1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I eat at around twelve o'clo…

"I eat at around twelve o'clock."


October 15, 2017



What is the difference between writing or saying 十二 and れい? Both means 12 right? or is れい exclusively for referring to midday? I used れい for this and got it wrong.


I'm pretty sure in this context れい means zero. So zero o'clock is midnight on a 24-hour clock.


The problem with this, however, is that it's not clear. People can (and do) eat at midnight. Needs context. :/


Although there are words that can be used for AM and PM (ごぜん and ごご respectively), Japanese generally uses a 24-hour clock.

So the majority of the time, 12:00 means noon.


れい means zero. The Japanese don't say 12 AM but basically 0 AM if you translate it literally.


I used れい and it accepted (July 2020)


why is 'ni' used in this sentence and not 'wo'?


Basically because you are not eating the "12 o'clock" but rather eating at that time.


If the 'wo' was 'wa', it would still mean "I am eating the 12 o'clock," right? Just asking


assuming by wa you mean は, that would mean that 12 o'clock can eat


Not necessary. The particle "wa" marks the topic of the sentence, which might be the subject as well, but it doesn't have to be.


I think that "wo" is used for the object of the verb while "ni" is a complement for the time or the place where the action takes place


the wo particle is used to mark direct objects ( receives the action of the verb ) the ni particle is used to mark some time phrases or indicate destination


why is に correct but not へ?


Because へ is used for movement, for example 日本へ行きます(I go to japan).

Movement is only one of the many functions of に, so I could also say 日本に行きます, or for example, 部屋に猫がいます(There is a cat in the room), which I use に to determine the place where the cat exists, that へ Can't be used for because it is only used for movement.

In this phrase, it was used to determine the moment, period in time you eat.


I'd have to add that even the intro says "theyre pretty much interchangeable" kinda misleading if you ask me. Your explanation is better


As well as such, keep in mind when they say "pretty much interchangeable" they mean in the sense that "ni" is to square as "he" is to rectangle. Every rectangle is a square, but not every square is a rectangle. So, really "ni" is the only one really interchangeable. But, "he" can be used in place of "ni" at times. Like Amodeus_R. said, "ni" is used for location/time/movement of something that is or will be. While, "he" is used mainly just for movement.


The mathematical truth is :"every square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square"


what's the difference between に and で? Can I say 部屋で猫がいます? Is it right?


で is used to mark the location at which the action takes place

に is used to mark a destination ( へ can also be used )

わたしはうちでコーヒーをのみます。watashi wa uchi de koohii wo nomimasu.

”i drink coffee at home.” the action is "drink" the drinking occurs at home so で is used here

わたしはきっさてんにいきます。watashi wa kissaten ni ikimasu.

"i go to the coffee shop." the action is "go" this action does not occur at or in the coffee shop but in the direction of the coffee shop so に is used.

に or へ are used to mark the destination of a movement verb で is used to mark the location of an "action" verb


に and へ are interchangeable when they are used to indicate the destination of movement。

わたしは土曜日にきっさてんにいきます。watashi wa douyoubi ni kissaten ni ikimasu。

わたしは土曜日にきっさんへいきます。watashi wa douyoubi ni kissaten he ikimasu

both mean "i go to the coffee shop on saturday"

the に used after 土曜日 is not interchangeable with he, に must be used here.


In another question ごろ was translated with "about", so I left it out here (there is no "about" in the English sentence). This is confusing.


JornV., "about" in this sentence is equivalent to "around," therefore "gore ni" supplies that information. You have probably figured that out already.


Since your starting a new phrase, can you say 私は十二時ごろに食べます or not?


You can, but japanese usually leaves 私 out of the sentence, whenever a new phrase or not


grammatically you can always include this information, but japanese is highly contextual and practically it is very annoying if you begin each phrase with watashi wa. so you only need to add or include this information if it would be unclear what you're talking about of if you specifically wanted to change the topic to yourself ( from another topic... that was not yourself )

in general it is assumed that you are talking about yourself if it is not otherwise specified and that questions are directed at other persons.

there is no context given for this exercise like all duolingo exercises so its recommended that you practice the shortest response possible.


I made a mistake here but it showed the correct answer being "十二時頃食べます。" instead of "十二時ごろに食べます。" (It will accept both as correct but there was only an option for the furigana, not the kanji)


ごろ is typically typed out using kana only, not kanji. Kanji exist for a lot of words, but just because they exist doesn't mean they're common in everyday use.

Also, just a note, you mean kana, not furigana; furigana is when you see kanji with small hiragana beside it as a reading aid.


What is ごろ?


It means "at around.."


would it just mean "around"? I thought the particle 「に」was what meant "at". Just curious


に is being specific while ごろ is approximate

so if you eat at exactly 5pm then に would be used if you eat anytime between ( eg ) 430pm and 530pm ごろ would be used

ごろに can also be used to mean "at around"

try to avoid word for word translating and focus on the sense of the word or phrase


You seem to be vaguely implying that ごろ can be used without に to convey the same meaning as ごろに, but you don't say so explicitly. Is that what you mean?

Your comment about trying to avoid word-for-word translating is unhelpful. We need to know what things mean in order to do any translating at all.


No. That is not what I said nor meant.

manuvillada93 above erroneously explains goro to mean at around and davaheaton asks about goro meaning around and ni meaning at

ni does not always mean at

languages and Japanese especially are highly contextual. Japanese is not a translation of English so while this is a good place to start trying to translate word for word can often be problematic especially in Japanese. This exercise is a good example of word for word translation working out ok. So, yes, knowing what words mean is important, but learning what words mean in a given context is more important. Trying to find a 1:1 mapping from each Japanese word to an English word is going to be very frustrating

But walking away from this exercise with the idea that ni means at will be problematic later. and understanding how and when particles are used is quite fundamental to learning Japanese.

so the distinction here is whether one is trying to communicate "around" or "at around". In English this doesn't strike me as a huge distinction for time. There isn't a meaningful difference between "I eat around 1" and "I eat at around 1"

there are some other great comments on this discussion also


ごろ means around. ごろに is at around.

[deactivated user]

    For anyone that's confused, here's a breakdown: 十二時: twelve o'clock ごろ: around に: time particle (in this case, "at") 食べます: I eat


    How could I change the phrase to say the same thing but about someone else? "You eat at twelve o'clock"


    You don't need to change anything if it's obvious from context that you're talking about the other person. For example, if you were having a conversation with someone about lunch and you phrased it is a question (just adding a か at the end), it would be obvious you meant them and not yourself, so the same sentence works.

    To be completely explicit about someone else, you'd add あなたは or (their name)-さんは (or whatever honorific is appropriate) to the front of the sentence. Using their name is more polite and you usually wouldn't use あなた.


    I tried swapping places for ni in hiragana with ni as two horizontal sticks, and it marked the sentence as incorrect. Don't try this at home.


    ni (as a particle) is hiragana only

    There's also: ニ katakana 二 kanji (two)


    Is there a difference to the katakana ニ and the kanji 二? Like pronunciation/meaning etc?



    The katakana ニ is always pronounced as ni.

    The kanji 二 has multiple pronunciations based on the context it is used in (ni being one of them). I suggest you look at https://jisho.org/search/%E4%BA%8C%20%23kanji to see all of them.


    The katakana ニ holds no meaning by itself. It just carries the ni sound to be used wherever katakana is used.

    The kanji 二 means the number two.


    If am not mistaken に is letter but 二 means 2 and is read as


    what is the purpose of ごろ?


    That's the "around", as in approximately.


    Can goro come first in the sentence?


    in this sentence is being used as a suffix, so it needs to go after the time.


    however, the word ごろ can also be used as a noun, for example, 「あの頃は懐かしい~」"Those days are dear to me" or "I miss those days"




    Why cant i use the PM thing at the beginning?


    The original sentence doesn't specify p.m.


    What is the difference between 十ニ時 and 十二時.


    Well, the second option is a more correct way of writing 12 o'clock in Japanese. The first one contains a katakana character ニ pronounced 'ni', the same way as the number 2 in Japanese. It may depend on the font, but katakana characters are generally smaller than kanji.

    If you wrote it by hand, it wouldn't make much of a difference, cause those characters look almost identical and everyone would assume it's the kanji for 2, not katakana. But here they are coded differently and cannot be used interchangeably (if you search them in an online dictionary, you would get two different results). Using katakana like that doesn't make much sense in an everyday writing. If you don't know a certain kanji, it's better to use hiragana in it's place (so, in this case, 十に時; though じゅうに時 or じゅうにじ look more natural).


    I wonder why it is に instead of を since Eat it's an action ??


    を is the object marker. It marks the recipient of the action. In this context, it would mark the thing that you eat. Since the thing that you eat is not specified in this sentence, there is nothing to mark with the を, and so there would be nowhere to put it.


    Could you say 十二時ごろを食べます?


    を is what the object is or to what the action was done. In this you need に which in this case will express clock times, it can also express days of the week, months, or years.

    (It is also used to express the destination of an action involving movement or the location where something is.)


    "It is also used to express the destination of an action involving movement"

    Like the accusative case in Latin? That is spooky. It's almost like there's some psychic connection linking the languages.


    十二【じゅうに】 時【じ】 食べ【たべ】


    I am confused. Can someone explain when and when not to use 私. Isn't I the topic?


    Japanese is highly contextual and is not egocentric like English. So you only need to include the pronoun if it is necessary to clarify. If it is not specified it is usually a safe assumption to assume that "I" am speaking.

    In English it is acceptable to string together a number of sentences that include "I"

    I went to the store. I bought vegetables. I saw a cat. I went home.

    In Japanese its annoying and unnecessary to constantly be using "watashi"

    I went to the store. bought some vegetables. saw a cat. went home.

    would be fine and since there is no explicit change of the topic it is understood to remain the same. Or eg if the question that prompted this response was "what did you do this weekend?" then it is understood that the topic is you and there is no need to repeat it even at the beginning.

    Here on Duolingo there is often no context, but again if not specified "I" is a good guess.


    I used 零時 and it was correct


    what's wrong with 私は十二時の周りに食べます?


    周り is "around" in terms of physical locations, like if you were saying, for example, "I know I have a pen around the house somewhere," or, "Let's look around."

    ごろ is "around" when you're using it as a suffix for a time.


    So I just learned 十二 is not the same as 十ニ so be aware of that. First time writing it out with the keyboard and got no warning. Live and learn I guess. Could someone tell me what this difference denotes? Is one just not intelligible?


    「二ニ」left one is a kanji for 2 二、the right one is the katakana for に ニ

    the best way to differentiate them, at least in my screen, is to compare it with the hiragana ni like 二にニ、the one that's is on the same level is the kana, the other one is the kanji.


    What does the "ni" do in "Goroni" Do I need to use it?


    it's the same に that you would use in「12時『に』」since ごろ is being used as a suffix to express "approximate time". The に marks the time in which the action「食べます」happens.


    Hello folks,

    I'm having trouble with the ごろ, when is it used and when is it not?

    The use of に and へ I understand but not this, where am I going wrong?


    Goro, in this context, means around. If you were to say "I eat at 12 o'clock", you'd say 十二時を食べます. Most people don't know the exact time they eat, so you usually say "I eat around 12 o'clock", per example. When duo gives you an exercise with the word "around" you put goro (ごろ) after the time (十二時ごろ).


    I wrote "十二時ごろ食べます" missing the “に" and was marked correct?


    When you put the "he" abd when not


    Do you mean the particle へ? It marks the direction of movement. Since there is no movement happening here there is no need for a directional particle.


    Why is dies the speaker say "toki" for the "ji" symbol?


    時 when by itself is pronounced with its kun-yomi reading "toki" meaning "time, hour, moment"
    Duo's TTS is unable to distinguish context when selecting a word individually so it uses what it thinks is the best reading for it when isolated.


    I wrote the exact phrase in my handwriting keyboard and it was wrong to Duolingo... I got the screenshot that prove it... I'm so angry!


    The most common problem with handwritten answers is that sometimes it will convert kanji to very similar-looking katakana or vice versa, such as 二 and ニ
    It's difficult to tell without copy-pasting your exact answer here exactly what made it get marked wrong, but that is something to look out for


    When do you use both ni and he in proper way?


    as far as indicating the destination of a verb of movement they are interchangeable


    in general に is more specific than へ in that it indicates an exact destination. you can think of へ as having the connotation of towards and being more poetic but up to this point this is not really a distinction you need to worry about having to make at this point

    one useful note is that when addressing a letter へ is used



    Funny, I was taught by my previous Japanese teacher that when you speak about eating but do not want to specify what is being eaten (using を), you shouldn't use 食べる at all but 食事する instead. Have I misunderstood what I have been taught?


    What is the difference between 二 and に?

    My answer is wrong when i use 二 instead of に. Can someone pleaee explain


    二 is the kanji for "two"
    に is the hiragana "ni" also used as a particle to mark time

    時ごろ食べます - I eat at around 12 o'clock"


    "ni" and "o" and "he" confuse me everytime


    I literally switched my "ni"s and got it wrong lol


    I got a wrong answer but when look at the answer key. It is the same with my answer.


    My answer is right but it's not accepting it


    We won't be able to help you figure out why without providing the exact answer that wasn't accepted, either by copy-pasting it here or providing a screenshot.


    I wrote Juu no ji goro ni tabemasu... it said its wrong


    It helps if you can show us your exact answer, otherwise your fellow learners here will not be able to tell you why it was wrong. Unless you are saying your answer was submitted in romaji, which wouldn't be accepted as Duo requires proper Japanese and doesn't accept romaji answers.

    In your romaji you have written "no" instead of "ni" which would be incorrect for 12 as well,
    十二・じゅうに juuni

    十二時ごろに食べます is the recommended answer for this question.


    I think my answer is right.


    No one here knows what your answer was, so there's no way for your fellow learners on this page to give you advice as to why it may have been wrong.


    I put for the: l eat at around twelve o'clock= juu ni ji goro ni tabemasu and they put it wrong, but they answer is the same as mine. Why?


    It helps if we can see your exact answer as you input it (either a direct copy-paste or preferably a screenshot)
    Romaji alone does not give us enough information. (Unless your actual answer was in romaji, in which case Duo does not accept romaji answers)


    I made the correct selections in the correct order, and it still marked me incorrect. I took a screenshot of it. It is these sort of errora that frustrates me with this app.


    I'm having a hard time with these lessons, does anyone have any tips? I'm specifically having some difficulty with where to put the words goro and gogo. Thanks. This lesson is making me wanna quit learning Japanese.


    I write "Juu ni ji goro ni tabe masu" and app said it's wrong answer. But answer of app is "Juu ni ji goro ni tabe masu" too. Why my answer is wrong even both answer the same?


    It helps if you can show us your exact answer as we will not know what actually went wrong without seeing how it was written, unless that was your exact answer in which case Duo does not accept romaji.


    Having the same issue here. I answered the correct answer. It says incorrect and the given correct answer is the same as mine


    I used 午前零時に食べます and it didn't worked...


    That would be "I eat at 12am"
    You're missing ごろ "around", and the Duo sentence does not specify AM or PM


    This is actually hard for me...


    I could not find きゅー as a kanji and i still cannot, why did it not accept just 9


    It should be spelled 「きゅう」ー is a long vowel mark used with katakana.
    For the time the pronunciation changes so 九時 is written くじ

    The number 9 does not appear in the sentence "I eat at around twelve o'clock" though so it wouldn't be accepted here anyway...

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