Where to start learning grammar?


I’ve seen lots of posts on when you should be learning grammar, obviously, you want to start as soon as possible, the faster the better. Although I just don’t know where to go for a good resource, I’ve searched the internet for a while now, and I’ve of course seen the classic tae kims guide as well as others but then I read the negatives about them and I kinda hesitate. So I wonder where should I start learning grammar?


Wasabi’s online grammar guide is very good. Pulls from a lot of sources, is organized in a neat order (one topic leads to another well, which isn’t always the case with things like textbooks).

If you prefer physical books, Elementary Japanese vol 1 is what I’m using right now, and it is pretty nice. Well organized, interessing lessons, and most homework can be done alone. I’d still complement it with wasabi’s guide, simply because Elementary provides a good and easy base, while Wasabi expands on it. Of course, it doesn’t have only grammar, but I think learning a mix of everything is more organic than just grammar.
People do recommend Genki, but I found it too expensive, so I don’t know how good it is.

The Dictionary of Basic/intermediate/advanced japanese grammar series is pretty good. Its a dictionary, which means it’s a bit more dry and curt on the explanations, but a great collection nonetheless. It’s also very good for things you already learned, but would like to see more info on/how it interacts on a phrase with more depth.


The Starters Guide on reddit has some good information.

I will person suggest Genki, there is a reason that after 20+ years it is still one of the most common textbooks used. Minna No Nihongo is good as well but I find that it works best in a class. There are other textbooks, but I find them all inferior to the two above, some a little bit, some a lot.

I also just want to point out The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar is a Dictionary and should be used as such, it should only be used as a supplement.


How would you guys rate bunpro? I’ve started the free trial yesterday and it seems ok, but I’m still not sure if it’s efficient and/or necessary

There’s nothing wrong with Bunpro, and it works fine. I just think it also works best as a supplment / review tool for reviewing already learned grammar rather than as a way to teach new things.


I Will definitely check out the subreddit, looks pretty cool! Well, I guess it’s time to start investing in the Genki series, it definitely is a very good resource, I’ll be ordering it now then, hopefully, after I finish them I’ll be able to read basic grammar :slight_smile: . Its time to git gud.

I never used it much, but I know it has mixed reviews, with some people loving it and others hating it.

I feel like, unless bunpro is teaching things fundamentally wrong (which I don’t think it is, otherwise people wouldn’t recommend it), it’s a matter of taste. If you like it, and you think it’s worth the price, go ahead, any extra grammar resources are a good thing. If not, you can probably find something else to do.

I stopped using it since I didn’t like the layout that much, and two SRS learning tools were too much for me.

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Yeah I guess if I’m still using it by the end of the free month I’ll probably continue using it

Regardless if it’s the most effective way I really like those apps which lay out clearly what you have to do next and you sort of just have to show up and use it. Makes me procrastinate less. (Ex-avid duolingo user here)

When measuring effectiveness, you also have to consider yourself, and your habits. Maybe bunpro isn’t the most effective grammar learning tool on the planet, generally speaking, but it’s being one of the most effective to you, because it’s getting you to do lessons and create a routine, something that the more effective resources maybe couldn’t do.

Srs programs are really good at creating habits, and make jumping to learn with other materials easier.


I am not the type of person that learns well from videos. However, Cure Dolly’s youtube channel has been by far the best grammar resource I’ve found so far. The presentation can put people off at first, but the content is excellent.

@pepepoum I’m not fond of Bunpro’s grammar explanations. They seem very much in the school of “here is an English translation of the Japanese, just memorize it” without explaining logic or patterns. That being said, I don’t remember my grammar without an SRS system to reinforce it. So I do use Bunpro for review only, never for learning.


I have a lifetime sub to BunPro and use it as my main source for grammar (about 20% though N2 atm). I like having an ordered list of items to tick off and keep track of. It doesn’t explain things in detail, but it does provide links to further reading and I can always just go search myself if needed.

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Did they already implement N2 grammar? Because the front page still says that they’re limited to N5-N3.

Genki or Minna No Nihongo. Personally I like MNN better but either one is a great place to start. I’m using MNN now (onto MNN2) and use it along side anki for lesson vocab and bunpro for reviewing grammar. Bunpro has “paths” so you can easily add grammar points by chapter for what resource you’re using. They have paths for both Genki and MNN (and later tobira).

Yea, they’ve got 210 N2 grammar items and 86 for N1 atm. I just checked.

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I’ve been using https://www.imabi.net/ for detailed explanations and Bunpro for practice.


I’ve been using this playlist to learn grammar. It covers Genki but I prefer the video format to a textbook.


Oh, this is pretty cool, you can follow along if you have a Genki book, or just watch it. Thanks for the find.

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Save the money you would spend on app subscriptions and get an iTalki teacher and Genki. Live lessons from a native speaker is the best way to get good in my experience, but of course it’s ¥¥¥.

Yeah, I’ll probably be going on ITaki or a similar variant later for higher levels of grammar and vocab.

I also like to watch Miku Real Japanese and Japanese Ammo with Misa on Youtube, but more as a supplement to the textbooks or to review old points that I’ve forgotten.