Taking Grammar Notes

I recently started doing textbook work again after a few months of not bothering and I highly recommend just doing a few pages a day as part of your routine, it doesn’t need to take more than 15 if you don’t want it to. It’s so much easier to take it slow and keep doing it than going fast and not burning out

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Indeed, and I like that previous grammar point are often repeated in the following videos, so it makes it stick better and feels like you’re building a solid foundation that just keeps on growing. I’ve also ordered books, but they have yet to arrive, so for now I’m just using the videos to study.

I’ve attempted something similar when I gave Satori Reader a whirl, but maybe it would benefit me to make a document rather than obsessing over my handwritten notes. Seems like that helps get grammar down quick.

I never looked at them in order, but that would probably be even better than watching random ones lol. I’ve really got to step up my study game as far as using a resource more than once a while. Maybe alternate between bookwork and videos…

Too scary

Not that anyone else in their right mind would do this, but I’m codifying grammar into Javascript for a project, so that’s my form of notes. It works amazingly well for me, because I have to understand every point in detail in order to write code. It forces me to discover questions that I would never have thought of otherwise.


I haven’t had many good experiences with the language exchange programs thus far. I used HelloTalk for a minute but either no one replied or they insisted on using English only. I do talk to my cat in Japanese sometimes, though.

Maybe once summer starts I can be more persistent in finding an actual person to talk to.

I’ve only taken notes on Genki I & 2, which I admit was pretty easy since they already have more or less bulleted grammar points with explanations and samples which is more or less the form my notes took (although my sample sentences involved far more cake and cookies).

Maybe if you’re finding your own explanations difficult to understand, the resources you’re using might not be the best fit for you? Sometimes Genki’s explanations just did not sit right in my head, and I had to look up that bit of grammar elsewhere to understand it.
Sometimes this would lead me down a rabbit hole where I’d be discovering more advanced uses for the grammar and my explanations would become overly long and a little less sure-footed - at those times I’d backtrack and keep my explanations shorter with a footnote that there would be more to learn about it later.

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Ah, I wish I had talent in that kind of thing.

Possibly. I used A Japanese Dictionary of Particles and then looked the points up on Google to get further explanation when needed. Sadly, I have a bad habit of trying to learn every use for something all at once.

Well, I have respect for people who really just go it alone and put together their own study programs. :slight_smile: I just let Genki gently hold my hand. Maybe too gently, because once I went back through it to take notes I realised how much they DON’T tell you… but trying to learn everything about everything from the start would have overwhelmed me, so I can appreciate that they keep things simple.

I have some background in structured Japanese classes, as I took two years of it at my online school. Sadly, all of the notes I had from those classes somehow disappeared when I moved. I’ve mostly been trying to reinforce/expand upon what I learned in those classes, though I’ve been considering just biting the bullet and going through the entirety of Tae Kim or at the least just reading through my copy of Genki.

At the very least, I’m aiming to take the N4 next December, so I’ll look for a grammar list for that and go over N5 grammar again (I say this like I’m responsible but I crammed for the N5 starting a month before the test; miraculously, I passed, but listening is my next biggest hurdle).

Have you taken the J-CAT recently?

I recommend using japanesetest4you. It is a great website that compiles and breaks down vocab, grammar, and quizzes. I use it to study grammar in relation to the different N exams. They also give plenty of example sentences so it’s easy to see the difference between similar grammar points.


Don’t think so. Maybe last year sometime. That probably should be on my to-do list, especially since I’m now completely self-studying.

Just gave it a quick look over. It looks pretty cool, so I’ll probably test it out more thoroughly when I next study.

@hgbearawesome, may I suggest trying Renshuu, I used it for my N5 and N4 grammar.

You can access all the contents of their grammar library (grouped into grammar points) for free (Learn -> Grammar).
You also have the option to create a study schedule (a set of review quiz) for grammar, though not all grammar points will be added if you are not subscribed to a pro version (if you don’t want to spend money, you can create your own quiz using anki or memrize though).

Have you tried using the Feynman technique that Koichi recommends?


Codifying grammar? I can’t begin to think what this means. How do you go about it?

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I’ve been making notes from the Nihongonomori videos… but they are usually mostly in point form, and I tend to only write one or two examples per concept, even if they give multiple. Each 5 minute video varies between 1 to 2 and a half pages of notes in a regular sized notebook for me… but it depends on how many different exceptions/ways there are to conjugate the verbs mostly (so far)… plus my writing (especially my kanji writing) is huge, basically.

Past tense (GODAN)
*Drop the ーる and add だ
*4 ways! (then groupings… example like 読んだ, etc.)
Past Polite (ICHIDAN)
* change the vowel + the ました, etc.

… That sort of thing.
Really very basic. I’m also just reading Genki. (No notes, and not doing exercises there.)