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What’s the Date?



Now that I have anesthetized you against the agony of irregulars, it’s time to introduce you to the irregular date forms. When used to indicate dates or count days, the NICHI pronunciation of this kanji is standard:


  • 二十一日 にじゅういちにち the 21st; twenty-one days
  • 十六日  じゅうろくにち    the 16th; sixteen days



There are, however, a heap of irregulars. And for the most part, these just have to be memorized:


  • 一日 ついたち the 1st
  • 二日 ふつか        the 2nd, two days
  • 三日 みっか        the 3rd, three days
  • 四日 よっか        the 4th, four days
  • 六日 むいか        the 6th, six days
  • 七日 なのか        the 7th, seven days
  • 八日 ようか        the 8th, eight days
  • 九日 ここのか    the 9th, nine days
  • 十日 とおか        the 10th, ten days
  • 二十日 はつか the 20th, twenty days


  • Tsuitachi 一日is the oddball among oddballs here. It only refers to the date. To indicate “one day,” use ichinichi一日 (same kanji).
  • Here’s another exception. To say “two or three days” use the “regular form”: nisannichi 二三日.