How to Count Food, Dishes and Drinks in Japanese

食べ物や 飲み物の 数え方
(たべものや のみものの かぞえかた)

In Japanese, most nouns don’t have plural forms. Instead, there are different counters depending on what you are counting. Learn how to count food and drinks in Japanese.

いっぴん、にひん (ippin, nihin)
品: counter for dishes (ex: oden)
いちにんまえ、ににんまえ (ichininmae, nininmae)
人前: counter for the same dishes (一人前 = a portion for one)
いちまい、にまい (ichimai, nimai)
枚: counter for thin items (ex: plate)
いちぜん、にぜん (ichizen, nizen)
善: counter for chopsticks
いちぜん、にぜん (ichizen, nizen)
膳: counter for bowls of rice
いっこ、にこ (ikko, niko)
個: counter for small items (ex: riceball)
いっかん、にかん (ikkan, nikan)
貫: counter for sushi
いちまい、にまい (ichimai, nimai)
枚: counter for thin items (ex: dried seaweed)
いっぱい、にはい (ippai, nihai)
杯: counter for drinks
いちごう、にごう (ichigō, nigō)
合: counter for sake bottles
いっぱい、にはい (ippai, nihai)
杯: counter for bowls of ramen (or any soup)
ひとたま、ふたたま (hitotama, futatama)
玉: counter for noodle servings
いっぽん、にほん (ippon, nihon)
本: counter for long, cylindrical items (ex: dango on a stick)

That was 13 flashcards!

Listen to how the sounds of the counters change from one to ten in the video:


Review Quiz

Q: How do you count bowls of rice?

(A: Scroll back to the rice flashcard and flip for the answer.)

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  1. […] Nihongo Flashcards: Learn a few more great counters with these interactive flashcards! […]

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