Any hints for easier ways to supplement practice to N5 Grammer?

Hi all, I’ve finally run through the JLPT N5 Vocab list. Its taken agesss but its done. I’m now running through bunpro for grammer.

Its okay but a lot of the time and I basically do each grammer part and watch/read info about it and then add it to the list.

But I’m finding it boooorrrinnnnggg lol. I was hoping to supplement it in a way and was hoping for recommendations, especially at such a low level with soooo little grammer knowledge.

Would something like JapanesePod101 or something help me learn grammer from like a supplemental view for something to watch or have in the background while I use the bunpro approach as my main learning. Or any other resource I could use?

Thanks so much!


Getting easy sentences from media that use these grammar points? That should be easy considering it’s most of them for things like N5.

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I use the Japanese from 0 books for grammar, but they might not be engaging enough for you. I am pretty self motivated about learning

I use WaniKani, Bunpro, and have found to be extremely helpful for additional practice. In the paid plan, they have excellent shadowing and conversation practice videos, as well as good custom immersion reading materials. It’s designed around Genki but you really don’t have to have the texts.

p.s. they have their basic grammar videos covering each chapter of Genki on YouTube for free. These are excellent and helpful by themselves 【JLPT N5】GENKI Grammar Made Clear 【NO CHAT】 - YouTube


JapanesePod101 isn’t really for grammar. It’s more of an interactive and integrative course with listening practice, phrase/vocab breakdowns by natives and high-level learners, etc. It’s fun, but it’s also terribly slow in terms of overall progress :frowning: .

My personal recommendation would be something like Genki or Tae Kim’s Guide to Grammar.

I’m not sure how a N5 learner would be able to use Japanese without making a ton of mistakes which someone needs to correct :sweat_smile: .

If it’s a native speaker, there is a very good likelihood they would be more accurate than ChatGPT and if they’re a good teacher, a good likelihood they wouldn’t confidently state incorrect information which ChatGPT often does.


I think Bunpro is an outstanding service, and while I understand it can be boring I highly recommend using it for grammar.


Graded readers! They’re perfect for what you want. There are free ones here, just start at level zero and keep going.

If you search there is a page that lists more I believe. And the premium ones from ASK publishing are nice.

I went through levels 0-2 of those and then transitioned to Satori reader (still using) and that enabled me to read easy manga and books for 2nd graders. I still have a long way to go but that reading progression has made it much more interesting.


There is a school of thought that learning grammar by itself isn’t very helpful and that it’s better to pick up grammar whilst you are listening and reading rather than learning grammar first and then starting to listen and read. I don’t know if that is true - i just offer it as a view i’ve heard. People on youtube who can speak Japanese fluently and have this view is someone called “Matt vs Japan” , and Steve Kauffman, who can speak 20 languages:

Do NOT Study Grammar - YouTube)

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What I meant is that if someone is just starting out and at N5 level, they will have a very hard time outputting what they want to say or understanding the majority of content which is not strictly tailored to beginner learners. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think N4 or higher already gives you language tools to work with.


Plus they are unfortunately the least well placed to be able to tell if ChatGPT is telling them plausible rubbish or not…


Yeah this is really how I started actually understanding grammar! I was stuck in this cycle of studying the same N5 grammar points and the same vocab lists for ages until I started actually reading. Start with super easy things and work from there. It’s so satisfying to be able to use the language, whether it’s reading, listening, speaking, writing… With speaking and writing there are sites/apps where you can practice speaking and writing and then ask native speakers for corrections. HelloTalk is popular, I’ve used LangCorrect too and liked it more, I found it much less social-media-y. But as a disclaimer I don’t use these types of sites often because I usually forget to practice output :sweat_smile:

Like others here have said I wouldn’t rely on chatgpt, it’s often inaccurate. There are much more reliable ways to find grammar explanations.

I second Tadoku! They are a great way to get used to getting used to simple grammar without getting bored or overwhelmed. For the listening side of things, some Tadoku stories also have audio, and I also recommend Comprehensible Japanese (youtube channel) or Nihongo con Teppei (podcast)

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Google’s Bard shares the same “confidently spouts nonsense” behaviour. Just for laughs I asked it about the opening sentence in Snow Country. It started out by giving an English version “The train started from the Ueno Station on a winter evening.” which I’m pretty sure it just made up :slight_smile: – it only produced the Seidensticker version when I asked it whose translation it was using… It eventually correctly quoted the Japanese version “国境の長いトンネルを抜けると雪国であった。夜の底が白くなった。”, so I asked:

What’s the grammatical subject in that first Japanese sentence?

There is no grammatical subject in the first Japanese sentence. Japanese is a topic-prominent language, which means that the topic of the sentence is typically placed at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, the topic is 雪国 (snow country). The verb であった (to be) is used to describe the topic, and the rest of the sentence provides additional information about the topic.

which is internally contradictory as well as wrong.


I’m of the mind of learning grammar naturally. If you’ve already got N5 down, that means you have the basics, you should read and watch native content, you can pick up a lot of things, if you don’t get it, search it up, and it’s easier to remember when you have some real context to go with it.


If I could recommend something to add to your current routine I would recommend something fun aimed at kids like Pokemon or something very low effort Japanese wise that has downtime (gags that dont have much talking/etc). Use that as a reward or something for finishing what you needed to do today. At the N5 stage I was watching Polar Bear Cafe after sessions because it was an enjoyable challenge for me that I looked forward to every day.

But I think you need to find something that makes your study feel worth it or has some reward element to it.

Like others said, don’t be afraid to try new things either, the further you go the more your study routines and habits will change with it. I used to struggle to find time for Japanese, now I struggle to find time for English because I made it such a big part of life that I feel guilty when I am spending too much time listening to English (unless I just have a TON of spare time).

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