Did I Really Do That?

I did the corrections on my exam after finishing Minna no Nihongo 1.  Most of them were simply careless errors, but there was one I just could not get for the life of me.  It was a conversation, and I had to come up with a reasonable last line for it.  I thought I had a good one…Makisan said we would talk about it at my next lesson.  Ominous, don’t you think?

In the meantime, I have started to look over Minna No Nihongo 2…more vocabulary per chapter and subtler points of grammar.  Makisan was not exaggerating when she told me it would be more difficult and slower!

Did you hear that thump?  That was me banging my head on the desk.  “Why?” you ask.  Because I just got a message with an attachment from Makisan:  これを見てください。


Here’s the question I missed and couldn’t figure out how to correct:

exam minna

In case anyone can’t read this, it says:

A:  How much does this shirt cost?

B: 1,980 yen.  (As of this writing, that’s a little over $18.00.)

A: That’s cheap, isn’t it?  Well…

And I finished that sentence with, “I will buy three of them,” and Makisan marked that one as being wrong.  Now, the other questions I missed, I could see what I did wrong and fix it, but this one just seemed perfect to me.

Then I go that message with the attachment.  Darn it.  Counters!

I wrote: 三つを買います。  I will buy three.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

The counter for flat items like shirts, postage stamps, etc is まい, so for three shirts you don’t use just さん (three) or 三つ which is kind of all purpose for three “things” but さんまい! Because…Japanese.

I knew that!

Oh, well.  I’ll be I remember it next time!  That’s the thing about mistakes.  A mistake is just something to help you remember better next time.









2 thoughts on “Did I Really Do That?

  1. Oh, counters…. Isn’t Japanese fun? 🙂
    There are some really obscure ones, too, like for “streaks of smoke.”
    Here’s a pretty exhaustive list: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/count-in-japanese/

    I can see you as the type of person who would memorise every one of these. That would definitely impress the average Japanese person, but most of the counters I don’t think you need to worry about…

    In fact, I think using the proper counter for a very specific thing is a bit pedantic, like saying “whom” where most would say “who,” or “posterior to” instead of “after.”


  2. I got a good laugh out of your post because I can always make my wife laugh by being excessively pedantic on purpose. Thanks for the link to the counter list. I do have a natural tendency toward the pedantic, and I do have a tendency to like to do things completely…but I also have a mountain of vocabulary to learn right now, so I think I’ll have to stick to the basic counters for now.

    Mind you, there may come a day…


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