we not use です


    Desu is a formal/polite way to speak. You should always use desu, but it annoys me a lot that it's flagged as an error, because it really is not, you can choose not to talk politely between friends and family. This is why Japanese people stereotype foreigners for speaking too politely


    I thought you didn't need to use desu when you're stating the hour.


    I didn't put the "desu" at the end and it marked it wrong. Is it required?


    no. all です does in this sentence is make it formal


    Why sometimes " kyu ji " is right and sometimes not and we have to do "kyu ji desu " ? Can someone tell me ?


    That confuses me when it says 'ku' and not 'kyu' but they are still beta testing though


    A question unrelated to Duolingo: when I type 'kuji' on the Japanese IME, 九時 doesn't show up.


    It works for me, but you might just have to type "nine" as an individual word first by typing it as "kyuu" and then adding the "ji".


    Kuu ji kuu ji kuu


    If anyone else is having trouble with writing this word through google IME/Japanese input, you can add the word from the wrench menu > add word while highlighting this "九時", the reading should be くじ.


    九 sounds like "ju" in the audio :/. Anyone else?



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