A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar [aDoJG] 💮 Reading Club // Reading the Basic version

Next up, Leebo reads Koujien cover to cover one day at a time.


Thank you so much for putting this together! Honestly I think if we do this as a group read-along, we’ll have a lot of fun with it and we’ll all come away from it with a much deeper understanding. I’m looking forward to the day where someone comes onto the forum to ask a grammar question that just so happens to be something we just read about, and suddenly a dozen people all jump into the thread with a perfect, detailed answer, haha.

I think the timing might actually work out just about perfectly for me. If we make it all the way to the advanced volume, and if I stay on pace with my own studies, I think I’ll be studying advanced grammar by that point. I just ordered myself a copy of the third volume, so I’m ready :triumph:!


I actually have all three volumes, but have not yet taken the opportunity to look at any of the text - it is one of those things that I’ve known that I would get to ‘eventually’, but somehow to-date ‘eventually’ has not yet arrived.

Maybe this will be the kick-start that I need.


I started. Only made it to the Gs before my willpower was depleted. :sweat_smile: I’m sure it would help to do it together with friends!


One of my favourite books out there, the content spans a ton of different genres. It even works as an adventure game book, the one where you jump from page to page, then you shout “oh for god’s sake, it’s the て form again!”.

Also the first book club I’ve seen, where there’s an option for a digital copy, yet the majority of people would rather opt for the physical ones. I guess peeps want to keep the possibility of dropping it on their head from high up when they are too frustrated to continue.


I don’t know what’s going on here…

But I’ve never been more prepared for something in my entire life


i’m guilty of using the basic dictionary for a bit of light before-bed reading a few times :skull: but always out of order and without further investigation, so despite the general hilarity that having a book club read a dictionary is, i’m actually very excited to take part in this :sob:

edit: how fun would it be if we include making some of our own example sentences whenever we discuss the entry of the moment here :face_holding_back_tears:


I actually got the first book (basic) a couple weeks back, managed to read most of the part before the actual grammar points and have used it to look some stuff 2-3 times so far.

The idea of reading this cover to cover sounds a bit crazy but I might actually be up for it.

@ChristopherFritz Ever since I’ve tried to read it, I’ve developed an almost irrational hatred for Mitsuboshi Colors (and its characters). Please don’t ruin this book for me.


Same hat!

I’m always up for reading more about grammar! So happy to have an excuse to do it more now. I think I’ll be able to get the physical book at some point but I’ll start with the e-book.

!!! Good idea, I’ll definitely try it.


:no_mouth: I was just yesterday thinking about maybe starting the first one, but it really is quite intimidating.

maybe as a bookclub with a set schedule it becomes manageable :thinking:


Thanks for setting this up, @MissDagger! Looking forward to some interesting grammar discussions :blush:

Personally, I would strongly advise for those “different” grammar points on the “same” particle to be tackled individually, one per day. For example, に in its 7 variations covers 15 pages, and I think it’s impossible to read that all in a single day, let it sink in properly and digest it. (Unless you know like 80% of it already, but that’s not exactly the point of this club, I guess :thinking:) So in my mind these 7 grammar points accidentally happen to use the same “string of kana” but they are still different grammar points, so to speak.


I feel the same way, at least with how my brain works I know I would just forget 5 or so out of the 7 again right away (well, I do know most already, but assuming a similar grammar point that I wouldn’t know).


Yeah, and I guess there’s really no reason to rush, anyway! Reading a dictionary cover-to-cover is a pretty big endeavor, and it’s good to give things time to sink in. I think most of us will be doing this just to brush up on fundamentals and refine our existing knowledge anyway, so speeding through it would feel almost counterproductive, honestly! Many of us probably sped through some of these grammar points the first time around :sweat_smile:.


Yes, exactly my feeling! :+1:

Oh and I had an idea for how we could allow people to keep track of their progress: We could have a poll where we can tick off the grammar points we read. Of course it doesn’t make sense to have a poll for each point individually, but we could break them up in groups of 5 (or 7?) and let people tick those they worked through. Because I could see that I might not be able to read every day when work gets really busy, but then I could skip one “block” and continue with the club on the later grammar points, and maybe fill the gaps later, what do you think? Maybe like so?

  • あげる(1) to ある(1)
  • ある(2) to ばよかった
  • 。。。

0 voters


Depending on the group size that definitely seems like an orderly way to do it. Can you change your votes on POLLs months later though? I think I remember the option being grayed out after a while, but might be misremembering.

Depending on group size we could also just have collums of and have people log their names to a number to keep things not too big, like this :

1 2 3 4 5 6
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

people could add themselves as a number and add a row if they wanted to join in, but would only work up to a certain group size before it becomes unwieldy :person_shrugging:


Good question! I just went and changed my vote on one of the first book clubs I participated in (the poll was set up in Jan. 2019, i.e. 4 years ago) and I could still change it. That should do as a start :sweat_smile:

Oh I see! That would also look very interesting, I guess! What I like about the poll is that we’d automatically get a ranking of the blocks by participation and these things, which might give a good impression on the participation and dropout rates. But maybe that might backfire and be actually discouraging? :thinking:


I see ^^ My mistake for misremembering :bowing_man: I’m all for the POLL option in that case :smile_cat:

We will probably indeed see quite a drop off after the first few weeks, so that might be the one downside, but that’s what happens with nearly all book clubs I’ve seen, so I don’t think it will be discouraging, most people seem to be aware of the phenomenon.


@simias and anyone else interested, I have no added sample pages, plus pictures of the toc to the OP. It is right under the cover image. I decided to do 3 entries. One 1 page one, a 2 page one, and a 4 page one. To kinda see the difference between entries, I’d say most fall in the 1-3 page length. Also, not all entries start at the top of the page, I just picked those because it would be easier to photograph.

@Belthazar I feel like a wealth of meaning is hiding in the simple phrase “Well, it’s a read.” :joy:

Gotta appreciate that so many people think this is a crazy idea like me, and many of them are still joining, just like me. :joy:

That certainly seems like a more fun reason to get the physical. I probably picked physical because I didn’t think to look for an ebook, and I think maybe when I start reading ebooks more it’ll be easier to look up in a paperback instead of switching ebooks.

Honestly same. :sweat_smile:

@taiyousea I’m sure writing our own sentences would be useful practice. I wouldn’t make it an essential part of the club (because not everyone will have the time/inclination), but I will encourage anyone who wants to do it to go ahead! Could add additional grammar discussions and such, so certainly a good thing. :+1:

A yes, a very good point! I hope we can make it so all に entries happens in the same week for hilarity’s sake. :joy:

Also, I like your poll idea, it would help people keep track if they have to skip a few entries. :slight_smile:

If changing is grayed out, it would be because the person who made the poll closed it. So it isn’t time based (unless the automatic closing setting is used), but rather based on whether the poller wanted the poll to close.

Since this post is already crazy long with replies, I’ll leave off here. LOL


We would be all に-ed out after that week :sweat_smile:
Also, did you see that thread where somebody complained about the existence of a certain kanji, and then everybody replied by using words that contain said kanji? It was so funny! :rofl: I guess after all the に-ness we might start doing the same and just write little snippets in Japanese that feature one or the other nuance of に :grin:


Considering the ToC:

I personally think it makes sense to include reading the Characteristics of Japanese Grammar, maybe the Grammatical Terms, and then the main entries, and lastly maybe the Improving Reading Skill[…] from appendixes. All other appendixes are just tables so no point to read in a club, I think. But this isn’t only about what I think, is it?

We’re obviously going to read the main entries. I’m excluding the abbreviations because it isn’t anything to read, but something to check if needed. Preface is also excluded, the only useful info there was that it does in fact have approx. 200 entries. So my count of 204 is correct or close enough.

Pick all parts of the rest of the book you want the club to read together:
  • To the Reader (explains the format of entries)
  • Grammatical Terms (goes through terms like auxiliary verb, contrastive marker, and direct object)
  • Characteristics of Japanese Grammar (see ToC pictures above)
  • Appendixes #1-7 (mostly just tables showing how to conjugate verbs or make compound verbs and similar, little to no regular reading)
  • Appendix #8: Improving Reading Skill by Identifying and ‘Extended Sentential Unit’

0 voters