Is it worth learning English grammar before Japanese grammar?

English is my first language and I know grammar is like a set of rules for placing blocks of text and words in certain ways to mean different things. So is there value in learning all the terminology and how English works before learning how Japanese grammar works?


Nah, I would just learn it as you go.


Yeah I wouldn’t say to put in a bunch time studying English grammar beforehand, but if you do run into grammatical terms you don’t really understand that happen to also exist in English, looking into that could be a good way to wrap your brain around it!

I’d be careful trying to compare English and Japanese grammar too much though, they really are very different and trying to impose English concepts onto it can make things way harder than they need to be :laughing:


Not sure if I’ve understood you well. But I don’t think you need to know english grammar terminology. After all you must have some grammar knowledge for the language you learnt at school, japanese grammar is pretty different from english one, so I don’t think it is very important to know much english grammar.

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By now I’ve seen several english natives that don’t seem to know grammar terminology. Is that not something that is taught in school in english speaking countries?
I’ve had that in school for years and once you are in middle school everyone just expects you to determine things like a time-related subordinating conjunction or dependent adverb clauses in literature analysis when you have your native language in school.
I suppose learning several languages in school constantly reinforces learning grammar and different grammatical structures and english speaking natives often don’t have a school system where learning three languages is mandatory so it is easier to forget these terms.
But I’m genuinely curious about the topics you have in your native language subject in school if grammatical terms aren’t needed as foundation.


I have no idea about english natives, but I (spanish native speaker) definitely studied a bunch of grammar at school for all languages we learnt, terminology and all included.

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Like a lot of things in North America, it depends on where you live that determines how effectively schools teach grammar.

I grew up in a very rural area of the US before moving to BC, and my experience is that in the rural area, I had to actively seek out AP and honor roll classes myself to find anywhere that actually delved in-depth into grammar. Basic English classes were very lacking in detail. They brushed over the topics, sure, but not in a way that it would really stick. They cared more about spelling and literary analysis than they did hammering home grammar points.

On the other hand, my AP English teacher was absolutely a stickler for grammar, and at least back then, I knew all the little minutiae and more complex terms. 8+ years away from it and in technical fields where dealing with those terms on a daily basis is no longer necessary, I would be hard-pressed to sit here and list them. However, if I were to be asked what something was, the memory would probably dredge itself up and I would be able to answer the question.

Tl;dr: Where you live, which type of school you go to, and the type of classes available to you determine if you get an effective grammar education.

Edit: To clarify, I also can only really speak for the US and Canada. I don’t know anything about other English-speaking countries’ education systems; I realised that my post unintentionally implied you were only talking about North Americans and not all native English speakers… I just tend to assume Americans to be a bit more likely to not know these things because I lived there for so long, and it was such a common occurence that my classmates who weren’t in the AP classes had next to zero grasp on grammatical terminology. No idea how much that compares to Canada since grammar isn’t much of a topic of conversation in my field of work. :stuck_out_tongue:


Unless you never went to school, I can’t fathom how you don’t know English grammar— being that it is your native language :confused:

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Me personally as an American, I was only taught grammar terms around 3rd grade so that my writing wasn’t a mess but I’ve forgotten most of the definitions of the terms and what I do remember is very useless.

Case in point. I have no idea what that means off the top of my head

Literary analysis, creating different arguments for essays, more essay writing, and some reading. Lately, I’ve been given some review on independent and dependent clauses but that’s the only grammar topic I’ve had this year.


It’s subconscious for me so I don’t think about it, but I do know it. I just need to connect what I know subconsciously to actual terms if I want to learn grammar rules.

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Of course we do. Spanish is also my native language and grammar is extremely important. I can’t picture any country where they wouldn’t teach grammar in school.


This is really common in the UK, we just don’t usually learn grammar in any detail.

Now obviously we all, to varying degrees, know how English works, but we mainly learn it less formally than (as far as I understand) speakers of other languages do, certainly in Europe. You can understand the differences between “dog bit man”, and “man bit dog” without knowing that English is a subject-verb-object language. You can know that the man’s dog is the dog that belongs to the man, without knowing what a genitive case.

I exaggerate a bit, most of us get some of this at school, but our unfamiliarity with grammatical principles can be a real obstacle when we try to understand other languages.

That said I think Japanese grammar is so different from English grammar, I am not sure understanding the technical terms for the latter would really help with the former.


I think CureDolly would say that would just confuse you. Because the terminology for English doesn’t quite match the terminology for Japanese. And trying to squeeze Japanese grammar into a framework of English grammar is the path to confusion. I’d say crack on with the Japanese. (If you’re a native speaker of English you have an innate idea of what’s right and what’s wrong with an English sentence, without necessarily being able to explain why that’s so. You don’t need to know ‘how English works’. But you do have to learn a bit about how Japanese works! Maybe save your poor brain cells for that. And try her youtube course?) That’s my opinion at any rate.


After learning several languages in my life (few of them to the native-speaker level as I was living in the respective countries), I can proudly say I know jack about grammar in any of them, including my native one(s). But I wouldn’t say it gives me any difficulties beyond those recent vocab items I got in wanikani.

Adverb? “Na” adjective? Is it edible? Proper noun? What about an improper noun?


Other English speakers tend to think it’s weird that Americans learn sentence diagramming, so clearly there are different standards.

Try imagining a bit harder?


Just because they teach it doesn’t mean I’ll be learning it! Ha-ha-ha! Take that, ministry of education and all my language teachers!


After looking this up, it is apparent that I’m lucky to not have learned such a complicated mess


How did you learn grammar then? Just by reading the rules and getting lots of practice until they’re ingrained in your head, lots of immersion, traveling to the center of the universe to unlock secret native level grammar?

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I mean, do you want to learn grammar or not? It’s obviously possible to get by either way, but if you don’t want to then don’t force yourself.

Ah no, I’m going to learn English grammar for some non Japanese purposes but I was just pointing out how sentence diagramming looks so weird to me since I’ve never heard of it before.