How do ya'll actually study grammar?

I agree that Andy’s website is quite good. I used it a bit a while back but it was too much with everything else I was doing, and I just didn’t have time to utilize it regularly. That may be the route I will go along with Kanshudo which also seems very good and of course just reading. Thanks for the feedback!

1 Like

I think the best way is to learn from a person. I signed up for weekend classes. There are several online language schools as well

For me its rather easy: I don’t deliberately learn grammar. I generally find it very tedious and unhelpful to go through some constructed sentences and just hope that all those rules with all their exceptions just stick, even with SRS. And on top of all, it’s just not fun so it will in the long run kill motivation.
Just getting input always helped me a lot better. If I come along something I don’t get: I look it up fast until I understand and then move on. And yes, it’s probably gone after a few minutes, but if it was important, it will surely come up again very soon. Then I look it up again if I deem it important for understanding, and then forget it again.

The good thing with this approach is, even if you forget the same things a hundred times, the 101th time, it will suddenly stick and you will never have to look it up again. Grammar in itself is just a construct of rules that people try to use to explain the natural flow of a language. That’s why there are usually so many exception, it’s hard to capture all the examples and make simple rules out of them. These types of things certainly can be learned, but its an annoying process and you burn so much of your learning time for it. In the end, it’s a process that doesn’t happen consciously, your brain will work on it and solve it subconsciously if you’ve seen it often enough.

tldr; Don’t learn too much grammar, listen/read stuff that’s inherently interesting to you and don’t stress yourself if you cant understand everything immediately. It will come. :slight_smile:


I really love hearing everyone’s different viewpoints in threads like this! It’s a wonderful reminder that one size doesn’t fit all. :rainbow: :sparkles:

Personally, I love Bunpro, and I’m making way more progress in grammar comprehension than I did when I was just randomly looking things up from different resources, or reading things like Tae Kim without applying them. I also like the combination of repeated exposure to familiar sentences, plus new sentences, so I gradually build up more and more context for how each grammar point works. Yes, sometimes I do just remember the sentence and fill in the blanks, but that is still positive reinforcement of correct structures, so it’s still a win in my books.

I studied modern languages and linguistics at university (not Japanese though) and I actually enjoy grammar, so this kind of self-directed, grammar-focused learning works great for me. And I love the satisfaction of watching an anime episode and identifying a structure I’ve recently learned on BP.

Trying to do it ‘the other way round’ like @Sadia suggests (consume native material and then look up grammar points when I don’t understand them) seemed a lot more tedious to me, and any of my attempts at doing it were way too frustrating. I’m not saying it’s wrong by any means - I’m super glad it works for them, it just didn’t work for me :blush: maybe when I’m at a higher level I’ll try that approach again.

Good luck with your grammar studies everyone! :four_leaf_clover:


Shameless plug (I’m part of the team), but if you are open to another subscription besides WK, then there’s We have SRS for grammar and actual in-house-made grammar articles explaining grammar in detail. People who try it seem to like it so hey, you can give it a try for free :slight_smile:


Game Gengo is a youtuber that teaches Japanese through video games and right now is he going through grammar from the Genki textbook. Crystal Hunters is a manga that teaches Japanese including grammar.

As for SRS you could try

Also keep an eye out on the Japanese language learning video games that are currently in development. Nihongo Quest N5, Shujinkou, and Koe. I know Nihongo Quest N5 and Shujinkou are going to have an SRS system for learning Japanese (kanji, vocabulary, grammar, etc)


Organic Japanese with cure dolly basically , also a lot of reading and reviewing


I also like Cure Dolly videos. I find that the explanations/way it is explained makes sense of things that I can understand. Granted, sometimes it is on the 2nd run through the video. I think I need the first run through to get the high level concept and on the second run through the details then make sense.

I do gather that a fair number of people are put off by the avatar and voice. It is unique to be sure.


This makes sense to me.
Because here’s the thing: I speak English very, very well. And I mean, REALLY well, better than most people. Do you know how much time I have spent studying English grammar? Almost none. Definitely not since grade school, which was long ago. I can’t tell you what a past participle is or a gerund. I don’t know the actual “rules” of grammar, I just know what sounds right and what doesn’t. How do I do this? By consuming a lot of content in English: reading, watching movies, talking to people, listening to people, listening to music in English.
And this is actually what inspired this post, and you gave me the answer I was hoping for but I didn’t want to come out and say it.
Here’s what happened: I’ve been doing WK for a while and getting some kanji and vocab under my belt. That’s all fine, but I realized I can’t actually formulate many sentences or understand what the hell people are saying, so I better get into the grammar. Around this same time I started listening to Learn Japanese with Paul Noble on Audible. I highly recommend it, at least for beginners. It’s a lot like Pimsleur but I think better.
Anyway, after about a week I starting picking up the patterns like, “Oh, okay, locations go at the beginning of the sentence and get ‘de’ attached to them” or “So, verbs (some of them anyway) you tag a ‘ました’ on the end for past tense” and so on. In this may I am not actually “studying” grammar per se but am just learning patterns by hearing them over and over.
It seems like this is basically what you are doing, so I am glad to find that at least some people agree you can learn the basics of grammar this way.

Thank you for your response.


Thank you for the suggestion. I tried Cure Dolly but couldn’t get past the voice. Her Japanese “accent” is also quite bad: she does that typical American thing where she says all the right sounds but it doesn’t sound quite right, like that scene in Inglorious Bastards where Brad Pitt is speaking Italian.
Also I found some of her explanations good but others not so much. I found the train analogy she uses very confusing.

1 Like

I will check it out. Thank you!

1 Like

Thank you, I will take a look. I don’t mind paying subscriptions for good SASs.

1 Like

I downvote those sentences if I’ve memorized the sentence instead of figured out the grammar. I’ve only run out of sentences for one grammar point so far and it was just a matter of identifying that was why I couldn’t clear my reviews and asking Michael to reset those sentence’s votes. It worked well because I had forgotten the sentences again by that point.

1 Like

Of course you can learn a language that way, people back in the day didn’t have huge written grammar resources or SRS tools at their disposal to learn in a foreign country and they still managed to listen and speak at some point.
All of these methods in this thread will work in some way or another, I guess it’s more about how you can make learning (or acquiring) fun for yourself. Despite what most people think, it’s not about who has the most motivation to learn, rather who can build a healthy habit for learning continuously. And I at least try to make things as fun as possible so it never feels like a chore.
I only started Wanikani again because I want to handwrite and ignoring all the vocabulary I know anyway by now, I need to spend a very tiny amount on here so there’s lots of room for actually fun things like reading. Even in the beginning there are Graded Readers or Satori Reader so people don’t get overwhelmed by the complexity of the natural language. We live in very convenient times regarding language learning, it’s no shame to take advantage of that!

You will still need to spend a lot of time listening if you ever want to really understand another language, there is absolutely no way around it. Knowing grammar is fine and all but if the language just sounds like a soup of different sounds to you, it wont help much. If there’s one thing I could tell my past self, it would be to start as soon as possible to listen to a ton of natural spoken japanese. Would have saved me a lot of time. :hear_no_evil:


when I was lvl 33 here I started bunpro and went from n5 to halfway n1, for one year subscription I dedicated myself to at least know the basic grammar I would encounter when watching anime.

Nowadays I only try to reinforce what I studied before and when some grammar point appears I quickly check it to see if I still remember, specially those from n2 and n1 that are very formal.


I use mainly Bunpro and Cure Dolly for grammar. They teach grammar points in different orders, but ultimately, both resources still reinforce one another.

If you find it hard to listen to Cure Dolly’s videos, the handmade subtitles are helpful.

Alternatively, the course is available in “textbook” format. There are at least two versions that were compiled by her viewers (not by Cure Dolly):

Edit: added the first two sentences

1 Like

If you learnt English in grade school, you probably learnt a ton of grammar. You just forgot it all again since then. (Which is fine because you don’t need it anymore, but I’d wager it made your first years much smoother.)


This makes sense. I think you make a very important point: you have to like whatever learning methods you choose. And the kicker is that everyone is different. I for one hate making flash cards. Some people love manga. Some people like music. Whatever it is, I think you are right, if we enjoy-- or at least don’t hate-- how we are learning, I think it’ll go much smoother.
I also think you are right about listening. It’s my primary learning tool besides WK. I get a little squirt of dopamine every time I actually understand some part of what someone said, and that’s very motivating. I want to send a little thank you gift to Risa from JapanesePod101 because I at this point have listened to 100s of hours of her vocab videos. For me, it’s indispensable.
Thanks again for the response!

1 Like

I probably did learn something about verbs and adverbs and the basics, but I doubt that it actually contributed anything to my ability to speak, read or understand English. I have never once read something in English and said to myself, “Oh look an ADJECTIVE!” or “There’s a gerund!”. I think studying grammar is mostly a waste of time. Just read and converse.

If your using Genki, I would recommend getting the workbook as well if you don’t already have it.

I’m taking a class where we use the Genki textbook, but then I use the workbook to actually do the drills I need to get something into my head. And then since grammar tends to build, I wind up ‘reviewing’ a lot of the old grammar points again just because later exercises will assume you know them.

1 Like