Looking for guidance

I’ve finished Genki I and II and even read the first chapter of Tobira.
My problem however is that whenever I try to create a sentence with stuff that I already went over (in speaking or writing that isn’t これはペンです) I have to open up the books and look things up. For obvious reasons I’d like to move past that stage. Recently I have been starting to use HiNative to ask for corrections. But it happens quite often that the correction they give me is using some grammar point I haven’t seen yet, so I am not sure if I am at the right level to use these kind of resources yet.

How do you suggest for me to continue?
Should I leave Tobira be for a while and keep practicing Genki stuff?
Or should I just go on with Tobira and worry about solidifying the knowledge later?
Or some complete different approach?

Maybe someone else is experiencing the same problem or managed to surpass that stage?

Thanks in advance!

Personally, I’d suggest you start reading native material such as NHK Easy news, manga, visual novels, or whatever interests you. You will still have to go back and refer to your book every now and again, but I believe reading is the best practice for the things you learned in your textbook. Seeing a bunch of real life sentences will help reinforce everything you’ve learnt and will help you passively pick up on some grammar stuff. Here’s a good motivational article on reading from Tofugu, if you want it Why Reading Japanese Is So Difficult

As an aside, when people do give you corrections, if possible try to ask them why they corrected it the way they did. I see it happen a lot on HelloTalk where people will “correct” a sentence that is already correct, but since they would personally say it in a different manner they think the sentence needs to be “corrected”.


Thank you for your reply and the article.

So you advise picking up new grammar by reading instead of studying it first?

I recommend reading and then referring to your books (or other resources)as necessary. You might be surprised at how much you will understand via context without having seen the grammar or vocab before.

Don’t be afraid to look things up while reading though. It is part of the process. I am halfway done reading my first visual novel in all Japanese, and like the article stated, it gets easier the more I read. You will see a lot of the same grammar and vocab as you go on and will retain a lot of it just from reading.I am looking up less & less the farther I get into the game.

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I didn’t like Tobira so it’s just lying around my home xD

Anyway, I did the Sou Matome + Kanzen Master grammar series instead of reading Tobira (i did get through 4 chapters at least :stuck_out_tongue: ). In addition, I kept doing WK, played Japanese games, watched lots of anime, listened to news podcasts, listened to non-news podcasts, read manga, read horror stories (just text), watched Japanese YouTube videos, talked to people (both text and call) on Hello Talk, talked to one Japanese guy in person (fun!), etc.

Basically, keep using your Japanese in ways that challenge you, but aren’t beyond your abilities. If you can do that consistently over time, your Japanese will improve!

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Sadly I discovered these books only after I had already purchased Tobira. Did you do all Grammar Kanzen books? Or did you omit one?

Since the SM series is easier, I do the SM equivalent before the KM one. Here is the order I did/am doing:

  1. Kanzen Master N4 Grammar
  2. Sou Matome N3 Grammar
  3. Kanzen Master N3 Grammar
  4. Sou Matome N2 Grammar
  5. Kanzen Master N2 Grammar
  6. Sou Matome N1 Grammar (currently reading)
  7. Kanzen Master N1 Grammar (will read after SMN1)
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So you jumped right into Kanzen. Did you do Genki I and II before? Or any other beginning textbook?

Oh, I was only listing the post-beginner books I used xD

The books I started off with were the Japanese From Zero 1-4 series (and the JFZ 5 online course).

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Thanks! So I guess I’ll have a look into those books, because Tobira’s explanations are so cryptic with all those shortcuts and also a little short.

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