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  5. "How many hours do they work?"

"How many hours do they work?"


July 25, 2017



It would be nice if Duolingo still provided the audio playback of the correct answer.


It’s an extra step, but you can always open the sentence discussion and listen to the audio there.


does it only work on computer? it doesnt give me that option on mobile.


It works for me on the iPhone app, but apparently doesn't work on the Android app. Anyone with a phone could open Duolingo in their web browser instead of the app to have the same options as those using it on a computer.


It works for my android phone tho this comment is probably old, I don't have the dates here


Ha i opened it up and it read the English version


It seems to be in Japanese now, but sometimes that bug crops up with sentences and needs to be reported: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-


How do you open the sentence discussion (on an android)? I have so often thought this would be helpful, to be able to hear the correct answer!


You are in the sentence discussiom right now...

  • 1195

You're missing the point. They wanted to hear the audio preview of the sentence, but the Android app doesn't have that feature like in the web version.


You're reading the comment through the lens of knowing that Android doesn't allow listening from the sentence discussion. We're all reading the comment through the lens of the person is posting in the sentence discussion asking how to open the sentence discussion. We're coming from different viewpoints that led to confusion. If we don't all have the same information, we don't come to the same conclusion. Trying to understand where another person is coming from is an important part of communicating on this forum, which is why I appreciated the information that you posted about Android users not having access to audio playback.


It does, it's on the top of this discussion thread, I am using it right now from Android.

Having said that, I can't see any date stamps so it could be that this was an issue that existed previously and has since been fixed.


The user asked how to open the sentence discussion, not how to listen to the audio, so I can understand 69wQcO's confusion. I can't believe Android still doesn't support playing the audio in the discussions, that's helpful to know.

  • 1195

@IsolaCiao : Yes they did ask to how to open the sentence discussion... but why? In order to listen to the audio. Read again.

How do you open the sentence discussion (on an android)? I have so often thought this would be helpful, to be able to hear the correct answer!

  • 1195

I think the discussion's audio preview is not available on the Android version, you can just go to the browser (on the same Android device) and look for this discussion there.


Oh holy cow i actually never noticed that and ive been here three years. Dude, thanks!


Not seeing a playback here (Web version)


Scroll up to the top where the sentence and translation are, and click the blue sound button to the left of it.


That would be so helpful.


"何時間" is pronounced "なんじかん".


Why not いくつ?


いくつ is for counting things. I think that it doesn't counts time


You are correct, but to clarify: いくつ means how many, but only when reffering to something that you would otherwise use the counter つ for.

Example: 椅子がいくつありますか? 【isu ga ikutsu arimasuka】 "How many chairs are there?" 椅子が六つあります。 【isu ga muttsu arimasu】 "There are 6 chairs."


I believe the Kanji is: 彼らは何時間働きますか?


adding kana:

【かれ -らは・なん -じかん・はたらきますか?】

more about the ~時間 counter here:



I just cannot figure out when I should use 働きます and 仕事をします...


働きます (hatarakimasu) is the verb for "to work/labor"

仕事をします (shigoto wo shimasu) is shigoto (noun: work/job) and shimasu (verb: to do), so literally "To do my job"

They can be interchangeable in some cases but hatarakimasu is a general work and shigoto wo shimasu is more specifically a job or business


I understand this, but does duolingo follow this rule, or is it just random like with "すくなくない"?


Other problems with the same English verb "work" accept both, but not this one (as of 2019-10-02). I'm reporting it.


何時間彼らは働きますか?wouldn't it be the same?


I had the same thought, would love to know how important order is when using 何


In case anyone else is wondering, there is a "best way" to order your sentences. https://8020japanese.com/japanese-word-order/

(just because you can doesn't mean you should.)


Great article, thank you! Have a lingot


I replied like this and got it wrong. 彼ら should be at the beginning of the sentence.


Wouldn't you omit the 'karera'?


Kakera means they, if you omitted then it's implied that the question is for "you"


I believe if you did, あなた would be implied in it's place.


I disagree. Everything I've read about Japanese has said that when information is omitted, it is clear from the context; there aren't such rules about what the information is when it is omitted.


The context of a topic is heavily required when deciding who is being spoken about or of. If you were having a conversation about a person in particular, simply asking this question out of the blue would imply you're talking about that same person. If you said it as a complete conversational pivot (i.e. you mention this when talking to someone else about themselves), even though you meant it about a different person, it would be implied that it was directed to the person you're talking to. "彼ら" can only be omitted if it's clear who you're talking about, which context provides.


On the contrary I think Duolingo is attempting to teach us here that yes, you can omit info but don't expect to be understood if the context is not clear, AND, the word "karera" which is not in previous modules.


I'm a bit confused. If "Nani" literally means "what", and "nanjikan" is literally "hours", why/how does it turn into "how many hours" and not "what hours"? Am I possibly looking into this too much, and it's just a matter of looking at a literal translation, or is there a science behind it?


何 (nan) + counter = how many ~

何時間 (nanjikan) = how many hours?

犬は何匹 (inu wa nanbiki) = how many dogs?


Thank you your explanation. I understand.


間 refers to an interval or space between something. So 何時間 literally means "what hour between". To put it in English context, it would be "What hours are spaced between this interval?", or, as we colloquially communicate, "How many hours?"


And the gap between two times is usually referred to as the 'duration', which makes the sentence a lot clearer...


Good shot. I was thinking of "timespan", but I like "duration" more. Nan jikan = what duration, that's perfect.


I would say that "Nan/nani" = "what" ; "jikan" = "amount of time"; so "nanjikan" => "what amount of time" which is equivalent to "how many hours" /"how much time"


My first instinct was to throw a が in there as well. "彼らは何時間が働きますか". Not sure whether it's for the better or worse though.


Duo says it's incorrect with が but I don't understand why


時間 acts like a counter, so you wouldn't use a particle with it.


I put で in that position but it was marked wrong


Question about the sentence structure. Isn't "how many hours" sort of an object in this sentence? Why is it that they don't add the particle を after 何時間?


はたらきます is an intransitive verb, which means that it never has a direct object and cannot take the を particle. You can check transitive vs. intransitive verbs by checking the word in the dictionary (eg Jisho.org). (Minor exception: intransitive motion verbs can take を if the location involved in the motion is the direct object.)


The particle は is used twice? Why?


はたらき means work as a verb. The は is not a particle here, but part of a word.


かれらは何時間(なんじかん)(nanjikan)はたらきますか? かれら=theyは=is何時間=howmanyはたらきますか?=do you work


かれら = they. は = (marks the topic). 何時間 = how many hours. はたらきますか? = work?


My first impression of this sentence is "what time do they work?" As in what time do they begin working.


That would use 何時 instead of 何時間


Because the "間" part of 時間 denotes the passage of time (a "space" of time, so to speak), right?


Why there is no particle beetwen "nanjikan" and "hatarakimasu"


It's like this with 何+smth. Even in English you use "how many hours". Becouse the "smth" defines "何", you don't need it.


please somebody explain this sentence to me .. i though that いつmeans how many..but when i wrote it he said that the correct answer is 何but if we translated it ...it would have been (what hours do they work) Like that i think ... so shouldn't we say いつ?


いつ is "when/how soon"
You could use that for "When do they work" asking for a specific time they start working, but here you're specifically asking "what span of hours do they work",

There is more than one way to ask "how many" in Japanese, but typically you use the counter for the specific thing you want to ask about, prefixed with 何 where the amount would go when counting   何冊 - what number of volumes
何人 - what number of people
何時間 - what number of hours

For numbers that are counted with the counter つ (using the native Japanese numbers rather than Sino-Japanese like most counters do) you use いくつ instead of 何つ
テーブルはいくつありますか how many tables are there?
テーブルが三つあります - there are three tables


Why not "karera wa itsu hatarakimasu ka?"


That would be "When do they work", looking for a time.
This question is asking for a number of hours 何時間



I wrote this. Am i wrong ?


It should be okay and worth an error report. 仕事をします sounds more natural to me in this context, though I can't give you a concrete reason why.


Can I say 彼らはいくつ時間働きますか?


Not quite; You've combined two question words into one there,
何時間 - How many hours (時間 is a counter for hours, you'd get a reply of something like 三時間・さんじかん "three hours")
いくつ - How many things (つ is a general counter for things, you'd get a reply of 三つ・みっつ "three things")
So it reads something like "How many things hours do they work"


why 彼女たち instead of 彼ら doesnt work? can't women also work lmao? or maybe i am too stupid to understand what did i do wrong? my whole answer was "彼女たちは何時間働きますか"


It looks correct to me. Maybe it just hasn't been added to the alternate answers yet and needs to be reported as "my answer should be accepted": https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/38591435


Difference between hataraki and shigoto?


はたらく is a verb while しごと


The cliffhanger..is shigoto a noun?


Shouldn't 何時間彼らは働きますか be acceptable too?


I typed かれらは何時間をはたらきますか . Is を unnecessary here?


はたらきます is an intransitive verb, which means you cannot use を with it because it has no direct object.

Think of transitive/action verbs like "to eat" or "to drink." They have a very clear direct object that you're performing the action on. In contrast, "to work" isn't performing the action on anything in particular.


ok so just as a wonder because i dont know, do they separate words with spaces at all or is it supposed to look like one giant word? ive been wanting to ask this for quite some time


In normal, everyday Japanese there are no spaces. It may seem like one giant word, but because there are kanji, hiragana, and katakana, it's usually easy to intuit where one word stops and another begins. In children's books where everything is written in hiragana there are often spaces after some words to make it easier to read.




Why is there no need for a を between 彼らは何時間 and 働きますか? ?


働く is an intransitive verb, meaning it does not take a direct object. You can't literally do the action of work to the noun of time/hours


I see. Thank you :)


doesn't this mean "what hours do they work?", which is not the same as "How many hours do they work?"


The kanji 間 is a gap or span, combined with time/the hour counter 時, 時間 marks a period/length of time. So the question is more "What length of time/hours do they work". Which gets more comfortably simplified to "how many hours" in English.
Without it 彼らは何時働きますか would mean "What time/hour(s) do they work"


Why is there no particle between 時間 and 働き ?


時間 is a counter, and counters can act like adverbs, meaning they don't need a particle when placed in front of a verb.



Cells at Work! はたらく細胞


How does this sound: 彼らはどのぐらい働きますか


That would be "how much do they work?", versus the Duolingo question specifically asking "how many hours do they work?"



そういう事ですね.. ありがとうござます ごめん


Does "かれらは" have to be in front? I thought the order was rather free in Japanese, or is it possible to take it too far in some cases?


How exactly does one type 時間 on the android keyboard? I type ぢかん and the only option I get is 痔間.


じかん jikan should get you the proper kanji
ぢ is rarely used in words aside from cases of repeated sounds「縮む・ちぢむ」 and rendaku「馬鹿力・ばかぢから」
All other instances of "ji" are written with じ


I use the Japanese IME with an English keyboard. Typing "jikan" gives 時間 as the first suggestion.


Is this used for multiple people only, or as a gender neutral pronoun like they in English? Thanks for any help!


It's only for multiple people.


how's "何時間彼らは働きますか?" marked as wrong?


Doesn't " 彼らは何時間働きますか?" translate as "what hours do they work?" which would prompt a reply of 9am to 5pm, say. Surely "how many hours do they work" should be " 彼らはいくつ時間働きますか ?"


No. Japanese uses a system of counter words (typically based on the size/shape of the thing you're counting), and "how many" is translated differently, based on the counter. いくつ is used when the counter is つ, but many (most?) are 何+counter. 時間 is the counter for hours of duration, and "how many" is translated as 何時間 when that is the counter used.


Thank you. So, How would I ask, "What hours do they work?"


If you want to know when someone starts and gets off work, I would opt for 何時から何時まで, literally "from what time to what time".


Could this also be " what hours did they work"

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