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  5. "フォークを一本ください。"


Translation:One fork, please.

June 17, 2017



Why is itー本?


本 is read as ほん、 ぽん and ぼん depending on what number it comes after.

If it's after 1 you say ぽん After 2 it's ほん After 3 it's ぼん And so on...

Same kanji, different sounds. I guess it's because it sounds better. Never really understood the change in sound and my 先生 never explained it but you pick it up as i said.


Its called rendaku, and it's annoyingly irregular. There are rules of thumb, but I think youre better off just picking it up as you go along.

As for why they do it, it's a form of intervocalic (between vowels) voicing that a lot of languages have, but usually don't write down (consider English "houses"; we pronounce it "houziz", voicing both S's, only we don't write it down and therefore usually don't notice that we do it). It helps better define the sound.

Also, rendaku will only affect voiceless consonants, so there'd never be a change for b, d, g, n, m, z, j. Maybe p too.


Not all English speakers will say "houziz" I think that's an American thing, cuz I say "houses"


I've literally never heard anyone pronounce it "houses", with the "s" sounds. One house, okay. But houses, never. I'm English.


Depends how posh you are. If one were to speak with a plum in the mouth, each syllabell would be fully enunciated.


i say it like "how-zih-z"

most americans, as far as i know, say it the same way, however--

in many parts of Canada, anything with the "ou" sound is said more like う and they say 'hoozes' and 'aboot' and people make fun of them for it in america.


Thank you for your detailed explanation. I really appreciate it.


Does anyone know a good on-line resource for learning the correct pronunciation of these numbers and counters?


tofugu has some extensive articles that list all the pronunciations and usage. The content is in English so is ideal for beginners.

Here is the general guide:


Here is the article for 本 which you can find in there:


If you feel like you can use a Japanese site, I recommend this one:


You can search for the word you want to count and it will list the counters used for that word below.. See next image



I believe this is what in Japanese grammar is called "rendaku".


本 (ぽん) is a counter used for long cylindrical objects.

So asking for one fork you add a counter after the number.

You could also use 一つ as it is a universal counter for anything but once you start learning counters (and there are well over 200 of them) you can start to label certain objects or things by their respective counters

Cars, animals, paper. They all have their own counters. It's confusing at first but eventually you pick it up.


Does it apply only to rigid objects?


The accepted answer for this is completely incorrect. It does not transliterate to "Can I get a fork?" In the slightest.

"Can I get a fork?" Is also completely wrong within itself, as it should be "Can I have a fork?".

I don't mean to be so anal, but this needs to be changed as it's simply wrong.

The correct transliteration is "One fork, please" which is dismissed as wholly incorrect by the current reviewal system.

Something also needs to be done about the general omission of "I" or "私" in the sentence and answer structures of this course. "I" cannot be omitted in multiple instances if doing so completely diminishes or adds false context to the sentence or answer.


In Japanese language, personal pronouns aren't often used. The language is more contextual than English, so if the person speaking doesn't say "can i get a fork for her" the assumption is that the fork is meant for the speaker, the invisible "I" in the sentence. Also, it's considered kinda rude to use 私 all the time and it can be taken as egotistical, something not prized in Japanese culture.


Where are all you people coming from that the word "get" isn't even in your vocabulary? Sure, be an anal grammar / courtesy nazi all you want and offer an alternate phrasing, but stop trying to say it's "completely wrong."

Even "within itself" and ignoring cultural mores, the words both accomplish the same thing: you currently don't have a thing that you want, then you get the thing, and then you have the thing.

I totally get if this is a regional thing, or if you had a teacher once who smacked you on the knuckles to teach you "proper" English, but there's no need to throw a fit over something that's perfectly normal in other parts of the world.

[deactivated user]

    Instructions are to translate, which doesn't always mean (and for JP to EN, often impossible to do) word for word. By the way, transliterate would mean to write the sentence in romaji. Also, pronouns are rarely used in Japanese. The nuance of the language is very different and, unfortunately, is not reflected well here.

    I suggest reporting these kind of sentences each time they appear.


    It would be really unusual to use kudasaru (下さい) for anyone else since it is the polite (尊敬語)of くれる. I have seen reference to using it for other people near to you if the listener is not in your group but this would be the rare exception to this rule and would have pronouns used in that case.

    I would treat "Can i get a fork please/can i have a fork please" as about equally correct. I don't think i've ever heard someone use "one fork, please" but it 1)sounds kind of strange to me 2) doesn't imply the action being done is specifically to YOUR benefit, which is the purpose of くれる/下さる . It seems close enough for this i guess.


    You said kudasaru and wrote kudasai in japanese...


    Because they're making it clear that kudasai is a form of kudasaru.


    that's not an accurate transliteration,either. the word you want is translation,not transliteration.


    Miguel, Japanese is a pro-drop language. Subjects and pronouns can be omitted, and it is 'unnatural' to the ear when they are used too much.


    omg i just snorted so hard my nostrils hurt lmao


    It's much better now. That's terrible.


    Why are all of these translated as the potentially rude "can i get a..." instead of the simple "can I please have a..."?


    Rude or not is cultural/regional. I didn't even realise some people think there's a difference between the two.


    I agree, and I can only assume that they want us to leave out the "please" because they want to make a distinguish between 下さい and お願い. They condition us now with "can i get" so when keigo comes into play it will be easier for us English speakers that lack the complexity of Japanese formalities to translate it to "May I please have" thats my theory at least.


    The "correct sentence" for this showed up on my screen as quite literally "can i've 1 fork?". I've reported it, but the lack of capitalization at the beginning of the sentence, lower case "i", the 've abbreviation for "Can I have", then the actual number 1 instead of "a"... ugh. Just yuck.


    Why is "one fork" 一本 and "one spoon" 一つ? I know about counters, but they seem to be similar objects.


    本 (for counting long stuff) made me chuckle. How about (for counting long objects)? Sounds more professional.


    So, they use the counter 本 for forks but the generic つ for spoons. Why?


    Why did spoon use the つ counter instead of 本.


    I guess they gave up on using the chopsticks.






    If 本 is a counter for long objects, can it be used for spoons too?


    Does 本 apply for all silverware?


    This is ridiculous on these type of questions it's like 33%/33%/33% that it only accepts "GIVE ME...." or "CAN I HAVE..." or that it also accepts "x please"

    x please is usually the most natural way to translate it imo and regardless the fact that it keeps changing which type of answer it expects is frustrating.


    The fact that certain answers are accepted for some translations but not for others with the same structure is much less nonsensical when you consider the fact that every new translation has to be added manually. If you want your translation to be accepted, the best thing you can do is to simply report it and wait and see.


    Couldn't you just ask "フォ一クをください"?


    Yes, why would anyone ask for "one" fork instead of simply saying "Fork, please?" Or for better English, "A fork please"? Is it typical in Japanese to specify one of something?


    "本 -- counter for long cylindrical things." Cylindrical... How the **** is the fork cylindrical?!


    it's more like a counter for thin and long things, for example you can count rivers with this.

    "They don't have to be perfect sticks, cylinders, or rectangles. As long as the object is more than twice as long as it is wide and somewhat stick/cylinder-shaped, it's likely to be accepted into the 本-counter fold"

    from this article that talks about this particular counter:



    Can this also be used for spoons? Duo seems to only use 本 as a counter for forks for some reason but would I be wrong in thinking it would be used for spoons and knives too? Or is there a reason that the つ forms are used with those? Thanks in advance!


    I've seen "下さい” being written a lot. How come it's not acceptable here?


    I want to know more about this counters, I will read all this messages



    it says "fork, 1, please" or " 1 fork please.


    フォーク(fork)をひとつください。=フォークを一本(いっぽん)ください。 りんご(apple)をひとつください。=りんごを一個(いっこ)ください。 ラーメン(ramen)をひとつください。=ラーメンを一杯(いっぱい)ください。 本(book)をひとつください。=本を一冊(いっさつ)ください。 まっちゃあじのキットカット(matcha flavored Kitkat)をひとつください。


    "本" For counting long stuff?


    I'd say "A fork please." rather than "One fork please".


    Could we also use 一つ?

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