What was a grammar point that was a turning point for you?

What was a grammar point that instantly stuck and made a massive difference to you from the moment you learnt it?

For me it was “のが” - Being able to turn a verb, or a verb ending sentence in to a noun so that I could elaborate on something made a huge difference in my ability to communicate. While my fluency might not be the greatest, it helped me be able to communicate and get my point across easier when speaking to people in Japanese, be it italki or hellotalk calls.

From the moment I read that grammar point it instantly stuck and it was like a light bulb moment.

What was your “wow” moment with a grammar point?


Learning how to break complicated grammar points down into the simpler grammar that makes them up was a big turning point for me. Genki taught a lot of grammar as just a string of hiragana, which is not ideal for a beginner textbook. E.g. I struggled with とことがある because I would always forget at lest one kana. As soon as I realized it’s just: past tense of a verb + こと to nominalize it + が topic marker + ある “it exists” and it’s basically “It exists that I have done this verb”


I’m still studying between N3 and N2 so every lesson I tend to have a wow moment. BUT if I had to choose one, I’d probably say 〜と思う, just because ever since I learnt it, I use it all the time. And I feel so much more comfortable while speaking, knowing that I can just finish with と思います and everything will be fine (it will not).

Other than that, I think the turning point for me actually, was learning kanji. Not being able to understand vocabulary really made learning grammar difficult, and so stressful.


I also say this so much when talking. It does have that feeling of “thats just what I think so sorry if you think Im wrong” so its kinda like a safety blanket at the end of my sentences haha.


oooo I love this question and I hope more people answer. Commenting to boost (if that does anything on this site lol!)


A big one for me was learning that verbs/whole phrases can be slapped before a noun to modify it.


Understanding noun phrases, and how a LOT of grammar point are actually noun phrases with specific head nouns.

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Same with me about 「の」making words into nouns. It helped me parse out sentences and better understand how Japanese people think compared to English speakers. Similarly, once I realized I can create “large nouns” through the use of adjectives, it completely opened up the language for me. For instance「日本語が好きな人」essentially being a huge “noun” to mean “Person who loves Japanese” (literally, “Japanese lover person”). Using adjectives like this made Japanese seem so much more elegant and poetic to me, than when I started learning.

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depends where you learned grammar I guess, but Genki and Quartet never teach こと which I think is really bad.

you’ve alluded to the same point, but nominalising a verb is a huge part of japanese grammar, almost as important as the te form to me but grammar courses are reluctant to teach you it.

could you give an example of what you mean by specific head nouns?

A large array of grammar points are noun-like thing, sometimes called formal noun (形式名詞). For example こと、ところ、もの、とき、まえ、あと、まま、わけ、つもり、はず、ため、あいだ、うち…

Textbooks usually spend a long time repeating over and over how to use them, but it always boils down more or less to:

noun+の+“grammar point”
na-adjective+な+“grammar point”
I-adjective+“grammar point”
verb-plain-form+“grammar point” (so relative-clause+grammar point)

Because that’s how noun attach.

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