When to Start Studying Grammar?

Hey, everybody! I just started WaniKani (finally put my money where my mouth is, too – got that 1-year subscription!), and it’s really helping in my effort to learn Japanese, as well as making it fun and satisfying. However, I’m the type of person who likes to fully focus on one thing, get it down, and move on to the next thing – I find it confusing and unorganized to study more than one thing at once. While that was pretty easy to do with hiragana and katakana, I’ve unfortunately come to the realization that I won’t be able to do so with kanji/vocabulary. I want to get to grammar as fast as possible, but I want to have a semi-decent foundation in kanji/vocabulary before I even start grammar.

My question is, at about what WaniKani level should I start studying grammar? I plan on utilizing Genki, seeing as so many of you all recommend it. I fully realize that it would be most realistic to study kanji/vocabulary and grammar in conjunction with each other, but I don’t want to be at a complete loss as to the kanji and vocabulary words present in Genki exercises.

Just looking for a general tip on what level range would be a good area to start studying grammar, with the desire to have a strong foothold in kanji/vocabulary first. Thanks!

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Personally i started at about level 10. It’s worth noting, however, that there is no time too early to start studying grammar. For resources (since you already seem to have a good grasp of the kana), I highly recommend BunPro — it’s an SRS system like WaniKani, but reinforces grammar points rather than vocab items. BunPro doesn’t actually provide much explanation of grammar points aside from some rules and 6-12 example sentences, however; that part is left to you to read from the array of links to Japanese grammar guides such as IMABI, Wasabi, Maggie-sensei, Cure Dolly, etc.

Bunpro also allows you to customize your path based on the textbook/approach you’re taking — you seem to be using Genki, which Bunpro has a path for. Again, highly recommended resource. I’ll post some more links to help you get started below.

Maggie Sensei
NHK lessons
Cure Dolly
Japanese Ammo with Misa
Japanese Language SE (for the nitty gritty on tiny details)


First of all welcome! This is a great community and although being new myself I can confidently say this is a great group of people. In regards to your question I will post what I posted before:

I have to agree with what others have stated. It is never too early to start learning Grammar. I’m still new on my Japanese learning adventure but from what I’ve gathered from other experts here is that learning Japanese is like juggling. You have to balance grammar, Kanji, vocab, reading skills, listening skills, etc. You need to “level up” on each category as you go. Otherwise you can be level 60 here on Wanikani but still struggle to read the most basic of sentences.

That is why its beneficial to start grammar early. I’m only on Chapter 4 of Genki but countless times while listening or reading Japanese I see in the wild I see things I’ve learned and it helps me get a sense of what is being said. No I don’t understand much of what is being said as there is so much I don’t know, but knowing some of the basic building blocks helps me sooo much. So I would advise learning Grammar as early as possible! Kanji + vocab are the building blocks of the language but if you have no idea what order they go in that doesn’t help.

Side note regarding Genki I personally struggle learning from the book alone and with the exercises I have difficulty. That is why I highly recommend reading the chapter and get an overview then watch ToKini Andy’s videos for the chapter. He explains things so well that I often go back and re-watch the videos and pick up more on the 2nd or 3rd viewing.

Edit: also don’t ignore the YouTube series CureDolly. It takes some getting used to but her grammar explanations are simple and can help give another point of view when trying to understand any complex grammar points you might be struggling with.

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I was beginning to get upset until I saw Japanese ammo with Misa in your list.

how dare @Zeiosis not put Misa せんせい there?


Wow, Bunpro sounds like a very useful tool! I’ll be sure to utilize it, along with the other resources you linked. Thanks so much for the in-depth help! You’ve already got me on a better path than what I’ve previously considered.

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Probably the number one thing I’ve noticed about this community is that it’s a great group of people! :slight_smile:

Well, I suck at juggling IRL, so I suppose it won’t be much different with vocab, kanji, grammar, etc, etc, etc… But that’s okay – I’m learning Japanese to teach myself a new skill, so a new learning method would be just as useful to get under my belt.

Thanks for the resource recommendations, I’ll be sure to check them out!


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