Script to ignore mistakes with English "to"

Is there a script to ignore mistakes caused by leaving out or adding English “to” in front of verbs? I find the rules that Wanikani uses when to put it and when not to put it incredibly confusing. If I sit down and carefully think about it I can do it right but when I just want to do some reviews over lunch I invariably mess up and type “to” when it’s the Kanji, not the verb, or when it becomes a verb with suru. Thinking about the Japanese grammar while typing the English meaning just does not work with my brain.

I also find Japanese verbs easy to identify and the exceptions are much more rare than other Wanikani problems (like ambiguous/unclear/arguably wrong meanings), so I don’t feel the “to” rule adds anything.

(In fact, I think changing it so that “to” is added in front of all English verbs would be more useful, because leaving it out often makes Kanji meanings ambiguous when a word has very different meanings as an English verb or a noun)

Sorry if this has been discussed before. “to” is not searched for easily :slight_smile:

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Doesn’t that make it pretty simple then? That’s the only time you have to put “to”.

“Infinitive” probably yields more results


Hmm you could use the double check script, it has a mistake delay and you can mark your answer correct (or wrong) with a click, so that could help you in those situations

In the end it’s probably better to slow down just a bit and make sure you’re recognizing what WK is asking for, but if the situation arises and you really did know it, then this script can help at least :upside_down_face:


“To” is only required for the vocab items (purple background), kanji meanings (pink background) don’t include it

Double check sounds interesting. I know about Override but I worry about bad habits slipping in with that… This seems better than that, I might check it out. Thanks.

Yes, except for vocab items which are verbs in English but nouns in Japanese! (and become verbs with suru)

I know the rules are “easy” but they just mash badly with how I think about English (maybe because it’s a second language?)
For me, in isolation, “X” is the noun “X” and “to X” is the verb.
So when a Kanji or vocab item clearly means the English verb, I will naturally put down “to X”, because that’s how I would refer to the associated meaning.

I’ve tried to get used to this but often it means putting in an “incorrect” answer (since I would interpret it as a noun!) and it’s just so confusing to me when I’m not actively thinking about it.
Right now my motivation is already at a low, to be honest, and things like this that just feel like pointless stumbling blocks grind my gears, badly.


Do you have any examples of this?


Ah okay, but agreed, do you have any examples of what you mean?

I don’t think this is a distinction you should ignore. It’s important to reinforce in your mind that you’re dealing with the infinitive form of the verb.

耳打ち comes to mind which is listed as “whisper in ear”.

The distinction is clear in my mind, but I also have a firmly ingrained distinction between English verbs and nouns and transferring the Japanese distinction to the English words just does not come easily to me.

On the other hand, seeing 合 as “suit” makes me mentally jump to tuxedo or suit of cards. Yes the other meanings (and explanation) disambiguate it but it is actually unhelpful for me to drill “suit” (rather than “to suit”) as a meaning.

So, at least for me, the Wanikani way only causes frustration and confusion, and does not seem to add anything (it’s obviously not a verb in Japanese since it doesn’t have okurigana ending in -u).

There are probably vocab items that end in -u kana that are not verbs but I can’t even think of any examples.
Plus, it would have to have an ambiguous English meaning as well to be genuinely confusing!

This always just struck me as “headline style English” where you remove the articles. “(a) whisper in (an) ear” since WK almost never has articles in the meanings. Jisho has the meaning of “whispering into a person’s ear” which is maybe less ambiguous from your perspective, but it’s wordier and I never saw it as a verb the way you did anyway.

To be fair, they don’t do it every time they could, but there’s a few others like it that made me notice it.

Fair enough. If the WK review background is purple and the last hiragana that comes after the kanji is うるつすむぐぶぷく any う sound then I’d bet my left testicle that it’s the dictionary form of the verb and you should put “to” before the meaning.

I can think of examples that aren’t verbs with う endings, like 暫く (しばらく) and 漸く (ようやく), but they are generally few and far between. Those really do look like verbs though, especially with the okurigana.

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Ah yes, ku-adverbs. Good point. They don’t quite qualify though because they are almost certainly unambiguously adverbs if you know the meaning.

I get the @aiju’s frustration as it’s difficult to mentally map English “infinitive form” (to eat) to the Japanese “dictionary form” (食べる) which means more “eat” than “to eat”.

@aiju: while I get your frustration, I think your first inclination on this thread is the right one. Use a script to get past the particular WK behaviour that doesn’t work for you. Install the Override script or the Double-Check script and use them only if you accidentally don’t type “to” or whatever. (Or use them however you like as long as you don’t forgive yourself for genuine mistakes.) Problem solved and you don’t need to question a WK principle that seems to work for most people.

I do use the Override script on occasion when I know the meaning of the word but get the “part of speech” part wrong, because in some cases I think it’s a distinction without a difference when going from Japanese to English because words meaning the same thing are used in very different ways.


Yeah I though there’d be a few exceptions but couldn’t think of any. I think it’s a decent guideline to at least get most of them right.

Yes, I understand it’s fine for most people. I’m not asking WK to change. I’m just explaining how I feel about it.

I suspect it’s related to my general difficulty with distinguishing kanji and vocab. I’m not really sure what’s going on with that but it’s a very common error for me. I just tend to focus completely on the shape of the kanji and often forget to consider the things surrounding it. Colour is particularly useless for me.

Yes, these things are not a problem if I do Wanikani paying 110% attention to it but doing that every single time I sit down to do reviews would burn me out very quickly.

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Believe me, I totally get the frustration. If it’s any consolation, I was quite similarly frustrated with the “dumb” mistakes I was making at around your level*. And I also didn’t want to use a script to forgive myself these dumb mistakes, because as much as I didn’t like it, I believed that through pain comes enlightenment (or something silly like that).

But whether through greater mindfulness or just getting used to the system I did get better at not doing things like confusing kanji for vocabulary or writing reading instead of meaning, etc.

So you might find that your problems clear up in a few levels. In my case, I did eventually decide to install the Override script at a certain point, but by then I’d been using WK so long without it, that I was pretty sure I could trust myself not to abuse it.

When I said what you quoted above, it was really from the point of view of trying to save you from feeling so frustrated. But I also understand the need to vent a little. Anyway, keep your chin up, because even 11 levels isn’t enough to fully acclimate to the WK system. You’ll get there.

*I still make plenty of mistakes in my reviews, but these days it’s mainly things that I just can’t seem to remember. And then eventually after inventing all sorts of silly mnemonics, I do start remembering them.

大嫌い for example marks as wrong if you type “really dislike” or “really hate” without putting “to” before it.

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Isn’t that just a matter of them not having gone to the effort of listing all the possible permutations? “Hate” is the main meaning.

And while that still is presumably something the OP doesn’t like, the fact that we almost invariably translate that word as a verb in English is just the reality of it, even though it’s not a verb in Japanese.

That’s not a verb though? Even in the example sentences they still add しました to the end which is a conjugation of the する verb. I’m still learning a lot, but I don’t think you can 耳打ち as a verb. While the translation “whisper in ear” sounds like an English verb, Japanese has its own grammar system with verbs.
I could be wrong though.
I think the “to” is important, it makes sure you know which verbs are so when you are thinking in your head you will be able to easily pick out the verbs and produce sentences correctly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not agreeing with the OP. I strongly believe that the “to” of the infinitive should always be included with verbs. I was simply providing an example of one of those cases where confusion arises due to differences in how certain English verbs are treated as adjectives in Japanese.

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