Understanding more Japanese

Why can I debunk this sentences and understand it?
Is it because of my understanding of grammar and vocab. When I listen to something in JP feels so weird.
Anyone had any experiences with this? Just listen and read even if you dont understand. but finally you will.


Could you please clarify? I can’t figure out what you’re trying to say here.


For example I look at this sentences and I understand, most of the time I look at other sentences and I don’t. I don’t even know why I understand.

This sentence is very basic in structure, but other sentences can get more convoluted with subclauses and such. Also the vocabulary here is very simple.

Also, the translation is right there, so that makes it easier to link the words, as well.


How do you train that? Will you encounter that kind of explanation in more advanced learning books?

I have to agree with subclauses making a relatively easy sentence quite difficult to read. I’ve had numerous times where I’ve read a sentence which contained only words I know (or had looked up) and grammar I know, but still took me a while to parse through since I had trouble telling what parts belonged to the main sentence and which belonged to the clauses.


What are you using to learn now?

Genki 1 3th edition, going through Chapter two now.

But you’ve been around on the forums for a while. Did you only recently start grammar?

I never used Genki, so I am not sure up to what level Genki 1 goes, but subclauses will probably show up in the first book. If I have my facts straight, Genki starts by teaching neutral desu/masu forms first, and later introduces short forms, which you’ll need for subclauses.

Yea, I know basics already.

Furthermore, Genki 1 and 2 will only teach basic Japanese grammar, just as Minna no Nihongo 1 and 2 only teach basic grammar. Up to N4, in JLPT terms. So you definitely still have a ways to go for easy understanding of written and spoken Japanese. BUT! Learning basic Japanese especially is super fun, because pretty much every time you see or hear a Japanese sentence or passage, you will come across something you just learned in your studies.

Chapter 2 is still very very basic, though! Keep going and you’ll gradually understand more and more!


I always stress out after confronting this kind of sentences, as they usually directly precede the JLPT listening task. :sweat_smile: I almost can hear this female voice in my head when reading it now… Other 能力試験 vets/survivors here will know what I mean! :rofl:


Just read more Genki chapters and sprinkled in graded readers and you’ll eventually get a hang of it.

I recommend that you start with the free Tadoku graded readers.

Official site

Reddit compilation of free Tadoku graded books in a single PDF


This is about as easy as a couple of Japanese sentences could be. I understand your feeling though, because certain sentences that are far more complicated can still feel quite confusing to me (I’ve been studying Japanese daily for about five years). Just give it time, sentences this simple will quickly become second nature to you the more you learn.

1 Like

I just finished Genki 1 recently and am currently making my way through Genki 2, if I remember correctly present tense short forms show up in lesson 8, and the first subclauses show up the lesson after, which is also where past tense short forms show up.

1 Like

Yeah, I had a feeling they were introduced a lot earlier than in Minna No Nihongo. There they show up about chapter 19. Though Genki might just be putting a lot more grammar into their chapters, of course.

1 Like

They show up pretty early after short forms are introduced, although the first ones are of course relatively simple with the subclause not being longer than 1 or 2 words.

1 Like

What you’re experiencing is perfectly normal. The grammar is what links sentences together, and it’s something you’re only just starting (considering you’re on Genki lesson 2). As you keep working through Genki and Wanikani, you’ll start to understand more. You just need to trust the process. With Genki, make sure you’re doing all the different listening, reading, writing and speaking exercises.

Progress a few more lessons and come back and tell us if you can understand anything new!

1 Like

Of course you actually already get a subclause the moment you learn how to put an adjective in front of a noun :wink:.

1 Like