Talk to me about your grammar routine :)

So, what is your study routine like? What works for you? Did you wait until later WK levels to begin studying grammar? For those who use GENKI, how long do you spend per lesson, and how do you test your comprehension past doing the workbook?

I appreciate everybody’s input! :slight_smile:


Before my reset, I was going with ~1 week per Genki chapter.
There really is a lot content in there for first-timers.

Now I will wait the suggested time until WK level ~15/20 until I start again with Genki.
As I am hoping to know the beginners vocabulary by then (and the basic grammar stuck), I will try to go around two chapters per week.

1 Like

I don’t remember when exactly, but I learned basic grammar through Tae Kim a while into my studies (lv10ish, WK-wise, perhaps). I used an anki deck that someone had put together from all the sample sentences to drill it after reading it. After this I felt that grammar wasn’t often what was holding me back.

I’d also look up words as I read, so I’d learn a few grammar points that are basically just words (はず, べき, etc) that way.

I’ve been starting to encounter N3+ grammar more often recently, and have been struggling to find a way to learn it that fits me, but just a few weeks ago I ran into this post recommending 日本語の森, and I’ve been kind of bingeing on their N3 and N2 grammar videos (taught in Japanese) since.

The plan, for now, is to watch videos and then make my own anki cards from the sample sentences along with the japanese explanations. I’ll see how it goes, but it seems promising so far.


Contrary to the suggested WK level and @Chiv’s experience, I finished Genki 1 before I was level 4 on WK. Sure, I had to spend a little more time figuring out what certain kanji meant (along with their pronunciations) but the fact that I had a strong grasp on hiragana/katakana made Genki 1 really easy to move through. And, conversely, by the time I moved passed level 3 on WK, I already knew a handful of the kanji (up to my current level).

As for testing my comprehension of each chapter, I would use HelloTalk to practice writing real-life sentences, related to myself, using the grammar points taught in each chapter. The Genki workbook is fine, but a lot of the sentences they get you to write won’t pertain to you (how often are you going to need to write a sentence about postage stamps?).

It will be different for every person; I’d say to just move at your own pace and see what’s comfortable for you. Also, I would recommend finding supplemental material to boost your learning; WK & Genki will only teach you so much. Resources like Tae Kim and BunPro may be good for beginner studies.

1 Like

I do about one genki lesson a week, and besides the workbook all I do to test myself is read.

1 Like

Didn’t mean this as a reply, sorry

1 Like

OT: Best girl.


Grammar routine?

What grammar routine?


I went through most of Genki 1 prior to level 10 of WK… but I went through so fast, I barely remember anything except the very basics. After that, I did nearly zero grammar studies until a little after I hit 60, lol.

Not sure if I can recommend that, but if you have limited time and want to get through WK very quickly… well, you have to decide what you want to spend time on, and I chose WK.

Anyway, now my grammar routine basically just consists of and trying to read more (mostly 4500 sentences and NHK easy). If you have the time, I’d say the sooner you start the better.


Yeah like, are we supposed to study grammar?! I thought Wanikani was enough! I’m paying you know!


Im with jpr on a non ironic level. I actually just sort of let stuff come to me as I read lol. Came across stem+つつ once like a week ago and still haven’t forgotten it, either. For some reason I get by a lot easier without reviewing when I learned the thing while reading. I got hooked on the idea of putting in minimal work so I stuck with it.


Now more serious: my grammar routine sucks. Basically, I try to find similar grammar patterns first and I try to study them together. I focus on their differences and I take notes in a big word file and that’s it. This helps me a lot with reviewing because I can easily review every detail of a certain grammar point (and compare it to others) in less than 2 minutes.

The problem with my technique is that I’m a perfectionist. I don’t like proceeding to the next step without having all my questions answered. I’m that dude in class that keeps asking why, basically.

These last 7 months, that technique kinda worked. I’m on a N4/N3 level. However, I know I could clearly learn a lot faster in a lot less time if I wasn’t forced to search the deep web for answers to my questions. I get paralyzed when I have too many questions.

So this January, I’m starting having a online class on iTalki every week. I’ll be studying grammar throughout the week and take note of my questions and then I’ll get all my answers in the 1vs1 class. Plus, I’ll be improving my speaking.

I use Bunpro for having a notion of grammar points available for studying, its SRS to review them and their reading recommendations to learn. Most of the time, I also end up searching on Google.

1 Like

I find people who will actually correct me, and talk to them. I also know a Japanese professor and two translators who I get advice from. Tae kim is a good place to start, but the sooner you use Japanese for real the better.

1 Like

I basically just go read grammar on japanesetest4you or KanzenMaster series, read as many sample sentences as humanly possible, encounter it in the wild. After getting it somewhat in my head, I then reread that grammar if still struggling, read even more sample sentences, and again go encounter in wild etc. This cycle just sort of keeps repeating until I finally look at the grammar and say, man that is easy. Essentially, the beat your head against Japanese until it sticks routine I really like. (However, I’m worried that as I get into some N2 and all of N1 I’ll not really be able to do this because of how uncommon the grammar is. Hopefully Bunpro will be able to help me in that regard)

Don’t be a perfectionist. Even natives aren’t always perfectionists, though they will likely know more about correct grammar than others. The best thing you can do for grammar is to learn enough that you can use it decently, then go back and polish it over and over again until you are pretty confident with what you are doing. If you don’t and want to progress having everything perfect, you’re sense for the language won’t really develop. This in turn makes it harder to tell what sounds wrong and what sounds right. Like, in your native language, you could probably tell alot of the time what is grammatically incorrect by your sense; that it sounds weird or not to you. That will then just cost you more time than if you just did trial and error.


Your strategy wouldn’t work for me. Yes, trial and error is important, but why not put an extra effort that will save you from most of the common mistakes you’ll make, giving you extra time to focus on what you really don’t know? Now, the problem here is on how much time/energy this extra effort uses. In my case, I’m spending too much time on it because I get a lot of questions and I try to answer them by myself most of the times, which is a bad strategy. This will be hopefully fixed with my iTalki classes because it will take me right into the correct answer instead of just guessing. 80% of the trial and error will be gone in an instant.

1 Like

I definitely want to utilize tutoring on italki at some point, but I feel like I can do a lot by myself first. I learned all of Genki 1 back in college like 12 years ago >.o and I have studied the first 6-8 chapters over again a few times over the last few years. I want to get into Genki 2 before summer and then maybe my motivation to keep studying new grammar points will be to talk to somebody on italki :slight_smile:

Having made it through the first 27 levels of WaniKani fairly rapidly, I’ve actually now made a conscious choice to completely stop taking on new WaniKani lessons, until I’ve at least made it through all of BunPro’s N5 and N4 sections.

1 Like

Right choice. I think it only makes sense to keep pushing on WK when you have your skills balanced. It has a synergistic effect.

My eyes glaze over when reading a grammar textbook, so I read Learn Japanese the Manga Way for the basics, and then jumped straight into reading Manga and Visual Novels and trying to decode their sentences. Far more entertaining and interesting, and I’m also finding that the grammar points I gleam from native sentences are easier to remember because I learned them in context. Yes, in the context of “my imouto is a hikkikomori brocon what do” the VN, but context is still context!

Once I have my fun with this, though, I do intend to run through Genki. It should be a much less painful process than it was the first time around due to the fact that I’ll have read much more native sentences and have a better idea what they’re talking about.

Overall, I’m very much about the trial and error approach. It’s more fun, and if I’m not having fun learning, then what’s the point?

For me, I really like what Bunpro tries to do, but its JavaScript is extremely sluggish, to the point that it’s just not engaging to try using it while walking around or between other tasks. It’s currently my main source of grammar review, but I pick up new rules by seeing them in native sentences and trying to extract one or two unfamiliar patterns for Google-based learning each day, before finding them in Bunpro’s lessons index and making them part of a once-per-day work-cycle.

I started by working through Genki I and doing about half the work in Genki II before reading through Tae Kim. I feel that gave me a wide breadth of knowledge, but little of it stuck before I started trying to read things where it could be applied.

At least you have good taste. (And moege grammar and vocab are easy to work through, plus you can skip some lines and not really miss much, if they’re beyond your level)