Free Japanese Grammar Study Resources (That Are Actually Good)?

Hello,

This is my first time making a post. I just realized not too long ago from a comment on the community that Bunpo had a grammar section (I was slogging though the vocab at first, then got sort of demotivated and bored because I really just wanted some grammar so I could start making sentences already…), so I just completed the first lesson… and then I realized that to progress any further, I would need to pay money… money that I don’t have…

I was so excited to finally be able to do something with all the vocab and kanji I have floating around my head from my own studies and WaniKani, only to be put right back to square one. So, I was wondering… what free study resources do people use for grammar studies?

I do know of one; I really like Japanese Ammo on YouTube. みさ先生 is very good at breaking down and explaining the concepts behind particles, etc. The main reason I wanted to learn grammar to support my kanji studies so early (I’m level 8) is not just so I can practice writing kanji in actual sentences, but also because I’m having a VERY hard time remember which verbs mean what in my WaniKani studies. The different endings are so confusing to me, and I can’t for the life of me remember the difference between words like 直す and 直る, or 下げる and 下がる. I’ve tried with the mnemonics; I’ve tried making my own way of remembering… nothing helps me more than understanding WHY something means something… and for that, I need to understand conjugation, I think. I believe it would really boost my memory to understand just what those endings mean, because right now I can never tell if it’s “to do something”, “to do”, “to do to something”, etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

TL;DR: Free Japanese grammar lesson resources?

Side note: The main reason I’m not using Japanese Ammo right now is because I wanted something a little more compact and digestible, like WaniKani and Bunpo, where I can just pick it up and click or type away to review my answers. That seems to stick with me a bit more than trying to write things down from a video and review them on my own (which, let’s be honest, I rarely do…).

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The most popular Japanese Grammar textbook for beginners is Genki.
It is so popular that many people have made great tools to go along it. Those tools are so great, that I ended up using them and not really opening the actual book anymore. You could try that too (you don’t buy the book but just use the tools!)

For each lesson, first watch the video of TokiniAndy go through it:

Then do the exercises for the lesson you watch on this website:

Then next lesson :slight_smile:

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you can try bunpro for a month, you can finish N5 at least.

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Learning grammar probably won’t help with this. These are in the same both as fall and drop in English, one means that something happened to something, while the other is the result of someone (or something) doing the action on an object. There’s no grammatical difference between them, they are really just separate words. The only thing that helps these stick better is encountering more such pairs, since these have rough guidelines (eg. for す-る pairs, す is always the drop type, while る is always the fall type).

As for grammar study, my approach was that I tried to absorb the basics from as many resources as I could, and then switched to reading, and haven’t done any actual grammar study since, only grammar lookups. For this, you have plenty of other sources available, for more youtube content, Cure Dolly, is a bit divisive, but good channel to look at. For more book-esque resources, people tend to go with Tae Kim’s guide (though keep in mind, it can have errors in it, and some stuff might not be well explained, but that’s why the “as many sources as possible” approach is important). There’s also Imabi. And if all else fails to grab your attention, doing Duolingo for a bit can be helpful, though they have a weird order to things.

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https://sakubi.neocities.org/

This is a free whirlwind tour through basic grammar of Japanese. The idea here is that rather than going into deep detail with each point, it covers a lot of area in one concise guide. I think going breadth first is a winning strategy when it comes to grammar, as that enables you to start reading faster.

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Bunpro is excellent and all the information is free to view (although the SRS is not). It seems the part you’re really interested in is the reviews part, but you can at least go through Bunpro and read their explanations, and maybe that will help with the grammar you’re having trouble with. But yeah, other than the price, this would be what you’re looking for.

Anki is free, it’s very versatile, you can study basically anything with it. It’ll take some time to configure a grammar deck (many people just use it for vocab for this reason), but if you’re willing to put in the time to set it up, then it’s worth it. I personally recommend creating your own deck and not just importing someone else’s grammar deck, but importing a premade deck is always an option.

Human Japanese is not free, but it’s very affordable ($10 once, not a subscription!) and has good quality grammar explanations. There’s no SRS, but they have quizzes at the end of each section. But even though it’s an app, it functions more like a textbook, so maybe not quite what you’re looking for? Just wanted to mention it just in case you find it useful, especially since it may be within your budget.

I struggled with these for years until I watched this video. Disclaimer that some people find Cure Dolly’s voice grating and the VTuber model unsettling, but imo the information is worth it.

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I got used to Cure Dolly, I don’t find her so weird at 1.75x speed and the smacking noises were only in the earlier videos.

I did find a project to turn her videos in to a textbook though. The romaji to kana was still a work in progress when I last read it, and I spotted a few errors (は・わ reversed, switching English と kana etc.) but it’s maybe better for people who cant stand the avatar or just prefer reading.

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Oh yeah I also got used to her voice (never really found her voice too weird to begin with). Just put in that disclaimer b/c I know a lot of people don’t watch her videos b/c of that