Favourite websites for articles on Japanese grammar?

Hi everybody, so I’m just wondering what your favourite websites for articles on Japanese grammar are. Websites such as: Tae Kim, Maggie Sensei, Tofugu, etc.

I already know many of them, but I just wanted to get a feel for what the larger Japanese learning community thinks is the best.

Feel free to rank them if you want to be extra helpful!



From my years of on-off study of Japanese, I’ve found that this question can be very divisive in some communities. Though, from what I’ve seen, that won’t really be the case here. Instead, you’re likely to get flooded with information. :slight_smile:

I’ve looked at the following myself:

  • Tae Kim
  • Tofugu
  • Minna no Nihongo
  • Genki
  • Japanese for Busy People
  • A Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Grammar
  • BunPro
  • Cure Dolly
  • and a few others that you’ve no doubt come across.

My favorite combination is Genki as a “get talking right away” thing supplemented with Cure Dolly and the Dictionary of … Japanese Grammar series. But, that’s because I personally tend toward the more linguistic explanations for learning a language.

Read spoiler only if you're interested why I turned down the others,,,

I didn’t like Tae Kim that much, because for me, though the explanations were concise, and supposedly clear, I couldn’t really understand what he was saying.

Japanese for Busy People is great for basic businessperson vocab, if you want to start pretending to have such conversations, but it basically forgoes depth and acts much more like a giant phrasebook for travellers.

I liked the presentation in Minna no Nihongo, but it didn’t really fit my learning-style as much as I would have liked. Which is a shame, because I would have probably preferred it over Genki, otherwise.

As for BunPro, I wouldn’t recommend it as a core learning resource.* Personally, I use it as review for grammar “shapes” that I should already know. But, I’ve already come across things I dislike with how it quizzes these. Still, I intend to keep using it, but that’s more or less about treating it as a kana-keyboard typing trainer…

Ultimately, of course, you have to find the model that works for you. My model mixes the resources I mentioned above with Dogen** and a modified form of Refold. These resources fit both my goals for Japanese and my learning style.

A different combination may work better for you.

*Oh, hey, an actual natural English sentence that could be used to explain は vs が!

**I choose to study pitch accent because of my personal goals with Japanese, but I’m of the camp that not everyone needs to. Just depends.


Thanks for your reply, but I was referring more specifically to online open resources. Such as the ones that create articles or indices of specific grammar points.

For example: Tofugu makes articles on specific grammar points; as Tae Kim is indexed for specific grammar points and Maggie Sensei also makes articles on specific grammar points.

Basically, I am trying to narrow it down to website which can be used in isolation with reference to a single grammar point.

Thanks for your reply though! It was still very interesting.

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I particularly like Wasabi, and I also think that Imabi is very good.

Happy grammar studies :blush:


I hadn’t used Wasabi before, it seems to be organised very like Tae Kim’s guide so it may be extra useful as a reference.

I love Imabi, the fact that they include Okinawan and Classical Japanese is quite simply amazing.

Thanks for your input!

I like this website!

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Ah! That’s one I haven’t seen before! I like it, though, it seems a bit misguided to provide explanations to N5 level in Japanese that includes much higher level grammar? :joy:

May be good for revision though, it’ll test my reading skills and revise specific grammar points.

Oops. Sorry about that! Clearly, I misunderstood your post. The Grammar Dictionaries would be similar to that, except that they’re not online.

I’ve never quite liked online grammar articles. Of all the one’s I’ve found, they usually gloss over important things and don’t go into depth. But, the other replies you’ve gotten look really interesting, like they might actually be more in-depth!

I might have to add one or two of them to my own repertoire.

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Ah, sorry there!

Yeah, that one will be more useful from N4ish onwards.

About grammar dictionaries maybe they should not be online, but try to follow the pranking cat and you might find some :innocent:

I don’t like grammar books/study (at least in English) so the only thing I would recommend is Nihongo no Mori youtube channel. They have playlists for various levels. There’s also Sambonjuku.


Yeah, that’s fine. I am simply pointing out that some of their articles are written for N5 and yet are written in Japanese that uses grammar from other levels.

I’m currently studying N3 grammar. (My grammar far exceeds my rather poor vocabulary and kanji knowledge)

Some of my favoured resources:

  • Google – answers to any and all questions and plenty of real world examples.
  • Japanese Language Stack Exchange – when I have more in-depth questions about something, especially something more academic in nature, this is often where my search leads to.
  • Japanese with Anime – clear explanations, lots of examples.
  • Maggie Sensei – ditto.
  • Self Taught Japanese – one of the few sites dealing with literature and translation, both of which are a passion of mine.
  • Tofugu – I appreciate how in-depth they go on some topics, to the point of overkill sometimes.
  • Dictionary of… Japanese Grammar series – those are my bedside books. I really appreciate the clear explanations and examples. Probably my most used resource in English.
  • Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don’t Tell You – one of the most eye-opening books I’ve come across. It only covers a few topics, but it really helped me at the beginning to get the knack of how Japanese works. I really respect Jay Rubin as a translator as well.
  • Japanese Ammo with Misa – lots of examples, clear explanations, good presentation. The video The Ultimate Guide To: は vs が she made a few years back helped me fill in a few gaps that were kind of unclear (or I had forgotten about). I really wish she had been around when I started learning, as most of her content is useless to me now.
  • The Difference Between the Particles "wa" and "ga" - 80/20 Japanese – I don’t know anything else about the site, but along with the above video, this article really helped make は and が click for me, even as I was already past the beginner level.
  • Arai Channel – another resource I wish would have been around when I was starting out. Really good presentation and clear examples.
  • Nihongo no Mori – a Youtube channel I used for getting up to speed with intermediate Japanese when I felt it was lagging a bit behind or that I had some gaps in it. The slow and clear explanations helped a lot at a time when I was just only starting to use Japanese resources.
  • 教師と学習者のための日本語文型辞典 – this is an extremely comprehensive handbook that easily rivals the Dictionary of… series and has become one of my go to books.

Popular resources that kind of fell flat for me:

  • Cure Dolly – I really should like it, because most of its approach is based on Making Sense of Japanese and trying to explain things based on how things are taught in Japanese, but I can’t get over the uncanny valley. The doll just really creeps me out and the voice doesn’t help.
  • Tae Kim – it’s recommended everywhere, but for me, something about it just felt off somehow and I can’t really put my finger on why. Perhaps I just don’t like his style of explaining things or maybe it was that it felt too simplified at some points and I usually appreciate more thorough explanations.
  • Imabi – I appreciate it as a resource that goes well above and beyond most free grammar sites and I still use it, but the explanations and examples for me are a bit difficult to follow. Also, while I like it better than Tae Kim, I often feel like I’m still left with questions after reading a chapter.
  • BunPro – I’m not a huge fan of memorising stuff when it comes to grammar. I feel like I get a better foundation though a combination of formal study and immersion and looking things up when you need them. Seems like it might be a good resource for reference/review, though.

Probably forgot some, but this is what I can come up with off the top of my head.

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I agree with a lot of what you said, especially with regards to Cure Dolly. However I have two exceptions: Tae Kim and Imabi, I like both of them.

I do have one quarrel with Tae Kim’s guide though, and that is it allows me to click on kanji I don’t know in order to get the reading. Whilst if it didn’t have this, I’d almost certainly still be complaining but it has enabled me to put off learning kanji for a long time. Tbh, this is my own mistake. :sweat_smile:

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