Day of the week in Japanese

1. Day and day of the week

What day of the week is it?

The word for “day” in Japanese is ひ 「hi」 and the Japanese prefix ひ「hi」with よう「yō」 to create “day of the week”. However when the よう 「yō」and ひ「hi」is combined, the first letter for the word “day” changes and becomes び「bi」.

So the resulting word for “day of the week” is ようび  「yōbi」.

The change in sound when combining certain words together is called euphonic change.


2. The days of the week

Monday - getsu-yōbi - げつようび

getsu-youbi

Monday is formed by prefixing ようび 「yōbi 」 with げつ 「getsu」 which means “moon”, so Monday is literally the “moon day of the week”.

To say “on Monday” we use a time marker に「ni 」so “on Monday” is げつようびに 「getsu-yōbi-ni」

“Won’t we go out on Monday?”
Getsu-yōbi-ni dekakemasen ka?
げつようびに でかけません か。


Tuesday - ka-yōbi - かようび

ka-youbi

Tuesday is formed by prefixing ようび 「 yōbi 」 with か 「 ka 」 which means “fire”, so Tuesday is literally the “fire day of the week”.

Using the time marker に「ni 」“on Tuesday” is かようびに 「ka-yōbi-ni」

“Shall we buy vegetables on Tuesday?”
Ka-yōbi-ni yasai-o kaimashō ka?
かようびに やさいを かいましょ か。


Wednesday - sui-yōbi - すいようび

sui-youbi

Wednesday is formed by prefixing ようび 「 yōbi 」 with すい 「 sui 」 which means “water”, so Wednesday is literally the “water day of the week”.

“Let’s read comic books on Wednesday”
Sui-yōbi-ni manga-o yomimashō
すいようび まんがを よみましょ。


Thursday - moku-yōbi - もくようび

moku-youbi

Thursday is formed by prefixing ようび 「 yōbi 」 with もく 「 moku 」 which means “tree” or “wood”, so Thursday is literally the “wood day of the week”.

“Lets watch a movie on Thursday”
Moku-yōbi-ni eiga mimashō
もくようびに えいが みましょう


Friday - kin-yōbi - きんようび

kin-youbi

Friday is formed by prefixing ようび 「 yōbi 」 with きん 「 kin 」 which means “metal” or “gold” so Friday is literally the “metal day of the week”.

“Let’s drink beer on Friday”
Kin-yōbi-ni biru-o nomimashō
きんようびに ビールを のみましょう


Saturday - do-yōbi -どようび

do-youbi

Saturday is formed by prefixing ようび 「 yōbi 」 with ど 「 do 」 which means “ground” or “earth”, so Saturday is literally the “earth day of the week”.

“I will go to Tokyo on Saturday”
Do-yōbi-ni Tōkyō-ni ikimasu
どようびに とうきょうに いきます


Sunday - nichi-yōbi - にちようび

nichi-youbi

Sunday is formed by prefixing ようび 「 yōbi 」 with にち 「 nichi 」 which means “day” or “sun”, so Sunday is literally the “sun day of the week”.

“Shall we drink sake on Sunday?”
Nichi-yōbi-ni sake-o nomimashō ka?
にちようび さけを のみましょ か。

That concludes the day of the week in Japanese, be sure to subscribe to the email newsletter below to keep up to date with all the new Japanese learning content from this site.

Until next time またね「mata ne」

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