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ずつ

ずつ

Today’s Grammar Point: ずつ

Connection

[number] + [counter] ずつ

Meaning

ずつ implies the same number/amount is applied/chosen at the same time or repeatedly. So it can usually be translated using:

  • [number] each
  • [number] at a time

Examples

  1. りんごと みかんを みっつずつ ください。
    Could I have 3 each of apples and mandarins?
  2. ビールとワインを五本ごほんずついました。
    I bought 5 bottles each of beer and wine.
  3. Tシャツをこどもたちに二枚にまいずつあげました。
    I have given children 2 T-shirts each.
  4. 三人さんにん家族かぞくですが、くるま一台いちだいずつあります。
    We are a family of 3 and we have a car each.
  5. 日本語にほんご数学すうがく歴史れきし一時間いちじかんずつ勉強べんきょうします。
    I study Japanese, Mathematics and History for 1 hour each.
  6. みんなで千円せんえんずつはらいました。
    We (or they) all paid 1000 yen each.
  7. いぬとねこが四匹よんひきずついます。
    We have 4 each of dogs and cats.
  8. 毎日まいにちこうちゃとコーヒーを二杯にはいずつのみます。
    I drink 2 cups each of tea and coffee every day.
  9. リンゴのかわをひとつずつでむきました。
    I peeled apples one by one (=one at a time) by hand.
  10. クラスのみんなが一人ひとりずつ発表はっぴょうします。
    Everyone in class is going to make a presentation one at a time.

Variation

  • 文法ぶんぽうほん毎日まいにちすこしずつんでいます。
    I’m reading a grammar book every day a little at a time.

Tips

  • It’s rare but some people write it づつ. The pronunciation is the same, nonetheless.
  • Usually a phrase to specify the number is added like an adverb in Japanese, so a phrase of “[number] + [counter] + ずつ” itself does not usually need any particle. Use appropriate particles for other parts of the sentence.

Today’ Question

If you want to have one red apple and one green apple, what would you put in the blank.
あかいりんごと あおいりんごを ひとつ__ください。

Answer

ずつ
The sentence should mean: Could I have one each of the red and the green apples, please?

Added note 1: あお blue or green?

I bet many of you are wondering why I said あおいりんご instead of みどりのりんご in the question sentence. If you call green ones みどりのりんご, people will understand you but a majority of native speakers will call them あおいりんご or あおりんご (strictly speaking, they are not the same. If you want to know the difference, see below, but that bit is not important for now). We use the word あお for “green” quite often. I have written a bit about this in a previous post: Traffic lights – green or blue?

Added note 2: the difference between あおりんご and あおいりんご

あお in あおりんご is a noun and the word あおりんご is a compound noun for species of apples which don’t turn red. “Granny Smith” is a typical example of あおりんご but yellow varieties like “Golden Delicious” and “Ourin (王林おうりん)” are also classified as あおりんご.

あおい part of あおいりんご is an いadjective which has the meanings of “blue,” “green” and/or “young/immature.” Thus, while あおいりんご can be green apples like “Granny Smith” but it could also refer to “(an) unripe apple(s)” which is/are yet to be red.

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