Starting grammer

I started wanikani 10 days ago and so far it’s a lot of fun (although a bit slow, but everyone says it’s gonna get faster). I was wondering when should I start with grammer, right from the beginning or should I reach a certain level before hand so I’ll have a good enough vocab

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The general recommendation is that you should start grammar as soon as possible, but to be honest, if you wait until like level 15 or 20, you’ll know most words that come your way in the earyl days and by then you’ll be more used to learning than currently.


Personally, I think it’s a time allocation thing. If you “only” have an hour per day to study Japanese, spending all that time on WaniKani for a few levels and splitting it between grammar and WaniKani later is fine.
However, if you do have extra time, there’s no real reason not to start your grammar studies immediately.


The official WK recommendation is to wait until level 10


Isn’t some very old official to wait until level 30? :thinking:

I’d recommend that at the very least you start drilling some basic conjugations and learn a few basic particles.

What resource would you recommend? Some people told me I should use bunpro because It utilizes flash cards like wanikani and others said genki is better so I’m not sure what to choose

Whichever you can stick with for the long term. I personally like bunpro, but I’ll wait a bit until they settle in properly before giving it an honest go.

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I would say start right away. Plus, wanikani isn’t the best way to learn vocabulary. There are a lot of common words it doesn’t teach. One of the best ways to learn beginner grammar is Genki, and they really hold your hand with kanji, as furigana is everywhere. They also provide more relevant vocabulary for beginner levels than wanikani does. With grammar, don’t rush though. Give it some time to digest.


I personally started right away (using Genki I in a class) and turned out fine

A lot of textbooks/beginner grammar resources provide their own vocabulary lists or like translations after sentences anyway, so I don’t think it would be too much of an issue. You’ll always have to learn at least some kana words even if you finish lvl 10 of WaniKani beforehand

I’d say do whatever you’d be most comfortable with

Edit: For context, I got to about lvl 10 on WaniKani ages ago before forgetting my username/email/password and starting anew


Kelsey Grammer is always worth watching.



I’d start as soon as possible, even if you aren’t committing to one study plan or resource yet. I started out with Japanese Ammo with Misa’s grammar lessons for absolute beginners playlist and passively watched a lot of those episodes before I felt ready to pick up Minna no Nihongo and start working through an actual textbook. Misa’s channel helped pave the way for the grammar the textbook taught me, and it was accessible to me even with just a few levels of WK under my belt and no other Japanese.

Having some knowledge of grammar will make it way easier for you to learn and apply your knowledge, and personally I think starting early and working through it gradually is easier than starting later and trying to learn a lot of grammar within a shorter time frame. I started working through MNN at around level 6, I think, and I could have probably started a month earlier and would have been fine.


Supposedly, we should be reading already by level 30.

(It would help a lot attempting to read if I had more knowledge of Japanese grammar, of which mine is relatively basic.)

I might be doing it wrong, but I didn’t really focus on grammar study ever, and I manage fine with both ABBC and BBC book club. It’s actually a common talking point, that it’s almost never the grammar you are missing when you don’t understand a sentence, because the brain has this magic ability to put together the meaning based on the individual words and the context. And if you understand a sentence then you will get a chance at learning the grammar in it through shear immersion.

(Of course I still learned the very basics. I went through Human Japanese and some ways through intermediate human japanese and genki)


I’m of the opinion that SRS (spaced repetition like WK and Anki) are great for kanji and vocab, but terrible for grammar. I can’t learn grammar through SRS, so Bunpro is a no-go for me.

Traditional textbooks are a bit better for me, but bog you down by trying to be an all-in-one resource, so they’re going to assume you don’t know Kana and bore you to death with it. And it’s not like they even just have a Kana section at the beginning and then teach grammar. They spread out kana instruction for 100-200 pages, with the grammar interspersed in, so you have to hen-peck the grammar tidbits (admittedly, Genki and Minna both don’t do this - they basically tell you to shut up and learn kana first and come back later).

That lead me to find: Sentence pattern books. Books that teach grammar solely through sentence patterns. The idea with learning Japanese is that you should be getting in your reading practice as soon as possible (and not just learning ABOUT Japanese), and with sentence pattern books you get dozens of examples, so you get your reading, you get some vocabulary in-context, and you get your grammar through numerous in-context JAPANESE examples, instead of long-winded ENGLISH explanations.

IMHO sentence pattern books are the best bridge between native reading materials and textbooks.


Oh, this is an interesting idea. I don’t remember seeing these before. I did a quick search on Amazon and found this one

Is this the one you mean? Any others that you recommend?

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I own that one, and “A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Sentence Patterns”, and they’re ok, but not the first ones I would recommend. The layout in both is a bit weird, there’s too much explanation and too few examples (the same problem I have with textbooks), and the difficulty of grammatical concepts is kinda all over the place. Don’t get me wrong; they’re excellent books, they just don’t provide enough reading examples.

What I would actually recommend, which might surprise you:

Basic Connections: Making Your Japanese Flow

It’s currently sold out, but it’s cheaper used on US Amazon than JP Amazon

The Minna no Nihongo “25 Beginner Topics You Can Read” addon books, which you don’t need the textbooks to make use of.

[ みんなの日本語 初級2 初級で読めるトピック25 : 昭子, 牧野, 幸子, 澤田, 明美, 重川, よね, 田中, マリ子, 水野: Japanese Books] みんなの日本語 初級2 初級で読めるトピック25 : 昭子, 牧野, 幸子, 澤田, 明美, 重川, よね, 田中, マリ子, 水野: Japanese Books

And the Speak Japanese! I Understand! sentence pattern books:

[ わかる!話せる!日本語会話 発展文型125 (Speak Japanese!) : 信子, 水谷, 尚子, 高橋, 隆, 松本: Japanese Books] わかる!話せる!日本語会話 発展文型125 (Speak Japanese!) : 信子, 水谷, 尚子, 高橋, 隆, 松本: Japanese Books

Obviously you don’t need to go out and get all of these, but any 1 or 2 of them would be better than none.


Thank you for your quick reply! I will check these out.

Also don’t ask me why the link formatting is so inconsistent, I just copy pasted the links but I was making edits while doing it and only some of them actually generated the amazon previews.

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A lot of people that love WaniKani swear by BunPro, but I feel like the formula doesn’t work as prime source for grammar. You are probably going to better served getting a Genki 1 or Minna no Nihongo textbook + some iTalki sessions (for extra guidance).

While its good to have some Kanji under your belt SRS systems dont provide the nuances for use. I would use words from WK and turned out I was using a less natural sounding word. Its not the end of the world to have that happen (despite what people like MattVsJapan would have you believe). But I’d much rather have that happen in a guided environment than in real life.

TL;DR WK and BP are supplemental learning materials at the end of the day and SRS will only take you so far. Go for real books and possibly a tutor if you can afford one.