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What time is it?


1ichi 11juu-ichi 21nijuu-ichi
2ni 12juu-ni 22nijuu-ni
3san 13juu-san 23nijuu-san
4shi / yon / (yo*) 14juu-shi / juu-yon 24nijuu-shi / nijuu-yon
5go 15juu-go 25nijuu-go
6roku 16juu-roku 26nijuu-roku
7shichi / nana 17juu-shichi / juu-nana 27nijuu-shichi / nijuu-nana
8hachi 18juu-hachi 28nijuu-hachi
9kyuu / (ku*) 19juu-kyuu 29nijuu-kyuu
10juu 20ni-juu 30san-juu

Yo (4) and ku (9) are used for the time.

-ji, 8-ji desu

-ji is a counter meaning "o'clock", e.g. 2-ji (ni-ji) means "two o'clock".
As the chart shows, numbers 4, 7 and 9 can be read in more than one way
When expressing time, 4:00 is yo-ji, 9:00 is ku-ji. 7:00 is usually read as shichi-ji, but nana-ji is also acceptable.

1:001-jiichi-ji 7:007-jishichi-ji, nana-ji
2:002-jini-ji 8:008-jihachi-ji
3:003-jisan-ji 9:009-jiku-ji*
4:004-jiyo-ji* 10:0010-jijuu-ji
5:005-jigo-ji 11:0011-jijuu-ichi-ji
6:006-jiroku-ji 12:0012-jijuu-ni-ji

Gozen & gogo"a.m. & p.m."

"a.m." is gozen, "p.m." is gogo. These words precede the time indicated.

Gozen hachi-ji "8 a.m.", Gogo ku-ji "9 p.m.".


Minute is -fun or -pun. Han is common for "half past", for example, ni-ji han, 2:30.

5 minutesgo-fun 10 minutesjuppun
15 minutesjuugo-fun 20 minutesnijuppun
25 minutesnijuugo-fun 30 minutessanjuppun
35 minutessanjuugo-fun 40 minutesyonjuppun
45 minutesyonjuugo-fun 50 minutesgojuppun
55 minutesgojuugo-fun 60 minutesrokujuppun

Nan-ji desu ka?"What time is it?"

Nan means "what" and nan-ji desu ka? means "What time is it?".

Kara & made"from" & "to", "until"

Kara means "from". 9-ji (ku-ji) kara desu can be translated into "It is from 9:00.", "It is open from 9:00.", or "It starts at 9:00.".

Made means "to" or "until". 5-ji (go-ji) made desu can mean "It closes at 5:00." or "It finishes at 5:00".

Chotto matte kudasai

Chotto matte kudasai is a common phrase for "Just a moment, please." or "Hold on, please." In Japanese. This is a casual expression. The formal expression is Shooshoo omachi kudasai.

Chotto means "a little" or "just". This word is frequently added to the beginning of a sentence in order to soften one's statement.

Soo desu ka"I see"

Soo desu means "Yes, it is." or "That's right.". Soo desu ka with the ending lowered is not a question but it means "I see".

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