June 29, 2021

JLPT N5 Grammar: Spanning Time ~時間/~分/~ぐらい


Finally, let's look at expressing spans of time. How many hours (時間(じかん)), how many minutes ((ふん)), and about how long (くらい・ぐらい).

時間(じかん): This means "time" in general as well has "hour."

You probably know how to ask the time and give it:

What time
is it?

It is one o'clock.

But adding (かん) (space; interval) gives us a span of time.

When will you return?

(I) will return in (the span of) an hour

I study Japanese for two hours every day.

(ふん): This means "minute", a unit of time. As mentioned previously, the pronunciation is ふん, it can also be ぷん depending on what number it follows. Here are the "pun" pronunciations:

As mentioned previously, these patterns just repeat themselves. So, if you want 11 minutes, it is 11(じゅういっ)(ぷん). And 18 minutes can be either 18(じゅっはっ)(ぷん) or 18(じゅうはち)(ふん).

くらい・ぐらい: This means "about", and, once again, the pronunciation can change depending on the speaker.

Unlike 分, the sound change isn't standardized. While there were historical reasons for one or the other, today, the difference isn't clear and くらい and ぐらい are pretty much interchangeable.

About two hours

The test takes about thirty minutes.



to kill time

to waste time

to not have time;
to run out of time

 ■ 一日(いちにち)おき
every other day

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