Common Word Combinations for Levels 1-5

Hi everyone! :wave:

Earlier this year, we added Common Word Combinations (aka “collocations”) to selected vocabulary, and now we’re in the process of adding them to all vocabulary from Level 1 through Level 5. They should appear on vocabulary detail pages and in vocabulary lessons in the next hour or two.

The idea behind this update is that it will make it easier to get a feel for the meaning and use of each word, and reduce the ambiguity that comes from some of the English meanings. It throws in some level-appropriate reading practice to boot. :nerd_face: Depending on your learning style, feel free to skim over the common word combinations when doing lessons, but don’t hesitate to look them up on the detail page whenever a word is giving you trouble.

If all goes to plan, we should be adding common word combinations to more levels in the new year.

Format of Patterns of Use

There’s one change compared with the first update that deserves a mention, and it concerns the format of the Patterns of Use.

While we were researching which common word combinations to add to each vocabulary item, we realized that many of the combos don’t fit neatly into the Patterns of Use that were used in the first update. So we decided to sort common word combinations according to their use in a sentence, rather than their word type. That is, instead of sorting them by things like “noun” and “な adjective”, they’re sorted according to structure, such as what particles they are most commonly used with, or whether they come at the beginning or end of a compound. That hopefully makes it more obvious what the most common patterns are, and gives additional information rather than simply repeating the information already available in the “Word Type” section.

Here’s an example of the change, for the word 大人 before:

And after:

We hope these additions will make learning vocabulary more effective and interesting, and above all help you to transfer the knowledge more easily to real life. :crossed_fingers:t2:


This sounds like a great update! Good work! :+1:

tenor 115


Oh snap, that seems super useful! Awesome!


ooh this is exciting. can’t wait to see it in action


スゲー! That’s super useful! Thank you! :pray:


Super helpful and much appreciated!

1 Like

This is really great! Collocations are hugely important in any language, so hopefully, you will be able to add more levels soon.

I assume this means that the kanji that haven’t been taught yet will be written in hiragana? If so, I understand why you would do it this way, but it’s kind of a bummer to see the hiragana if you are farther along in your kanji studies and going back to look at previous levels. I am just curious why you aren’t just using furigana with the kanji that hasn’t been taught yet.


Good question! We actually went for collocations that include lower-level kanji, or would be naturally written in kana (at least some of the time) in real-life writing. Collocations that include higher-level kanji will be added to the corresponding higher vocab item instead.

That said, we did discuss options like furigana while planning this update. We’d need to address concerns like accessibility, and the fact that using unknown kanji (even with furigana) could distract from practicing the target vocabulary, but we haven’t ruled it out for future updates… :slight_smile: