Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 8: 13/23


Start, First (point), Foremost, To begin with

Be careful when combining 第一 with chapter or section numbers (see Structure)


第一(だいいち)に + Phrase
第一(だいいち) + + Noun
だいいっ + Noun (Chapter)
Phrase + 第一(だいいち) +


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About 第一

第一(だいいち) is an expression in Japanese which may be used either as an adverb, or as a noun. As a noun, it will carry the meaning of 'foremost', or 'most important'. As an adverb, it can mean 'first', or 'above anything'.
To use 第一(だいいち) adverbially, pair it with . As a noun, it will usually be followed by の (when connecting nouns), or by the auxiliary verb , when at the end of a sentence.
  • 第一(だいいち)(かれ)(なん)あんな時間(じかん)ここいたん
    First of all, why was he here at that time?
  • これここ第一(だいいち)ルール
    This is the number one rule here.
  • (かね)より健康(けんこう)でいること第一(だいいち)
    More than money, being healthy is the most important thing.
Occasionally, まず 'first of all' will be paired with 第一(だいいち). This may seem redundant, but is like saying 'the very first' in English.
  • まず第一(だいいち)この計画(けいかく)担当(たんとう)する(ひと)()ましょう
    Firstly, let's pick the person that will be in charge of this plan.
Fun Fact
(だい) is a kanji that is often translated as 'number'. However, the literal meaning is a bit closer to 'position', as it refers to the place that something has within a sequence of numbers. As such, 第一(だいいち) simply means '1st position'.



  • 安全(あんぜん)第一(だいいち)だ。

    Safety first.

    • 筋肉(きんにく)をつけたい場合(ばあい)筋力(きんりょく)のトレーニングではなくてダイエット第一(だいいち)にするべきだ。

      If you want to gain muscle, rather than training you should prioritize your diet.

      • 第一(だいいっ)(せつ)第一(だいいっ)(かん)検察官(けんさつかん)義務(ぎむ)(など)

        Section 1, Subsection 1, Duties of public prosecutor, etc.

        • ハグ・クラブルールの第一(だいいち)、ハグ・クラブのことを()かすな。

          The first rule of Hug Club is: you do not talk about Hug Club.

          • 調査(ちょうさ)によると事故(じこ)()こったまず第一(だいいち)原因(げんいん)はヒューマンエラーということだ。

            According to the investigation, the foremost reason for accidents is human error.

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            第一 – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

            • MaximizedNOVA


              Sorry for necro’ing an old thread. But this grammar has been coming up in my reviews with the special rule:

            • EdBunpro


              Good question tbh. I think a common way would be l+tu for an isolated っ, but whether or not that’s faster than typing t+tu then hitting the backspace is probably personal preference. I think Japanese keyboards have a dedicated hotkey for it? Never used one so just speculating, I’d be curious to hear from others as well.

            • MaximizedNOVA


              I didn’t realize we were able to do this on romaji input even when utilizing Windows IME! I’d probably input much faster utilizing the latter approach, but it’s really good to know there’s a way to access all of the small characters on IME as well

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