General Grammar Questions

Okay so I’ve used this service for almost a month and I’m really struggling with it so far. I’m not sure where my problem lies but when it comes to doing the reviews (and even the ‘reviews’ during the ‘learn’ phase) I absolutely suck. My miss rate for new stuff insanely high and the hints during review make 0 sense to me and I have no idea what they’re supposed to mean.

In the text box that you fill during reviews to test whether you remember the correct answer (or understand the grammar point necessary) I have no idea what some of the words mean.

From my own research on these words I have no idea what they mean in this specific context. Stuff like “Literary, Contrastive, Emphatic” just confuse me. I have no idea how to tie those keywords to a bit of grammar.

I also don’t know what it means when there’s some sort of ‘nuance’ to a grammar structure. On that topic I have very little knowledge, what even is a grammar structure?

What is a case marking particle? In the info section I don’t see anything that describes what it is. I might be missing something by not going through the additional resources.

If there are resources regarding this sort of thing please share them in the replies, I really want to understand how all this works and its driving me crazy. If the resources are already there under that specific grammar point let me know as well, I’ve been skipping them which could be the cause of my numerous mistakes.

Any general grammar resources and terms would also help.

These are just the questions I’ve noted down from my recent reviews where I constantly fail and cannot grasp the grammar points.


I wouldn’t worry too much about getting into the specifics of grammar. There are a lot of people on here who are really into language like that and get very detailed into understanding grammar terms and linguistic stuff but I find it isn’t that necessary.

Can you give an idea of if you had any Japanese knowledge at all before you started bunpro?

I think at the beginning you just want to focus on what you are trying to say, so even if you have to look at the translation, like what is it you’re trying to say and based on the grammar points you’ve reviewed which one would you use to say xyz. I wouldn’t worry about the terms like “literary, passive…etc…”

You can probably also do cram study on reading mode where you don’t have to worry about pulling the grammar point and conjugation from memory, just to take in more context sentences. Can use the info button to look at the grammar point at the same time for ones you found more difficult to understand.


My prior japenese knowledge comes mostly from WaniKani, and before that I started with Duolingo (which was terrible). Outside of that grammar is completely new to me.

On WaniKani I got up to level 17-18 I think? I’m going through it again though.


The grammar info you see in the beginning of a page usually contains some of that information. @veritas_nz this could be a useful piece of info to add to the onboarding process you mentioned a while back. It could also be useful to add some of those tags (contrastive, emphatic etc) and explain to users what they each mean.

@Strelok_2012 How much time are you spending on each page when you first learn a new grammar point? Do you read the entire explanation along with the examples?

I would recommend spending more time on that page if you aren’t already. Also, I unfortunately have to disagree with @rj13 here. Familiarizing yourself with the prompts now will help eliminate a lot of the confusion with synonyms and similar grammar points in the future. For example, Literary means that it is a grammar point (structure) that is mainly used in novels or other literary works. Knowing that will help to narrow down the list of potential answers as you start to learn more and more similar grammar points.

Finally, grammar is hard. It will take a lot more than one month to see concrete results. If you want more practice with each item I would also recommend checking out the cram function. Good luck.


Not a whole lot, I spend about 2-3 minutes on each grammar item. I read the explanations but gloss over the examples, which is probably one of the causes of my failings. I also think that I don’t internalize the explanations because of this as well. I’ll endeavor to spend more time on each item.


2-3 minutes is decent if you’re adding around 3-5 a day. what might help you is to spend around 15-30 minutes cramming your newly learned items so that you get some practice in a low stakes setting before you need to do the actual SRS reviews.


In Japanese there are (usually) short words that can’t be used by themselves but are attached to other words (or phrases) in order to add nuance or information to them. These are the “particles” (助詞 in Japanese, which means “helper word”). They can be grouped into groups, among with the “case marking particles”.

Case marking particles are used to indicate the function of the previous word (or clause), with sometimes a relationship with the following word (or clause). For instance に indicates (among other things) that the preceding clause is where something (or someone) exists (庭にいます, (I am) in the garden) whereas で indicates where an action occurs (庭で食べています, (I am) eating in the garden). Note that a particle can be in several subgroups (with different functions) or can mean several things (に is very versatile).

More on Japanese particles: Category:Japanese particles - Wiktionary, the free dictionary and Japanese particles - Wikipedia
More on case marking particles (or case markers): Japanese grammar - Wikipedia


Thank you for the resources! This is actually very helpful in understanding the grammar.

I’ve also started to slow down a bit and read the prompts carefully and compare them to the explanations. I’ve gone from getting less than 50% on my reviews to almost 90%. The issue was thinking I could just speed through grammar like I did with the kanji on WaniKani :P.

Thanks again for your input everyone.

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