まい

まい Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Prefix

Essential Meaning: Every / Per

Construction: 

  • まい + Time Noun
    • E.g. 毎日まいにち[Every day]
    • E.g. 毎晩 まいばん [Every evening]

Notes:

  • まい 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“).
  • まい 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. *まいいえ [Every house] まい is not used with nouns that do not imply a time. In this case, すべてのいえ would be an appropriate phrasing.
  • まい 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. *まい三日みっか[Every 3 days] まい is not used with number + time phrases. In this case, 三日みっかごとに would be appropriate.
    • E.g. *まいクリスマス [Every Christmas] まい is not used with specific dates such as holidays. In this case, クリスマスごとに would be OK.
  • Lastly, まい is typically used with short words (1-2 syllables) such as しゅう [Week] or にち [Day]. It sounds awkward to use まい with longer words.

Example Sentences:

わたし毎日まいにち1マイルおよぐ。[I swim 1 mile every day.]

ひろしは毎晩まいばん道男みちお電話でんわしているそうだ。[I heard that Hiroshi calls Michio every night.]

台風たいふう毎時まいじ20キロのはやさできたすすんでいる。[The typhoon is preceding North at a speed of 20 KMH.]

わたし毎年まいとし一度いちど日本にほんく。[I go to Japan once every year.]

ジーンは毎食まいしょくサラダをべる。[Jin eats salad for every meal.]

WILD Examples:

This magazine says まいにちふく [Everyday wear clothing]
Listen to this line at 0:42: わらっちまうくらいに毎日まいにちはただもうぎてくあっという [Every day passes by quickly to the extent that one can’t help but laugh]

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