Resources that do not contain the words "masu form"

I’m looking for an “introductory” textbook and workbook that (1) emphasize teaching flexible and broadly applicable rules/principals instead of memorizing a bunch of separate sentence patterns and (2) have lots of exercises requiring full sentence responses (at least hundreds). Most self-described introductory texts don’t.

As an example, for verb conjugations, this might mean giving a nod to the 5 different conjugations (imperfect / continuative / attributive / etc.) early on, even if it doesn’t cover some of them until later. It could also mean explaining what some books call “suffixes” or “forms” as helper verbs and how helper verbs themselves can be conjugated to yield chains of verbs. A good litmus test of whether the book is what I want would probably be: “does the book have exercises requiring me to write a sentence where I chain together 2+ helper verbs without having previously seen those two helper verbs being chained together?” (This is not a absolute requirement. However, it is a good illustrative example of the kind of approach I want.)

I know that there are reference-focused resources out there like Pomax that do teach it this way. However, I’m looking for more of a textbookーthat introduces things in a way where subsequent material builds on previous materialーwith lots of full-sentence production exercises.

That being said, a pure workbook with these kinds of exercises in an order that is compatible with a “teach general rules/principals, not patterns” learning order would probably be okay since I could use it with Pomax.

If something like that doesn’t exist, it would be helpful to have a better understanding of the closest thing that does exist and how close these textbooks are:

  • Genki
  • MNH
  • JFZ
  • Nakama
  • Yookoso
  • Elementary Japanese
  • Japanese for Everyone
  • Modern Japanese Grammar Workbook
  • Kanzen Master
  • Japanese Tutor: Grammar and Vocabulary Workbook
  • Beginning Japanese Workbook: Revised Edition
  • any other obvious books I missed

I am by no means an expert but what you are describing sounds a lot like 80/20 Japanese. I have used their free resources online and not used the actual book but apparently it is full of sentence making exercises. Here is a section of the books blurb:
"When I learnt Japanese, I did it the hard way – by memorizing sentence patterns, set phrases and random vocabulary. The problem was, I didn’t know how to put it all together. I knew all these various bits and pieces, but didn’t understand why everything works the way it does.

I figured it out eventually, but there are so many things I wish someone had taught me. Japanese is actually incredibly logical, flexible and intuitive , but I wasted a lot of time feeling confused and frustrated because it didn’t make sense to my English-speaking brain."

Maybe take a look:

For reference I am using Elementary Japanese which contains a lot of memorization of particular forms - the exact opposite of what you want. I am learning using what Richard Web would call the “hard way” :woman_shrugging: For example at the moment I am learning "I intend to (つもりです), how to attach clauses using "から” and how to use and answer どうしてですか。I like it a lot because it’s not dumbed down at all and it has lots of exercises but it sounds like exactly not what you’re looking for.


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