まい Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Prefix
Essential Meaning: Every / Per
- 毎 + Time Noun
- E.g. 毎日[Every day]
- E.g. 毎晩 [Every evening]
- 毎 is a prefix that means “Every” and is used with direct time nouns (e.g. “Second“, “Hour“, “Day”) or nouns that imply a particular time (e.g. “Meal“, “Evening“).
- 毎 cannot be used with nouns that are not associated with a particular time (e.g. “Person“, “House“). Instead, すべての can be used in such cases.
- E.g. *毎家 [Every house] 毎 is not used with nouns that do not imply a time. In this case, すべての家 would be an appropriate phrasing.
- 毎 is also not used with nouns that are preceded by numbers (e.g. “Three days“, “Two years“, “One week“) or with specific dates / holidays (e.g. “Christmas“, “Valentine’s Day“). ごとに / おきに is appropriate in such cases.
- E.g. *毎三日[Every 3 days] 毎 is not used with number + time phrases. In this case, 三日ごとに would be appropriate.
- E.g. *毎クリスマス [Every Christmas] 毎 is not used with specific dates such as holidays. In this case, クリスマスごとに would be OK.
- Lastly, 毎 is typically used with short words (1-2 syllables) such as 週 [Week] or 日 [Day]. It sounds awkward to use 毎 with longer words.
私は毎日1マイル泳ぐ。[I swim 1 mile every day.]
ひろしは毎晩道男に電話しているそうだ。[I heard that Hiroshi calls Michio every night.]
台風は毎時２０キロの速さで北に進んでいる。[The typhoon is preceding North at a speed of 20 KMH.]
私は毎年一度は日本へ行く。[I go to Japan once every year.]
ジーンは毎食サラダを食べる。[Jin eats salad for every meal.]
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