Kanji: 四 yon four

JLPT N5: 4 / 100 | 5 Strokes

On: シ
Kun: よん; よっ・つ

Mnemonics: Think of two little legs dangling in a FOUR sided box.

Stroke Order:


  •  four [can be pronounced シ or よん]
  • 四級(よんきゅう) 4th grade
  • 四月(よんがつ) April [the 4th month]


I have four cats.

  • 四匹(よんひき) four (cats) [The (ひき) looks like a (よん) but with a missing side. This (ひき) is a counter for small animals like cats. Japanese has many counters, but English has a few too. For example: a cup of coffee]
  • の (marker showing relationship and possession: 4 cats)
  • (ねこ) cat
  • を (direct object marker)
  • ()っています having (a pet); owning [The verb for owning/having pets is ()う not to be confused with the verb “to buy” which is ().]

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    • Japanese has many counters. Kind of like the “cup” in how we say “a cup of coffee.” “hiki” is a counter for smaller animals.

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