Genki & Taekim grammar points

Between Genki 1-2 & Taekim, what covers more grammar points? I’m nearly through Genki 2.
and I’m not sure if Taekim provides more grammar points or not? If anyone has been through both, please let me know.



I haven’t actually read Genki but I’m familiar with what it covers, and Taekim covers roughly the same material. Try the Nihongo no Mori youtube channel, the Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar, or the Shin Kanzen Master books if you want some post-Genki grammar study. If you want a review or different perspective on the material in Genki try Making Sense of Japanese or Japanese the Manga Way. I think Taekim is poor resource.


If I may ask, why is that?


I personally started with Taekim before ever touching a textbook (I picked up Genki later on and got through the first one). A combination of Bunpro, Wanikani and Anki sentence decks rapidly improved my Japanese after I learned the basics (I guess it like cements the basics or something like that). I don’t like how vague Genki is on some of the grammar points (for example, I didn’t understand how they suddenly went from て form to てもいい and てはいけない so quickly. Maybe it made sense to you, but I didn’t understand it that well at the time. I think the progression is smoother for Taekim in that regard.) Anyway, I just realize I didn’t really answer your question because I haven’t finished either.


To be honest, I think Tae Kim explains more in details and even shows difference with other similar grammar topics as well as more often than not introducing a few versions of the same grammar topic. If it were for Genki only I don’t think I would understand grammar as much as I do now. This is from someone who started from scratch by self-study.
At some point when I do not know how certain things emerged in terms of grammar, I definitely had to check it again in Tae Kim. I still do. It’s so good that although I am extremely picky about my books and always on the move to find better alternatives, I still have no alternative for Tae Kim. Flicking back through Genki I I find little heart emojis and Tae Kim name next to them in grammar sections to express my gratitude to the book and the author :):smile:


I’ve read both. TK covers more (hits a bit of N3 material as well), but it’s been too long since I read it to know precisely how much more.


EDIT: Just noticed the main question. Sorry, I was totally distracted by the “Genki vs Tae Kim’s guide” thing that I assumed the question was something else xD In your case, I think you have nothing to lose by doing a quick review of what you know on Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide now. It’s a 300 page book. Since you’re finishing Genki II, you’ll be able to breeze through it. Extra reinforcement and it’s free.

This answer down below is more focused on the Genki vs Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide topic and it can be useful for total beginners:

Honestly, I feel like both Genki and Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide can be incomplete in terms of their explanations. I feel that both simplify too much sometimes, ending up making some stuff harder. However, they are very useful as a way of introduction to a grammar point.

This is what I suggest for Grammar:

  • Study using Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide AND/OR Genki (if you’re willing to spend money).
  • Go to Bunpro and check the links recommended. They usually add important information.
  • Add the grammar points to the SRS system.

If you feel that you’re struggling with starting with grammar, I advise you to follow Japanese Ammo with Misa’s playlist. instead. It’s in a video format where you get a more human interaction, compared to reading a grammar book. She doesn’t have much content yet, compared to Genki or Tae Kim’s. However, it can be a good starting point.

Obs: If you decide to buy Genki, make sure to buy the workbook too. Theory without practice can be a problem for most people.
Obs 2: If you decide to go for Tae Kim’s, make sure to write your own example sentences. Reproduction is essencial.


As a Genki user, I’d really recommend it as your main grammar learning source. It’s written by natives and targeted to an academic public, things that are always a plus. Explanations are clearly written, it covers a lot of terrain from grammar to reading/listening comprehension, and I found it super fun to work with. Some exercises require two people, but with enough imagination, you can do them on your own. Also, there’s an answer key on every book, something that can supplement the lack of a teacher to correct your homework if you study on your own. The workbook is invaluable, something web oriented textbooks don’t usually provide.

I think it’s overall a good investment, as you can sell it later on if you get tired of it, and the book quality is impeccable like any Japanese paper product, it even has something like wedges on the sides of the covers to make it more comfortable to grab it when you bend them.

I love learning with books and somehow need physical copies to study, so my opinion might be a bit biased, but if you can learn the same without a book, then a web resource might be your best choice.

I wouldn’t stress too much about adding grammar into an SRS tool, though, not at the beginning at least, it’s not something you have to memorise, but rather learn how to use it by actively applying it, so I’d suggest you write as much as you can instead (that’s why Genki workbooks are great) and upload your drafts to online tools like HiNative where you can get them corrected.


If I may ask, why is that?

It’s ok, but it just doesn’t do anything particularly well, and certainly not better than other available resources. As an introduction to the language for total beginners, the order it introduces concepts and the way they’re grouped isn’t well thought out, and the explanations are overly simplified. The examples are unmemorable at best, or misleading at worst. As a reference material, again the overly simplified explanations and haphazard structure make it unsuitable. It’s ok as a beginning resource I guess, but you’d need to move onto something more substantial to get a solid understanding of the fundamentals of the language. I do like how he insists that you learn kana and kanji and don’t get stuck using the romaji crutch. I think it’s ok as a refresher read since the simplified explanations and condensed structure make it pretty concise, but again there are better books for that.

Even as far as free, online resources go, there’s imabi which has much higher quality information and a more sensible progression and division of topics.

I don’t think reading Taekim would hurt anyone in the sense that just because it’s subpar doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it, and I don’t remember him having any explicit misinformation or anything like that in it. It’s just that, assuming people don’t have unlimited time and energy for Japanese study, there are better and more efficient resources to use. That’s why I said it’s poor.


I see that you mentioned Imabi, what other resources would you rank above Tae Kim’s guides for learning Japanese grammar as a beginner?

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The thing is, none of these really match a textbook as much as they just talk at you, so while things like Imabi are good supplements, the real benefit of Genki is that you also have the exercises, the workbooks, the listening comp and the graded readers throughout the whole book. Just reading things will not be as good, no matter what you read.


It depends on what you want. If you want one book that fills most of your needs (teaches, provides graded practice material, etc.) it’s going to have to be a traditional textbook like Genki. But other than that, here are some other useful resources that I think all fill valuable niches:

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar:
Excellent resource for looking up grammar points you’re hazy or confused on while you’re reading. It’s also great just to keep with you and read a section or two whenever you have a chance for a bite-sized lesson. It has some short essays at the front and glossaries in the back that are also extremely useful.

Japanese the Manga Way:
Good as a primer if you haven’t studied grammar at all, lots of people (myself included) say it helped them get the big picture of how Japanese works before moving onto learning the nitty gritty details with other resources. It’s also good as a quick refresher since it’s concise and can be read quickly. This one basically fills the slot of Taekim. It’s just a short, easy to understand overview of basic Japanese grammar that you can read quickly and helps prepare you digest denser materials.

Nihongo no Mori Youtube Channel:
Excellent channel, but to be honest I’ve only watched their N2 and N1 videos so I’m just assuming their beginner content is as good. I think this is the best Japanese language channel on youtube, but I have a crush on Takepan so maybe I’m biased.

Making Sense of Japanese:
This isn’t really a grammar textbook, it’s just a collection of essays by the eminent Professor Jay Rubin which are intended to help students solidify a lot of fundamental concepts which are typically confusing. I absolutely love this book, but save this one for after you’ve worked through at least one actual grammar book. It’s good for when you’re trying to claw your way out of the beginner level.

Shin Kanzen Master:
There are tons of these for pretty much all skill levels and subject (grammar, reading comprehension, vocab, kanji). I’ve only used the N2 and N1 reading comprehension ones but I like them quite a bit. I assume the beginner level ones are also good.

All of those cost money except for Nihongo no Mori. If you’re REALLY pinched for cash then I think the best free, online resource is Imabi, but I suggest you invest in actual books at some point if you’re serious about learning.


I have some experience with the basic Nihongo no Mori videos. They are crazy/wacky and low budget, but the info seems good.

I’ll second A Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese grammar as being really, really good reference works.

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I never study grammar really. I come across a sentence i dont understand, or am hazy on and put it in google “sentence grammar” and i read about it then throw it in anki or look it up on bunpro.

I want to mention one thing: when I said Tae Kim is best I meant for the one starting from scratch to know the basic grammar and to some level intermediate-ish. A Dictionary Of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Grammar is much better for those studying the depth of the grammar and also for upper levels, although as a non-native ENglish speaker I kinda find the explanations a bit hard to understand. That might be because I’m just too lazy to read all the additional stuff they are mentioning in the explanation part. You can additionally download their deck and study your way through it in ANKI. that’s what I do anyway. Good luck :slight_smile:

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