Grammar Mnemonics

I kept getting たとたんに wrong and the usage of 途端 wasn’t really helping me at all for any productive input SRS. So I thought of ‘instant’ toe tanning and how ridiculous that sounds but it got me to at least connect the basic usage and then eventually lock in how to use it consistently without any help. I have another example which helped as well for a total of 2 :v:

I know most grammar points aren’t even applicable but perhaps there are some creative suggestions. I’m curious if anyone else found any grammar mnemonics useful in a moment of desperation, if so please share :slightly_smiling_face:


To keep the hearsay そう and the “seems/appears” そう straight, I’ve always thought that the more… directly-attached そう is more directly in line with my own, personal observations. So, 雨が降りそう (あめがふりそう) means, “(based on what I’m seeing) it looks like it’s going to rain.”

Then, the hearsay そう requires an already-complete sentence, so it’s “I heard [this complete sentence.]” E.g. 雨が降るそう means, “I heard [it’s going to rain.]”


It’s the same with nouns and な-adjectives, too:

  • 大丈夫そう = (it) seems okay to me
  • 大丈夫だそう = I heard (it’s) okay

Hey :grin:

I always suggest trying a memory palace method. It makes memorizing so much easier.
Also, you can assign a word to every syllable, and make stories with them. Though it isn’t perfect method, because you have to memorize whole set of pictures/elements you will use and it is hard to make stories with some combinations.

Basically, I imagine と as tonfa, た as tank and ん as a pink color.

So for example, if I were to allot とたん to a trash bin in a room, I would imagine it as me throwing the trash into the bin, and the very moment it lands on the bottom, a pink tank with tonfa instead of the canon would jump out of it. With flash and a big bang.
It seems a bit longish, but if you imagine it, it is less than a second long “movie”. T



Can anyone help me make a mnemonic for そうにないそうもないにそういない.

Like I know the differences but they’re so similar in structure it’s hard to keep track which is which in the moment. (And hard to remember which one to type when the review comes up. :tired_face:)

So far the only thing I have is that it can only have one に, so if there’s a に at the beginning then it must be a い in the middle for にそういない.

Another one I just thought up, if there’s a at the beginning then it needs to be right. So without a doubt, it is certainly right!


I’m unlikely to buy a Sony そうに

I’m very unlikely to buy the fake Sony called Somo そうも

Without a doubt, I not buying the fake Somo either call Sowy (そうい)

I assume they are increasing order of unlikely-ness? I don’t know many N2 so…:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


The first two are great! Thank you!

I think にそういない・に相違ない isn’t about unlikeliness more than it’s about holding a strong belief one way or the other but it’s easier to differentiate it since it’s the only one that has the に at the beginning.


Well, for に相違ない, it looks like we can break it down very literally:

  • 相違 = doubt
  • ない = (there is) no
  • に = that

◯に相違ない = [there is no] [doubt] [that] ◯

Also, note that そうい is just the 音読み of 相 and 違, like in 相談 (そうだん) and 違反 (はん).


This does make me wonder though, what’s the polite version of this phrasing? に相違ありません? に相違ません? に相違ないです? I’m leaning towards the last one, but I don’t know :upside_down_face:


Okay I have another one ところが and どころか

So far my rule if has a 〃 then doesn’t, so at least I can remember the structure…but it’s so hard to remember which is which for the meaning.

Any ideas?

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I’ll give a try again :slightly_smiling_face: but it will be silly.

どこ*る* -> A: Where is Kay? B: Far from here

とこ - Think of anyone with “Toko” in their name and think of their ‘butt’ for a story(お尻 :blush:). トコさんが…There are several famous 'Satoko’s known if you need a reference.


Ooh thanks.

I thinking about using ところが -> has が in it so it’s like a elongated but or the cousin of だが.

どころか is a foreign and far away place since they spell ところ with a tenten…Maybe. haha.

I feel like I’m dominating this thread but oh well; now I having trouble with the triplets.

今に 今にも 未だに

I didn’t realize none of these are on Bunpro. I guess they might actually be vocabulary? Oops.

Which all start with いま. If they’re written with Kanji it’s pretty obvious what 未だに is but when I just hear them it takes me a minute to process it.


This is great, I don’t any of these but it helps me learn. Maybe I can get to N1 someday too.

I thought “at any moment” you will Find Nemo (にも) but it actually took a whole movie to find him.

Even now (at this moment), Danny/Dani (だに)is your best friend. Who is this person? An imaginary friend since childhood.

Got an an great explanation on にしては in the grammar thread but I’m getting stuck on memorizing the differences between にしても vs としても along with としては vs にしては in practice reading. Any helpful mnemonics out there?


Got too many ghosts now. This is mostly for my self-study but others may find it helpful. Looking for any suggestions for ‘??’

てからでないと - “te” as in hand and “kara” as empty (not karate) along with “nai” I came up with “my hands are tied” which roughly translate to it’s meaning.

はともかく- Each かく Friend とも - set aside each friend

からといって - ??

にしたがって - I completely missed this is 従う, we probably should have the kanji mentioned even if not common for the grammar point.

てならない -??

必ずしも - the も trips me up since this turns かならず negative…that’s all I got :unamused: