Japanese for Busy People - Japanese Grammar


I’m new to this forum and WaniKani (just reached level 2). So far i’m really enjoying it, but it sounds like that will change at some point!

I’ve started looking at other resources alongside Wanikani. After some research, I decided on Japanese for Busy People.

I’m currently looking at the section Characteristics of Japanese Grammar and am having a hard time understanding one of the explanations. Can anyone help please?

Japanese adjectives, unlike English ones, inflect for tense (present and past) and mood (for example, to show whether the word is negative).

Can someone explain this to me or provide an example?

Thanks for your help!


They mean that (i-)adjectives can contain tense and negativity.

For example,

おもしろい (is interesting)
おもしろくない (is not interesting)
おもしろかった (was interesting)=
おもしろくなかった (was not interesting)


Thank you, that does make sense I think.

So am I right in saying it’s an added bit to the end of the word that changes the tense?

Although is ‘Un-interesting’ an exception to this in English?

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Woops, good one

That’s a good way to look at it.

I mean, that’s true, but there’s a nuance between “it’s un-interesting” and “it’s not interesting”. Like being “bad” and “not good”

Also, it is important to distinguish between two different adjectives: i-adjectives and na-adjectives. This image gives a good summary of how to do the same for na-adjectives.

The difference between i and na adjectives are a bit hard to spot.
A general rule of thumb is that i-adjectives end with an i, but there are exceptions, like 綺麗 (きれい).


Yeah, I get what you’re saying. I like to think my English isn’t too bad, but I guess like many people I’ve forgotten everything that I learnt from school, so sometimes English comparisons are confusing to me!

Thanks for your help, I might make it past the introduction today! :smile:

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Casual な-adjective conjugation:



You’re only allowed to say this while wearing both sunglasses and a denim jacket (skateboard under arm is optional)

As an aside, “un” is a prefix, not an inflection of the adjective “interesting”, so that’s not exactly the same thing.


Ooh but what about 静かだ?

Not to be overly critical, but I have Japanese for Busy People, Genki, and Minna no Nihongo 1 and 2. And of the three, I’d stay away from JBP for 2 reasons. One, at least the revision I have, uses romaji and I have a pretty visceral opinion that romaji is damaging to the learning of the language. And two, I think it’s false advertising to think that you can learn Japanese on the cheap, which is what’s implied by the title. You are busy, you don’t have much time, so here’s a book for you. It’s the same as my main complaint with WaniKani’s marketing hook to get you to subscribe. Here, learn 2000 kanji in a little over 52 weeks. I love WaniKani, but it sets an almost impossible to achieve expectation. I’d love to see WaniKani’s internal data on how far people progress and how long it takes them, but for understandable reasons I never expect them to publish that. I can tell you with certainty that those who get to level 60 in about 60 weeks are an exceedingly small percentage of the total.

Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

If I were self studying, I’d choose the Genki series. If I were planning on studying in Japan at a language school I’d choose the Minna series as that appears to be the standard used in Japan (largely I think because there’s translations into just about every language, not because it’s necessarily better than Genki).


Welcome to the real world mate. Marketing tools are everywhere. Even if 0.000001% of people finish the course by those rules it is enough to qualify for advertising, even by ethical standards

I feel another edit coming on…

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There’s a kana version.

Not sure that what’s being implied at all. Also, it’s more like Japanese for Business People…

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But that’s not the title. The content might be geared toward business people, but the title is designed to grab the attention of people who think they are busy and therefore have little time to devote to study. And I’m just implying that any resource that uses that marketing ploy is being less than truthful.

And to the extent that this applies to WaniKani, oops. I still think you are a transformative resource for learning kanji and recommend you to everyone I know.

That’s true!




I understand where you’re coming from. I took a lot on time deciding what book to get. I’m not in a rush per se. It’s just that i’m learning on my own. I read that Genki is better, but also has a lot of exercises based around being a student or in classroom situations, which won’t be useful to me at this stage. It also uses a lot of group exercises.
I’ve picked the one that is kana not romaji. It was also only £10 compared to Genki which was a lot more expensive. I will get Genki at some point, but i’m going to be in Japan for 3 months next year and wanted something condensed I could work through along with WaniKani as a starting point. I understand that learning Japanese is a life-long process, I just figured I was better off not overthinking it and best off to start learning.
So far i’m happy with it, it’s helping me with reading hiragana and the chapters are relevant to what i’ll be doing next year.

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When I started learning Japanese a long long time ago in a Ginowan far far away I used Japanese for busy people and I think it gave me a solid grasp of foundational Japanese that has served me well. I liked how it was “adult” in nature. And I don’t mean like sexy or anything but focused on stuff that adults living in Japan would need to know, particularly people with jobs at offices.

I think Japanese for busy people is geared towards international transfers for corporations or similar situations.

I used minna no nihongo at points (because that is what my Japanese tutor used) and it felt a little more dated than Japanese for busy people. I never touched genki since I never learned Japanese at a foreign university (where it seems exclusively used). I followed up JFBP with Minna no nihongo chuukyuu and then to Tobira.


I think it gave me a solid grasp of foundational Japanese that has served me well. I liked how it was “adult” in nature. And I don’t mean like sexy or anything but focused on stuff that adults living in Japan would need to know, particularly people with jobs at offices

That’d good to hear and what I was hoping for really!

Made me laugh.

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