Norman Sue's user avatar
Norman Sue's user avatar
Norman Sue's user avatar
Norman Sue
  • Member for 7 years, 6 months
  • Last seen more than 1 year ago
About

Hello! I've been self-studying Japanese for over 7 years. I've passed a JLPT N3 a few years ago and am preparing for JLPT N2.

Japanese grammar is one of my favorite things to study, particularly because it's quite similar to programming language grammar, which I also enjoy reading about in fine detail. I know many people dislike studying grammar, but with a solid foundation it can feel like playing with LEGO blocks.

I collect and read authoritative Japanese grammar reference books, and own personal copies of the important references, filled with highlights and notes.

Japanese Grammar recommendations (for readers of English):

  • Elementary (JLPT N5, N4):
    • English Grammar for Students of Japanese by Mutsuko Endo Hudson
    • 80-20 Japanese by Richard Webb
  • Intermediate (JLPT N3, N2):
    • A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns
    • A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar
  • Advanced (JLPT N1):
    • A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns
    • A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar

I also use https://bunpro.jp for reviewing and quizzing occasionally, but I find it more helpful to just read grammar books directly.

I've read several other textbooks and JLPT preparation books about grammar, like the Shin Kanzen Master series or the Nihongo Sou Matome series, but I find they're best used as supplements, not primary references.

I've also developed my own personal coloring system for major classes of grammatical components, which has been helpful for both writing and speaking:

  • Dark blue: Nouns, pronouns, noun phrases, connective verb stems
  • Yellow: Adverbs and other expressions acting like an adverb to modify a verb
  • Light green: Verbs, i-adjectives
  • Teal: na-adjectives
  • Dark green: sentences (clauses)
  • Purple: conditional and suppositional forms: なら、たら、すれば、etc.
  • Red: Negative forms: -ない,
  • Grey: copulas (だ、です) and other miscellaneous small connectors (と)

While speaking, I sometimes find it helpful to visualize each word of the sentence I'm constructing, as colored components following the scheme above.

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