N4-level/upper beginner advice?

hi all,
I’m in a bit of a predicament.

so I’ve been studying japanese for about 5 months. i went to a japanese culture festival in my town last week and was quite pleased with my results, i was able to order all food and books in japanese and have a few light conversations with people working the little shop stands. they said my japanese was “上手ですよ!” and “とてもペラペラです!” but i think they were just being nice. i would say i’m a confident n5 with basic conversational skills.

i studied using lingodeer, which is a great service and definitely helped me get to where i am. but they only teach up to n5. i can’t use genki, minna no nihongo, etc. because those start at the very beginning. also i’m broke as hecc and can’t afford anything.

i have the スピードマスター book for n5 and n4 so as far as vocabulary goes i can definitely suffice. and obviously we got wanikani so kanji is a breeze. but i am worried about grammar.

does anyone know of any free websites or apps to learn n4/upper beginner grammar? key word free, i suppose.

(note: i’m using n5 to mean lower beginner and n4 to mean upper beginner, i’m not planning to take these tests.)

1 Like

You’re not forced to start since the beginning.
There are free books are widely available on the internet.


From the Welcome to WaniKani blurb:
Don’t be illegal: Illegal activity, including hacking, torrents, asking for sect names, illegal downloads, etc., will not be tolerated.

PDFs of these books is a breach of copyright, and so illegal - don’t encourage this: please edit your comment.

@mickeyjapan, there is a legal, free PDF of Tae Kim’s Japanese Grammar Guide - just google ‘Tae Kim PDF’




I found Tae Kim’s guide extremely approachable, and felt maybe around N4 to mid-N3 level when done with it.

For more advanced (and also comprehensive) stuff beyond that I also recommend imabi, although I never read it all the way through; more just consulted as a reference.


done! Sorry :x


This thread has a lot of links:

Note that it can be a bit difficult to navigate, since stuff that could be sorted into multiple categories tend to be just in their “main” category. E.g. JapanesePod101 teaches grammar, but is in the listening category (which makes sense, but still)


You get that a lot. My standard response is "そんなことない!”


Tae Kim is probably the best free resource. I’d also go through Maggie Sensei’s grammar posts:

And it can’t hurt to go through the N4-N5 entries on https://japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/category/learn-japanese-grammar/ to make sure you haven’t missed anything. I don’t know how straightforward the N3 and up points are, but you could start from there too.

1 Like

After going through the first Genki book I dropped textbooks altogether :man_shrugging:. I change the approach to immersion and Grammar reference books. though I consider a great practice to check the table of content of books like Genki II and Intermediate textbooks as well, so you’re are not missing
anything basic while immersing.

There’re some great channels in youtube, first comming to my mind are Kawajapa, Japanese Ammo with Misa, Nihongo No Mori, Learn Japanese…

So all things considered you can use the structure of any given book (provided you can review the table of content) and review the material elsewhere.

edit: here is both Genkis content and here the content on the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series. :+1:


if money is the issue, go native material. There is an entire internet of native japanese content. get a browser dictionary plugin and just start trying to read. You can use all the good free resources that have already been mentioned (tae kim, japanesetest4you, maggie sensei, imabi, etc) to decypher the content.

Also take the content you are reading and when you encounter something you don’t know, put it in an anki deck. (or do some sort of sentence mining routine).

If you are reading native content you will encounter the common grammar constructions all the time. You can read through tae kim to fill in the gaps.

When you get a little farther, I would recommend the nihongonomori youtube channel. They have complete video series on N3 and N2 grammar. (also obv free)

After a while, it you are dilligent about doing any kind of grammar study, it will become clear to you what you need to work on to progress.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.