Jlpt n3 grammer book

Hi everyone! I will be starting jlpt n3 preparation soon and was wondering which book would be appropriate for n3 prep.

I used minna no nihongo 1 and 2 for N4 and my language school has asked us to buy 中級を学ぼう 日本語の文型と表現56 中級前期 第2版 and 55(the green and pink )books for n3.

I have gotten used to the detailed english explanations provided in minna no nihongo but the new books dont provide as much insight.

I also downloaded shinkanzen but again the structure is a little different.

Any recommendations would be appreciated :slight_smile:

Thank you.

This is a recommendation a bit off the beaten path, but I would say that maybe the JLPT Sensei N3 grammar e-book might be a really good solution for what you’re searching for. There are 300+ pages of grammar explanations, information about exceptions/synonyms, and plenty of uncomplicated example sentences where you can see the grammar used in a straightforward manner. There aren’t any practice problems, but that’s what you can use your Shin Kanzen Master book for :slight_smile: Good luck!

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For practice you can look into 日本語総まとめ series, which focuses specifically on recapping the material you know while preparing for exams.

It’s not a grammar book per se, but it can be used as an additional source of practice along with other materials.

So I had a look through the preview of this textbook and I think if you’re using it as part of a language school class it should be fine; you can supplement it with some of the free online resources. Why do I think that?

  • in the class you’ll hopefully get extra explanation and examples from the teacher, beyond what’s in the book
  • at the N3 level it’s good to start getting used to explanations of Japanese grammar in Japanese
  • many N3 and up grammar points are just simpler and less in need of long explanations
  • when you find something confusing, doing a web search for “だろう grammar” or whatever will bring up multiple resources, so you can find the one that seems clearest

The shinkanzen books also tend to be quite short on explanation.

If you want books with grammar explanations in English, my personal recommendations:

  • The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and its Intermediate and Advanced sequel volumes. These are the most detailed and comprehensive I know of; they don’t cover every possible “grammar point” but they get the important ones and what they do cover gets a lot of coverage per point, which I think is a good tradeoff. There’s a forum book club that went through Basic last year and is about to start Intermediate.
  • A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners, aka 日本語文型辞典 (link is to the Tofugu review). I actually have the original Japanese-only version of this, but I am assuming the coverage is similar; the review has screenshots. This isn’t as in depth as the DoBJG etc, but it has wider coverage, so I tended to use it as my secondary reference. You could alternatively just use web resources like bunpro instead of this one. Also available in Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese versions.

So it depends on your budget – I really do recommend the Dictionary series, especially if you like a paper reference book, but if money is tight then you’ll be fine with the textbook and free online resources. If you have a Japanese book buying habit like me you can supplement with 日本語文型辞典.


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Thank you all for your responses!

I will keep the books mentioned in mind.

To give a bit more context, my school, depending on the teacher of the day spends anywhere between 15 minutes to 1 hour on grammar each day. Sometimes, had I not prepped before class i would have had a difficult time following the new grammar introduced each day because we were rushing through a lot of things.This is why i feel i need a book with detailed eng explanations.

I was using Nihongoal (youtube channel) along with the books to prep for N4.however for n3 the Nihongoal channel continues using minna no nihongo. Would anyone here know a channel which follows the textbook i will be using?should i also give minna no nihongo intermediate level a try?

Also we will be using

新装版 1日15分の漢字練習 初級~初中級(下)

For kanji.Anyone here used this?any advice?

Thanks in advance.

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Not that specific book, but it looks like a traditional style “learn kanji by rote writing out, in an order that’s more biased to usage, not particularly trying to sort by component usage”, and I think most of these books are largely “show you the stroke order and provide spaces to practice the characters”. In a language school you’ll want the writing practice.

If you’re trying to also do “SRS with mnemonics” style kanji learning (eg WaniKani, RTK) I suspect you’ll find they don’t synergize very well, but there’s not a lot to be done about that. An SRS+mnemonics system that is more flexible about kanji order (i.e. not WK) would help; otherwise you’re likely to find that the kanji you’re asked to learn for class don’t overlap much with the ones the SRS is doing until you’ve got a long way into both.

Throwing out some additional textbooks. My school is using

  • Quartet vol 1 (textbook and workbook) for overall N3-level learning (Tofugu review)
  • Try! N3 for additional grammar

I like the explanations in Try. It’s more grammar-focused whereas the quartet books are well-rounded.

We’re also using Shin Kanzen Master series for Vocab, but my friend gave me the one for grammar to help with N3 prep. I found the explanations in there really minimal, but the practice questions for useful to testing my understanding.

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oh boy a hilarious new chapter by Frasier!

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Ya spot on.they teach us kanji the same way elementary school kids in japan are taught kanji.repetition. I spoke to some of my teachers as to why they dont explain the radicals to us before we learn the kanji but they couldnt given me an answer :joy:

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thanks i downloaded try, will give it a shot.

Btw did you use minna no nihongo for n4?if yes any struggle with adapting to the new textbooks?

Hows your experience so far with japanese language school?

Edit:also downloaded quartet and as far as presentation goes, really loved it.seems more like the beginner textbooks that i am familiar with.

Makes me wonder why my school went with a textbook thats not really well known :thinking:


SKM N3 with “A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners”. The second is a grammar dictionary which I think will be useful even up to N1.

Yup, my school uses Minna no Nihongo (volumes 1 and 2) for beginner levels up through N4. I started midway through volume 2 and finished it within two months (I’ve studied Japanese previously for several years, so it was brushing up on basics).

General concensus in my class is we all like Quartet and the other textbooks much more than MNN as they teach more realistic conversation patterns and grammar. No one talks like the characters in MNN in real life. (We’re a school that focuses on conversation.)

It’s the same team as the Genki textbook authors, so if you’ve used Genki in the past, that may be why it feels familiar :slight_smile:

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