Lesson 4.4

Dialogue 4 Headphones

Co-workers go out for a drink after a long day.

Waitress:Go-chuumon wa? May I take your order?



Tanaka:Toriaezu, biiru, san-bon kudasai. For starters, three beers, please



Michael:Sore kara sashimi o futa-tsu to yakitori o hito-tsu onegai-shimasu. And two orders of sashimi and one order of yakitorti, please.

    ふた     や  とりひと      ねが


Beer has been poured for everyone.

Tanaka: Kyou wa otsukare-sama deshita. Thanks for all your hard work today.

きょう  つか


Ja, kanpai! Well, cheers!



Everyone:Kanpai! Cheers!



Vocabulary Headphones

chuumon ちゅうもん注文 order (at a restaurant)

gochuumon ごちゅうもんご注文 order (at a restaurant) (polite)

toriaezu とりあえず first off, for the moment

biiru びいるビール beer

san-bon さんぼん三本 three bottles, See 4-1-1

sorekara それから and, then

sashimi さしみ sashimi

futa-tsu ふたつ二つ three items See 4-1-1

yokitori やきとり焼き鳥 skewered BBQ chicken

hito-tsu ひとつ一つ one item See 4-1-1

kanpai かんぱい乾杯 cheers, a toast

chuumon-shimasu ちゅうもんします注文します place an order

ryouri りょうり料理 cuisine, cooking

menyuu めにゅうメニュー menu

sushi すし寿司 sushi

tempura てんぷら天ぷら tempura

tabemono たべもの食べ物 food

nomimono のみもの飲み物 drink(s)

nama なま生 draft beer, raw

wain わいんワイン wine

sake さけ酒 sake

uuron-cha ううろんちゃウーロン茶 oolong tea

niku にく肉 meat

sakana さかな魚 fish

yasai やさい野菜 vegetables



Additional Food and Condiments Headphones

misoshiru みそしるみそ汁 miso soup

tamago たまご卵、玉子 egg

nori のり seaweed

ebi えび shrimp

sake さけ鮭 salmon

gyuuniku ぎゅうにく牛肉 beef

butaniku ぶたにく豚肉 pork

toriniku とりにく鶏肉 chicken

suteeki すていきステーキ steak

karee かれいカレー curry

yakiniku やきにく焼き肉 yakiniku (Korean BBQ beef)

yakisoba やきそば焼きそば yakisoba (Stir-fried noodles)

shouyu しょうゆ醤油 soy sauce

miso みそ味噌 miso

shio しお塩 salt

koshou こしょう胡椒 pepper

satou さとう砂糖 sugar


Grammar Notes

4-4-1 More Classifiers: ~hon, ~tsu

In Lesson 3, it was explained that when counting things in Japanese, numbers are combined with specific classifiers that are conventionally used for the nouns being counted. We add two classifiers, ~hon~tsu, in this lesson.

The classifier ~hon is used to count long cylindrical objects such as bottles, pens, umbrellas, bananas, etc. The classifier ~tsu is the most generic classifier, which can be used for both tangible and intangible items such as opinions, meetings, etc. It is also used for items that do not have a special classifier. So, it may be a safe choice when you are not sure what classifier to use.

There are two numerical systems in Japanese: one of Chinese origin, which was introduced in Lesson 3, and another system of Japanese origin. The latter only goes up to the number ten.

1 hito, 2 futa, 3 mi, 4 yo, 5 itsu, 6 mu, 7 nana, 8 ya, 9 kokono, 10 tou

The classifier ~hon is combined with Chinese numerals. Note that alternatives for ~hon are ~pon (for 1, 6, 8, 10) and ~bon (for 3 and how many). The classifier ~tsu is combined with Japanese numerals and for quantities over ten Chinese numerals without a classifier are used: juu-iti, juu-ni, juu-san, etc.

Table 15. Expressions of -tsu and -hon/pon/bon when combined with numbers 1-11, as well as an unknown number.

~tsu Headphones

~hon/pon/bon Headphones


hito-tsu 一つ

ip-pon 一本


futa-tsu 二つ

ni-hon 二本


mit-tsu 三つ

san-bon 三本


yot-tsu 四つ

yon-hon 四本


itsu-tsu 五つ

go-hon 五本


mut-tsu 六つ

rop-pon 六本


nana-tsu 七つ

nana-hon 七本


yat-tsu 八つ

hap-pon 八本


kokono-tsu 九つ

kyuu-hon 九本



jup-pon or jip-pon 十 本


juuichi 十一

juuip-pon 十一本


ikutsu/oikutsu いくつ

nan-bon 何本

4-4-2 Quantity Expressions

There are two kinds of quantity expressions in Japanese. One is comprised of a number and classifier (san-bon, hito-tsu, etc.) and the other is a general quantity expression (chotto, suskoshi, takusan, zenbu, minna, etc.) Within a sentence they both usually occur right before the verb, adjective, or noun +desu. Unlike English, the noun usually comes before the amount in Japanese.

Biiru, san-bon kudasai.Three (bottles of) beers, please.

Sashimi wa hito-tsu 1000-en desu.One sashimi is ¥ 1000.

Mizu o sukoshi nomitai desu.I want to drink a little bit of water.

As shown in the examples above, a quantity expression is typically marked by the lack of a particle. It is not followed by the particle ga or o. However, it can be followed by the particle wa or mo. When wa follows a quantity expression, it means ‘at least’ and when mo follows it, it implies that the number is big (that much!)

Mainichi, shukudai ga hito-tsu wa arimasu.

I have at least one HW assignment everyday.

Obentou o futatsu mo tabemashita. I ate all two bentos.

How are multiple items and numbers listed up in Japanese? Suppose we want to say ‘Three apples and four oranges, please.’ Combine the following two sentences into one.

Ringo o mit-tsu kudasai. Three apples, please.

Mikan o yot-tsu kudasai. Four oranges, please.

[Ringo o mit-tsu] to [mikan o yot-tsu] kudasai.

Three apples and four oranges, please.

There is no limit on how many things can be listed, but it is rare to list more than three items.

Onigiri ga mit-tsu to sando ga itsu-tsu, sorekara mizu ga ni-hon arimasu.

There are three onigiri, five sandwiches, and two bottles of water.

Drills and Exercises


Listen to the audio. Following the first two model exchanges, respond to each cue.

Cue: Go-hon desu ne. Five, right?

ご ほ ん


Response: Ie, rop-pon desu. No, six. Headphones



Cue: Mit-tsu desu ne. Three, right? Response: Ie, yot-tsu desu. No, four.




Cue: Sashimi to biiru desu ka.Sashimi and beer? Headphones


Response: Hai, sashimi o futa-tsu to biiru o sdan-bon kudasai. Yes, two sashimi and three beers, please.

    ふた                   さんぼん


Cue: Ringo to mikan desu ka.Apples and oranges?


Response: Hai, ringo o futa-tsu to Mikan o mit-tsu kudasai. Yes, two apples and three oranges, please.

    ふた                          みっ


C. Say it in Japanese.

At a restaurant, order the following:

  1. two draft beers to start
  2. three beers and one oolong tea
  3. two black teas and one strawberry cake
  4. three sashimi, five sake, and two orange juices
  5. two orders of Today’s Fish and one vegetable tempura. No beverages. Just tea.

D. Act these roles in Japanese with a partner.

  1. Ask Ms. Honda what her favorite food is.
  2. At a restaurant, get the attention of the waiter and ask for a) a menu, b) more water.
  3. You’ve been asked to get the following items. Find out how many are needed: chairs; pencils; bottled water; bento; umbrella; bananas; apples.
  4. The project is over. You want to propose a toast. Make sure that everyone has a drink, acknowledge everyone’s hard work, and then propose a toast.
  5. Discuss what people usually have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Japan and in your home country. Drinks?




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