Is there a particle dictionary?

So I’m at the point where I can understand a good majority of kanji I see in Japanese video games, now I’m coming across an issue where I don’t know some of the particles. I tried using something like Jisho for reference, but I rarely get any good results (That or I’m just using it wrong.)

Is there any sort of dictionary for them? I figured learning them as I go through games would help me understand them better, as I’m actively reading them, over studying the same example sentences in a book.

I don’t know if there’s a dedicated dictionary but you could search for them on BunPro and create your own particle dictionary?

Also, Dictionary of Japanese Grammar lists pretty much all uses of particles, along with very many other grammar points.

But: I would advice against trying to learn all usages of a single particle at once. Learn them as you learn the situations in which you would use them. I like the textbook approach.


There is a book all about particles. It’s called “All about Particles A Handbook of Japanese Function Words.” Written by Naoko Chino.
ISBN 978-1-56836-419-3

It’s a pink book with particles on the cover.


I have this one, and I really like it!

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I’m extra partial to that one because it has my favorite shade of my favorite color on the cover =D

Another decent one is Kodansha’s “A Dictionary of Japanese Particles” by Sue A. Kawashima. ISBN 4-7700-2352-9


Imabi has a list of articles that address different particles and their usage and nuance.

There are 18 particle lessons in the “Beginners 1” category, 10 in “Beginners 2,” eight in “Intermediate 1,” and three in “Intermediate 2,” which cover nearly everything you’ll see in reading. There are a few more peppered through the advanced lessons that cover rare/literary uses.

I agree with Saida that you should approach them in batches. The most common ones are those that correspond to cases in Western languages - は、が、の、に、を、で. Then I’d finish up the rest of the Beginners 1 examples and move on from there.


You can try and have a look at cure dolly’s youtube series and see if you can ignore the weirdness factor.
It can do wonders for kickstarting ones understanding of particles.

But once again, its pretty darn weird and has put off a lot of people despite how informative it is.
In my opinion particles are pretty straight forward once you get over the initial confusion since theyre really quite few (which is untill it’s explained in an easy to understand manner, which unfortunately many resources fail to do). Combined particles are another beast that takes a little longer getting used to.

How so, like reading the entire thing at once? Or me looking up the particle I don’t know when I come across it in a game? Otherwise, thanks!

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To be honest, I think Misa does just as good a job, but without the weirdness and the clickbaity “the secret no one teaches you!” schtick. I guess it just depends on whether you can stand that Misa is a bit chatty at times. :sweat_smile:


Tofugu also has a particle ebook:

If you google it, you can download the pdf from some retro games obsessed person who doesn’t know to shield his pics and stuff from the search engine bots, but that’d be illegal, I suppose.

I like the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar that was already mentioned.


I actually used bunpro about 7 months ago, and while I quit because it felt like I was mostly memorizing the sentences over the particles, it did have a list of the particles and where to find them, so that could be an option!

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I also read this one. It was extremely useful, especially in the beginning.

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Particles are going to be a lot easier to remember when you learn them in context.

Some people can just read through a particle dictionary and absorb the information and retain it. I’ve tried in the past, and failed to gt anything out of it, but that’s just me.

When you’re playing a video game, and you encounter a particle that you don’t know, or one you do know but it doesn’t make sense, you will want to look it up in a resource. And there you will find multiple possible meanings.

Find the meaning that matches the usage in the sentence from the game, and focus on that meaning, ignoring the other meanings. You can learn the other meanings when you need them. It’ll be easier to understand the meaning in usage (in the game) versus learning unrelated meanings that you don’t know when you’ll encounter.


Miku is a good alternative to Misa. I watch and like both, but prefer Miku a bit.

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That’s what I find so tricky about particles! When I learn them in context, I often can guess at/work out the general meaning of the sentence, but I end up still fuzzy on the precise meaning of the particle. And that was the whole point of the context sentence :sweat_smile:

I also vote for Dictionary of Basic (and maybe Intermediate) Grammar!

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Luckily university should straighten me out when it comes to properly understanding all the meanings, but I get what you mean. Thanks!

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I prefer Miku to Misa too. I think it’s because she’s got that chill Osaka vibe.

Can post you a link? I’m curious to check it out.


There are monolingual particle resources as well.

For instance, here’s an entry on how で and に differ when they are used at the end of some time-related expressions.

And here’s one for で, に, and を for when they express the location of an action.

Obviously you have to be probably intermediate level or higher to use these, but I find them helpful to see how to talk about them in Japanese.