Words Related to Numbers in Japanese

◆How to count from 1 to 10

  • 一(いち)”one”
  • 二(に)”two” 
  • 三(さん) “three”
  • 四(よん/し) ”four”
  • 五(ご) ”five”
  • 六(ろく)”six”
  • 七(なな/しち) “seven”
  • 八(はち) ”eight”
  • 九(きゅう) ”nine”
  • 零(れい/ぜろ)”zero”

【About numbers with two readings】

  • We basically use the following readings when referring to numbers in daily life: 4 (よん) / 7 (なな) / 0 (ぜろ). 
  • When you count up from 1 to 10, you pronounce as:


  • When you count down from 10 to 1:


  • When you say the time on the clock, refer to the post “How to Tell Time in Japanese”.
  • When you tell your age, refer to the post “How to Say Your Age”.
  • For decimals, use the reading: 4 (よん) / 7 (なな) / 0 (れい). 
  • For other mathematics, such as calculations, we often use: 4 (よん) / 7 (なな) / 0 (ぜろ). 
  • In addition to this, the number reads differently depending on the word or counter that follows it. (For counters, refer to the post “Japanese Counter – 1”.)

◆How to tell two-digit numbers

The reading of two-digit numbers is a combination of the tens and ones. (If the number in the ones’ section is 0, you only read tens, not ones.)





三十(さんじゅう) “harmonica”

四十(よんじゅう) ”tambourine”

五十(ごじゅう) ”castanets”




九十(きゅうじゅう) “harmonica”

(百 [ひゃく]  ”tambourine”)




三(さん) “three”

四(よん/し) ”four”

五(ご) ”five”


七(なな/しち) “seven”

八(はち) ”eight”

九(きゅう) ”nine”


・25 is 20 (にじゅう) + 5 (ご). So you read it as 「にじゅうご」.

・20 has zero in the ones’ section, so you just need to read tens as にじゅう.



  • The numbers before (to the left of) the point are read as regular numbers, as explained in the previous post.
  • The point is read as 「てん」.
  • The numbers behind (to the right) the point are read one by one as “ones”.



12 (じゅうに)

. (てん)

3 (さん)

4 (よん)

→「じゅうに てん さん よん」


Numbers are read in the following order: 

・the number written at the bottom (the denominator), 

・the line「ぶんの」 (the vinculum), 

・the number written at the top (the numerator).


⅔: さん (th denominator) ぶんの (the line) に (the numerator).



  • たす “plus” ”add”
  • ひく ”minus” “subtract” 
  • は / イコール(わ / いこーる) “is” / “equals”
  • かける  ”times” “multiply”
  • わる  ”devide”
  • 電卓(でんたく)”calculator”


・1 + 2 = 3

(いち たす に は[わ] さん)

・5 – 4 = 1 

(ご ひく よん は[わ] いち)

・3 x 4 = 12

(さん かける よん は[わ] じゅうに)

・30÷5 = 6

(さんじゅう わる ご は[わ] ろく)

◆mathematical term

*When reading these, put a number in the Xs below.

  • かっこ x(かっこ えっくす)”x in brackets”
    *Some people say 「かっこ閉じる (かっことじる / “close the bracket”)」 to indicate the end of the brackets clearly, but usually, you just take a short pause before you read aloud the next (outside the brackets) equation.
  • ルート x(るーと えっくす)”the square root of x” 
  • x の y 乗(えっくす の わい じょう) “x to the power of y”
  • x パーセント(えっくす ぱーせんと) ”x percent”
  • プラス x(ぷらす えっくす) ”(positive) x”
  • マイナス x(まいなす えっくす)”negative x”