Guide: How to Say “Per” in Japanese

When it comes to expressing the concept of “per” in Japanese, there are several ways to convey this meaning based on the context and formality level. In this guide, we will explore various ways to express “per” in Japanese, including both formal and informal methods. Please keep in mind that regional variations exist, but we will focus on commonly used expressions. Let’s get started!

1. Formal Ways to Say “Per”

In formal situations, such as business or academic settings, it’s important to use respectful and polite language. Here are some recommended formal expressions for “per” in Japanese:

1. ごとに (gotoshi): This phrase is used to express “per” when referring to a specific unit or period. For example, if you want to say “per hour” in a formal context, you can use “一時間ごとに” (ichijikan gotoshi).

2. 着ごと (kigoto): When discussing rates or frequency related to clothing, this expression is commonly used. For instance, “per item of clothing” can be expressed as “一着ごと” (icchaku kigoto).

3. 一つにつき (hitotsu ni tsuki): This phrase is used when you want to convey “per” in terms of a specific number of items. For example, if you want to say “per person” in a formal setting, you can use “一人につき” (hitori ni tsuki).

2. Informal Ways to Say “Per”

In casual conversations or informal writing, you can use less formal expressions to convey the meaning of “per” in Japanese. Here are some examples:

1. ごと (goto): Similar to the formal expression “ごとに,” this shorter form is used in casual conversations. For instance, “per day” can be expressed as “一日ごと” (ichinichi goto).

2. につき (ni tsuki): In informal situations, you can use this phrase to convey “per” when referring to a specific unit or number. For example, you can say “per kilogram” as “一キロにつき” (ichi kiro ni tsuki) in a casual context.

3. Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when using expressions for “per” in Japanese:

  • Always consider the context of your conversation or writing to choose the appropriate expression.
  • Pay attention to honorifics and politeness levels, especially in formal settings.
  • If you are unsure about the appropriate expression, it is better to lean towards being more formal.
  • It is common to use the specific unit followed by the appropriate expression for “per.” For example, “per hour” is expressed as “一時間ごとに” (ichijikan gotoshi).

4. Examples

To help you understand the usage of these expressions, here are a few examples of how to say “per” in Japanese in different contexts:

1. “Per hour” – 一時間ごとに (ichijikan gotoshi)
Example: 私の時給は一時間ごとに百円です。 (Watashi no jikyū wa ichijikan gotoshi hyaku en desu.)
Translation: My hourly wage is 100 yen per hour.

2. “Per person” – 一人につき (hitori ni tsuki)
Example: このプランは一人につき一泊五千円です。 (Kono puran wa hitori ni tsuki, hitoban gosen yen desu.)
Translation: This plan costs 5,000 yen per person per night.

3. “Per kilogram” – 一キロにつき (ichi kiro ni tsuki)
Example: バナナは一キロにつき千円です。 (Banana wa ichi kiro ni tsuki, sen en desu.)
Translation: Bananas are 1,000 yen per kilogram.

Remember to adapt these examples based on the specific units or numbers you want to convey in your statements.

In conclusion, when expressing “per” in Japanese, it’s essential to consider the context and formality level. In formal situations, use phrases like “ごとに” (gotoshi) or “一つにつき” (hitotsu ni tsuki). For casual conversations, expressions such as “ごと” (goto) or “につき” (ni tsuki) are more appropriate. Remember to pay attention to politeness levels and adapt the expressions accordingly. With these examples and tips, you can confidently convey the notion of “per” in Japanese.

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