1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "It took twelve months."

"It took twelve months."


July 19, 2017



what's the little symbol before 月?


Someone had explained but I lost the thread. (Another problem of Duo.)

This is a little Ke symbol but it is pronounced as が. It is a counter word for month. 十二が月 is 12 months while 十二月 is December.


I've never heard it read as が, only か. So 十二ヶ月 is pronounced じゅうにかげつ.


【が】 when used as a conjunction, 【か】 when used as a counter. Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_ke?oldid=479647196


ヶ (pronounced か)


"An abbreviation for the kanji 箇 (ka), the counter for months, places or provisions.

Note that ヶ is a graphical abbreviation of the top of the character (⺮, 竹), and is pronounced カ ka (or ガ ga), not as ケ ke."

You'll mainly see it when a span of several months is specified, e.g. 一ヶ月(いっかげつ) - a duration/period of one month.


I managed to take six of them back, but I'm afraid the other six may be gone forever...

Just a reminder that languages are weird, and that something that may at first seem confusing will eventually become normal with practice, so don't give up!


I don't understand one thing. Why don't we put a placement marker after the month like を or か or は? For example:

十二ヶ月 (を/か /は) かかりました。


This is a behavior you will find in most counters, in this case, ~ヶ月 is modifying かかりました (the verb) directly in an adverbial way, similar to how you can place temporal relative nouns like 今日 or 明日 without any particle after the topic.




Is an uncommonly used kanji, so duolingo does not teach it, nor does it accept it.


It's on the list of 常用漢字 and required for N1 (also taught in RTK1), so can't be that uncommon?


It's actually required for N5, and I wasn't sure if it's in the list of 常用漢字 or not, all I know is that jisho says that it's usually written using kana alone for every different meaning.


It does say it is usually written in kana for this word, but I'm in no position to judge how often "usually" is in this example. 60% of the time? 99%?

Based on what is written on jisho.org, 掛け (referring to "credit") or 掛け算 (multiplication​) are some examples that don't say anything about being written mostly in kana. According to that dictionary, it's actually an N3 character.


In any case, if it's a 常用漢字 character, it's worth knowing IMO. I'd rather Duolingo accept it, but just have the recommended answer left in kana by default if that is the preferred way.


That's true, it should be accepted, and while some uses may be usually written in kana, it seems this one is not. Jisho actually mentions here that it's N5 level for the verb, which is what we're using here.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.