In another post I asked your opinions on Imabi vs. A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, both of which are very beefy resources. However, I’m also interested in something as concise as possible. Opinions vary, of course, but I really like the method for learning grammar outlined in the book The Art and Science of Learning Languages (my favorite language learning book of all time, btw). One of the authors recommends reading through your grammar book within just a few days, and then doing this over again several times over the following months. Each time you understand it better and more points stick. Needless to say, this is very hard to do if your grammar book is 500 pages. Does anyone know of a thorough, yet concise grammar book? (Maybe like 100-150 pages?)
I don’t think it’s possible to distill all of Japanese grammar into just 150 pages. The Kanzen Master series are only ~200 pages per book, however, and less if you don’t do the quizzes
That’s pretty much what I did with Tae Kim’s grammar guide years ago, I thought it worked pretty well. Another nice advantage is that even if I didn’t remember the exact grammar point, I would remember reading about it, so it was easy to look up individual grammar points when I wanted a refresher.
Tae Kim’s grammar guide was great as a beginner, but now I’m reading through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar to fill in the gaps.
From what I read around the Nihongo Sou Matome series are even more concise than the Shin Kanzen Master, as it’s main use it’s to review for the JLPT tests. But still you’ll be looking at 5 books of grammar, one for each JLPT level.
There is also A Handbook on Japanese Grammar Patterns, which has about 700 pages, and apparently is pretty thorough in it’s content.
I don’t really know if there’s anything with less pages than that. Sorry! Maybe you could split the study per JLPT lvl?
The translations are not always very good though so be careful with this
They have a very nice way of ordering all the grammar points though. I use the N2 sou matome grammar with N2 kanzen master grammar. They complement each other well, but it’s not so concise anymore if you use two books I guess lol
I wish this book didn’t use romaji. This series has been fantastic for other languages. Clear, simple, and concise.
I’ve been thinking about this because like you I would like a “light” resource for grammar. I’m currently doing genki II and what I’m probably gonna do when I’m done is scan only the grammar lessons to make a grammar only pdf and then print that and use it to review as needed. I have to find the motivation to scan it thought lol
I did something like that with Bunpro, though only one JLPT level at a time. I’d add an unholy amount of grammar points a day then spend the next couple months drowning in reviews. I don’t know if it’s the best way to approach it, but some people are more comfortable doing it that way I guess. If you head over to the handy dandy Short Grammar Questions you’ll find me asking grammar questions almost daily, so that should let you know where I’m coming from, and how well this “method” works.
It’s certainly not a comprehensive resource, but Making Sense of Japanese by Jay Rubin is a must read in my opinion for mastering the basics. His analogies stick with you as they are humorous and light. it’s a quick read that you can go through whenever you need a refresher on what are by far the most commonly mistaken Japanese grammar points.
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