Best resource to start learning grammar

Anyone have recommendation for resources on learning grammar ? which site/book/etc worked for you or what you did specifically and everything in between

Lots of thanks :smile:

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I Use Marugoto A1 Katsudoo And Rikai To Learn Grammar.
But If Its Only For Grammar I would Reccomend Rikai .
I Use The Both Books With Website.
The Couse Content


Speaking Practice In Website

I am A self-learner And I Find Marugoto Book So Easy.
I Usually Write The Grammar In The Text To The Notebook .
Example:-



Hope This Helps

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Not sure if they’re the best resources to start grammar, but they’re the ones I use/used.

Free

Imabi: A fantastic resource for grammar, imo. It’s often labeled harder for beginners than usual, but I found it pretty easy to get into it. Offers more detailed explanations than usual.
Wasabi JPN: Kinda the opposite of Imabi: Simple and quick explanations that don’t overstay their welcome. If Imabi’s too much, Wasabi should be good enough to get going.
Bunpro (Free version): While Bunpro has paid services, all the grammar points are free to browse. N5-N4 points have some pretty good write-ups, and most items link to other resources, so although they haven’t finished N3-N1 write-ups, it’s still a pretty good index tool. It also comes with a few sentences spoken by natives, but I think the free version only gets half of them.

Paid
Bunpro (Paid version): The main draw of Bunpro’s premium service is the SRS. I find it a pretty good way to put grammar in practice and review it.
Elementary Japanese: Affordable textbook which offers really good explanations for most points, and is easier to use by yourself vs other books (not as many pair exercises).
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar: VERY good resource to check grammar points and topics. Since it’s a dictionary, it’s more of a supplement source, but I still found it very useful to supplement my understanding of grammar points.

Other stuff
I know people love Genki, but I didn’t find it intuitive for someone not using it in class. If you do want to use it, just get a pdf from scihub or something, too expensive to pay for it if you’re not using it with a teacher or tutor imo (and even then still get a pdf and just print it lol).

I recommend sticking to one main source that you’re going to use to learn, and then 1-3 supplementary sources. Don’t try to do everything at once.

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You should check out the Additional resources list as well. :slight_smile:

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CureDolly’s series is really good. The only problem is her voice, which is very grating to many people. It helps if you watch it on subtitle, or video speed 1.25x.

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Fastest way would probably be what I’m doing now. Reading through JLPT Sensei N5-N2 grammar books. They take every grammar point, quick explaination and put the grammar points in example sentences 8-10 each. You understand each grammar point quickly and how it’s used.

I highly doubt that it can get much more efficient than that.

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there are a variety of options-

1)comprehensibly written- imabi.

2)basics- tae kims

3)if you prefer watching then tokiniandy Genki series- but its best to use when you know at least 400 kanjis and 1500 words

4)also cury dolly videos are good but it’s probably not the best choice if you are a complete beginner.

5)if you are a fan of immersion then game gengo- he shows all n5-n4 grammar points on examples from video games

I personally went on immersion road. learned 800kanjis+5000words, read tae kims twice and the rest I’m just learning through immersion while reading subtitles. If I see some unknown grammar pattern I just google it or look at dictionary of basic grammar.

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I’m using many of the great suggestions above for grammar as well, and just adding Misa Sensei since I go to her Youtube a lot when I need video explanations on grammar by a native Japanese.

Do check out her Grammar Lessons for Absolute Beginners and Grammar Lessons for Upper Beginners / Lower Intermediates series in the Playlists. I find them very useful when following a JLPT or textbook path.

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Imabi is wonderful, but I just find the vocab a little too rough for an absolute beginner. I really like that it has a plethora of examples that are pretty varied compared to a more scenario based resource (most orthodox textbooks give me that feel). Super doable with a browser extension for lookups, kind of a pain without if you don’t know the vocab. I’d highly recommend it as a supplementary source when others don’t quite cut it, but it’s also kind of pain to find specific things at times.

For opposites I usually think of Tae Kim’s guide (free) which I think also has a free app version. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of this resource. When I first saw it a few years ago I felt like the explanations were minimal and examples too few, which might be part of its appeal. Wasabi always felt like more of a nice middle ground of the two for me.

Most of the immersive path recommendations I saw were along the lines of do a light read through of Tae Kim, core 2k, start reading and look up grammar as you go.

Yeah, I think it’s pretty terrible for self-learners* . It’s not like Genki is outright bad, but it’s strengths definitely lie in a more orthodox group learning scenario. It was fine when there were less options available, but now there’s too many nice enough options that I don’t think it should be recommended outside of its niche.

* Yes, I had the workbook. Yes, I did a jank playing with my imaginary self for the partner exercises thing. I’m sick of people bringing that stuff up. They weren’t really fixes for the issues I had with it, just ways to squeak out value out of a resource that wasn’t really for me.


I had tried out just about everything, but Bunpro was what got most of it to finally stick well for me. If I had to restart from zero I would probably check out JALUP. For gamified learning like WK I think LingoDeer is popular, but I’m really not into that sort of thing myself.

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I never really cared about the vocab of lessons, and I could do just fine. Sure, learning it is probably better on long term, but I can get by just by checking the little vocab index of each page. Its not needed to understand the grammar points, which its where it shines

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I don’t agree with that. I would agree that you could probably get more value out of Genki when using it in a classroom, but it still provides me with a lot of value as someone who’s self-studying. In particular, the workbook exercises (including the listening practice) and the reading sections are IMHO quite good and don’t need any interaction with other people. I also think it teaches quite a bit of useful vocab (though some of it is admittedly a bit too focused on the university experience).

But of course, Genki is not for everyone, and I think there are a number of alternatives for people who prefer something else. A lot of people prefer to just get the gist of the grammar without a ton of examples and exercises as they’d rather pick that up through immersion. That’s fine, too.

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I’ll plug Japanese the Manga Way. I had fun reading through it, and found its index to be a useful reference as I started reading native content. Plenty of people have written more extensive thoughts on the book in this forum (Search results for 'Japanese the Manga Way' - WaniKani Community) and Tofugu reviewed it as well.

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I’m actually releasing a grammar series on Twitter right now, starting with verbs (full details on this thread). The first Tweets are already online. The series will include some concepts from traditional Japanese grammar (which is a little different from how foreigners are usually taught grammar) that should make it easier to break down more complex grammar later on, instead of being forced to memorise it blindly. My approach is probably going to be a little different from classic textbook approaches, and I’ll be trying to avoid going too fast. You can ask questions or provide feedback on that thread too if you’re interested!

However, if you want more traditional resources or examples of what I used while learning grammar… I guess Maggie Sensei was definitely my favourite when I was starting out and unable to read much Japanese. WasabiJpn was decent too. Also, searching any grammar point with the letters ‘JLPT’ behind it should bring up a quick translation and some examples on various prep sites, though it won’t be enough for gaining a deep understanding.

I’d also recommend checking out the two major textbooks for English speakers: Minna no Nihongo and Genki to see if either of them suits you. My textbook (which has finally been translated into English) was this one:

(I’m sorry I can’t link you to the print edition – the current edition hasn’t been printed yet, it seems!)

What I like about Assimil is that it’s very context-based, basically a sort of ‘guided immersion’, if you will. That means you learn things in context, which should make them more memorable. Two things you might not like about it:

  1. It uses kanji right away. However, readings are provided, along with a rough pronunciation guide, so you’ll still be able to read along without knowing the kanji.
  2. Some people say the grammatical explanations are a little skimpy. I felt they were mostly sufficient, though I did use Google when I was curious about something the book didn’t tell me. I guess you’ll be able to see if you look for samples. I believe the first lesson is free for you to try. (Or was it the first seven lessons?)

The reason I’m recommending textbooks is that I think they help structure grammatical knowledge in a fashion that makes them a little easier to absorb. There’s a certain order to things. However, I guess that ultimately depends on the textbook.

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The Tobira folks also made a beginner’s textbook as well. I think they were also making some accompanying videos similar to Andy, but that was still WIP on release. From what I saw it was fairly similar to Genki with a bit of nice facelift so it might be a better choice for people interested into transitioning into their intermediate textbooks afterwards. That said, it’s fairly new so I couldn’t find too many reviews when I heard about it.

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Oh yeah! I completely forgot about the Tobira beginner’s textbook. I’d say that’s definitely worth checking out given the quality of Tobira (albeit I didn’t really like Tobira’s content because it didn’t interest me all that much, but perhaps that’s just because I am still a university student, and I very much appreciate information about social interaction, email etiquette and the challenges one might face during a homestay :laughing:). But yeah, I’d expect it to be fairly thorough. I haven’t looked at it myself either though.

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I’d like to add another recommendation for Bunpro. If you enjoy Wanikani’s way of doing things, you’ll probably enjoy Bunpro’s too. Its original intention was to be an SRS to practice grammar points that you’d learnt elsewhere, but now it includes its own grammar explanations (for N5 and N4 so far) so is a complete resource on its own.

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I love WK and Anki but absolutely hated Bunpro, I’ve gone back to reading A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar and making my own Anki deck.

example gripes with Bunpro

In particular, the prompts and hints in Bunpro were a nightmare for me.
Bunpro would constantly show me Vocab items I’d never seen before, and the prompts often required so much work to even figure out what it was asking - I would get things wrong because I misunderstood an unfamiliar prompt, even when I absolutely knew the grammar point - I tried to force my way through it until the frustration was too much.

When I unlocked “I-adjectives” suddenly it gives me a bunch of review sentences involving I-adjectives I hadn’t seen before.
I remember being confused by a prompt and unsure what Bunpro wanted me to give it, so I looked at the hint and it told me “It is fine even if” + 冷たい - but I’d never seen つめたい in Kanji before (Wanikani-28/jlpt-n3 kanji I think, but I was learning n5 and maybe n4 grammar points).

Thankfully Bunpro is free to try so you can figure out if it works for you, just note that I think it’s a very different experience to WK.

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The way I see it is that it’s teaching you to recognise grammatical constructs regardless of whether you know the vocab or not. If you recognise the grammar, you can more-easily work out the dictionary form of the vocab you don’t know.

I’ve never felt that not knowing the vocab hinders my grammar practice: I’ll either think of it as “I know that !%=@ is an い adjective that’s past tense and negated; I can understand the grammar without knowing what !%=@ is,” or I’ll just look at the English translation.

I do agree that its hints can be confusing, especially when it’s asking for an answer that combines multiple points of grammar.

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