How do you learn Grammar without knowing the kanji and vocab?

I want to start learning grammar but im a little gun shy given that im still only a level 8 on WaniKani. My plan was to start learning grammar when im at a much higher level so i’m not constantly having to look up Kanji and Vocab but i was told this is a really bad idea and that i should start asap. I have since started looking at options.

I have some questions for the Bunpro community that would really help me.

1.) Will Bunpro cover all of my Grammar needs? or will i need to study more grammar even after im done ?

2.) In your honest opinion do you think bunpro is the best option for learning grammar? Im looking into cause it seems similar to wanikani and i really like there approach but im open to other solutions.

3.) How do you study grammar without knowing the Kanji or Vocab involved? Do you do this? how has your experience been? is it grueling? Am i better of waiting till i know more Kanji and Vocab before getting started?

4.) Whats bunpro’s estimated completion time?

Thank you!



1 - well, yeah, kinda. i just recommend you study from a textbook (if it’s your thing, since it might be more progressive) and then come here and test yourself.

2 - look at 1 :slightly_smiling_face: i don’t think bunpro is the best option to learn grammar (i know there’re lots of things at reading section) but what i think is, bunpro is one of the best options to test your grammar knowledge. again, i suggest a more progressive textbook).

3 - you don’t have to know all the words or grammar. there’s no limit on that, every now and then there will be new unknown words/kanjis show up. i think that’s why dictionaries exits. if there are something you don’t know, look for the meaning. try to grasp the meaning of whole sentence, after that with the help of the hints, try yourself on it.

4 - dunno. does learning even finishes?

good luck with your studies, have a great day!


Good afternoon!

  1. I want to say compared to for example my minna no nihongo I book, Bunpro has been pretty decent at providing extra practice on details of grammar points I wasn’t doing well. Bunpro normally doesn’t really explain much, so I also believe getting a textbook would be very useful.

  2. Definitely not because I think it is meant to be a companion to something else. I would guess yes you would have to study more grammar after you are done because there’s a lot of “whys” that are not gonna get covered. Even with the textbook you might still have questions as to why they do things a certain way.

  3. I’m level 9 in WK and I have found the minna no nihongo I book very accessible for the most part. I think somewhere in lvl 10-12 you might even feel totally comfortable. I try to keep my head on the big picture. It doesn’t matter if I don’t understand every single verb (noun, adjective, etc) but I do try my best to understand the structure. However, it has happened a lot that I understand the structure and when I do an example sentence I’m simply overwhelmed by the amount of information I don’t understand. That used to happen a lot around lvl 04-05, as I said, at lvl 09 I feel very comfortable!

  4. No clue :sweat_smile:

PS: I guess I need to say this if I’m gonna mention MNN, you can get a translated version of the book that in my opinion is a must. Without the translation you just have a 100% Japanese book and if you are a beginner you have no way to make progress at a useful pace. I have done the first 20 chapters in about a month and every time something still doesn’t click, that’s normally when Bunpro comes in and helps me remember it properly.


Welcome! :smiley: I know grammar can be a little intimidating, but there’s no harm in starting early, in my opinion. Back before WK adjusted their FAQ page, they did list that around level 10 is when you’d want to start, so you’re right at that sweet spot :slight_smile:

1 - In its current state, no, and even then, no singular grammatical resource will ever cover everything. Apart from more archaic language or modern slang, languages are constantly evolving in general, so there will always be more.

2 - Not by itself. Though I think using Bunpro in combination with other resources has been the best for me. I’ve been following along Bunpro with several textbooks, my Italki tutoring sessions, and while I’ve been reading native material. Think Captain Planet, if you catch the reference. With our powers combined :wink:

3 - I regret not starting sooner, if it helps. I think I was around level 18-20 WK before I really dove into it. I had some prior experience, so I didn’t go into this new round of grammar study at zero, but even when encountering new grammar, it’s not much at all an issue, as long as you have the foundation built. Which will happen, when you do start from zero. Most all grammar resources teach by a set of rules, and once you get the pattern, further teachings will click much faster.

For example, learning the て form of verbs first will help immensely. Even coming across vocab I don’t know while reading, I can easily look it up in a dictionary if I wanted to, just by seeing what the て form is. Also, the て form is used in LOADS of other grammar, so understanding it before jumping to the more advanced stuff will help you in understanding those faster.

Kanji and vocab can always be looked up. It’s knowing the patterns that are built around them that help you learn the grammar.

4 - Depends on the pace you wish to go at. Just like WK, there’s not really a set time to completion. I think most would say not to learn more than a couple new grammar points a day, to not overwhelm yourself with both knowledge and reviews, and to make sure the information really sticks. It mostly depends on the time you can dedicate to it.

Perhaps for reference, this guy got to N3 in a year. But note: he was familiar with language learning already since he’s a polyglot.

While he didn’t use WK or Bunpro, that might give you an idea of some potential.

Also keep in mind, Bunpro isn’t even completed yet. N1 still has lots more grammar to add, and I know they want to add more features and other things to study later on.

Best of luck though! :smiley:


Hey there friend, I’m level 3 on wanikani and I started bunpro when I was level 1 at wanikani. Maybe to soon, but I wanted to learn how to read so I started to learn a little bit grammar. For me it’s fine to follow the grammar on bunpro, with using some of the other resources they have in the lessons. At the moment I don’t have the money to buy a book about grammar, but I definitely will, because sometimes you come across thing that you don’t know how it really works. For now I was always successful to find stuff on multiple sites, so you should be fine for a while without a book.

I need to say that I’m used to figure things out myself without a teacher. Even the difficult things, so this method may not be for you. But I just wanted to tell you my experience with it.

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First I want to mention that how you learn best is actually fairly subjective. There are several learning/study methods and they tend to be better or worse depending on person, and everyone seems to have a certain combination that works best for them. (Think listening, reading, kinetic, etc.)

1.) Yes and no. This also depends on what you want to use Japanese for. As some have mentioned, currently BP only has say 98+% completion on N5-N2, while N1 is only started. But then the JLPT doesn’t cover all grammar, so even if BP completed N1, that wouldn’t be all grammar. So it depends on what you would use Japanese for whether you would need other things or not, but probably yes.

2.) I don’t think you can say any one resource is all you need for learning grammar. I learned all of N5 grammar with BP as my main resource (and only using the sites it linked to for understanding). After that I was learning parallel with Japanese classes, so I can’t say beyond that. But did BP as main resource work for N5? For me, yes.

After I finish Japanese classes come mid-March, I will go back to using only BP as my main grammar resource. I have no idea if it will work fine or not, but by then according to my classes I’ll be finished with N3, but I’ll still have a lot of N3 points left on BP. (I can’t keep BP at the same pace as my classes because that would overwhelm me with reviews.)

3.) I started BP when I’d used WK for about two months, so I was maybe around level 6 or so. And I found it fine to use BP at that time because you have the English translation of each sentence right with the sentence. No need to go digging in a dictionary or flipping pages for a vocabulary list.

4.) This is impossible to say. You could technically add all available grammar points to your review queue in one day (DEFINITELY NOT RECOMMENDED). This really is self-paced. And you’ll have to find your own level of what amounts of reviews are manageable and what is too much. I can’t tolerate nearly as many BP reviews as I can WK reviews. Grammar reviews asks for more focus and effort.

Also you have to look at your schedule. How many other things do you have to deal with? How much time do you have for Japanese practice? How do you want to balance it between WK and BP? Do you do any consuming of Japanese (aka reading/watching/listening) and how much time do you want to spend on that? The time you have will dictate your pace, rather than any inbuilt speed because there is none. (And WK only have a max top-speed you can go, and slower is always possible.)


Hi and welcome to the community.

I started Bunpro when I was level 3 on WaniKani and a complete noob to learning a language on my own. I’m glad I started early, it’s made reading the example sentences on WaniKani fun.

  1. Hmmm, I want to say yes but I think you will need a grammar book. I started using Bunpro as my main grammar resource and was using the links to get additional info when needed. But now I’m using Genki and Tae Kim alongside it. Sometimes I just don’t get the grammar point and need to check Genki/Tae kim (luckily they usually have the page number)

  2. I think that if you’re completely new to learning Japanese, Bunpro is the best way to start.
    I had no idea how to go about learning grammar and the way this site is set up is user friendly which is super important to me and and I like how similar Bunpro is to WaniKani. Makes learning Japanese easier for me. But almost a year later, I would recommend a grammar book.

  3. Well, I just look up any word/kanji I don’t know, it’s time consuming but I don’t mind. I like to know exactly what I’m learning and I get to learn new words/kanji too.

  4. I have no idea, but I think that’s up to each person.

"How do you learn Grammar without knowing the kanji and vocab? "

I like to scoop up vocab I find useful but haven’t encountered and throw into my Kitsun deck. I just like to collect the vocab even though I’m not actively studying on this current right now but I do reference the list and I don’t want to miss all the useful words that I’m seeing. You can start to learn these now (and then breeze through them on WK when you encounter them) or just passively absorb them. Certainly don’t need to rely on WK alone to start learning new kanji/vocab and there is plenty of vocab content outside of WK as well.

There are a way couple ways I like to send them.@Kumi made an awesome script to send sentences to Jisho but you can send the url wherever you want so I have it sent to Kitsun’s Jisho dictionary:

Kitsun’s Dictionary:

But if I just want single words for any internet reading to put into a vocab deck, I’ve used the Search Selection extension which is great for multiple uses or Search Kitsun. I think there are tools for Anki if you prefer that work similar.

  1. What are your Grammar needs? Everyone is different
  2. What does ‘best’ mean to you?
  3. see above, depending on your goals maybe grammar is more necessary :man_shrugging:
  4. I don’t think anyone has maxed out on BP yet (burned all items) far as I see on the group page. Max experience would put users well into the 100s level-wise.

That looks like a really neat way to generate flashcards

Is there such a thing?

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We’ll find out in 20 years or so :thinking:


You don’t lose exp when you get something wrong, do you? Doesn’t that mean you can just keep going up and down SRS stages? Or is that not how BP works?

I’ve never seen negative points (unless I gain points on an item and then purposely mark wrong to restore point count). My understanding is that if you drop SRS levels, you create a ghost review of the current item rather going backwards on earlier sentences that are already stamped. I think the idea was to broaden the user experience with newer example sentences to learn the grammar point rather than keep them stuck in a loop on a particular example sentence alone (or even review old examples).

I guess that’s why I see multiple example sentences in the same review pile too, the ghost and next level. But to see the stamped sentences again, I guess you have to see it through cram. I know some users were asking for particular sentences within Troubled Grammar cram section so they could customize lists. I suppose one could just add the sentence again through Self-Study and then it’s back in the regular BP review pile (I don’t think these create any additional SRS levels/exp).


Makes sense

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The best way to learn grammar is to be born in Japan. For the rest of us, Bunpro will need to suffice!

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My goal is to be able to read manga and watch anime in Japanese and also speak Japanese. Bunpro should suffice?

I can’t really tell for sure, because BP is not my only grammar source. I used only BP for N5 stuff, and thought it was sufficient. But after that I started at a Japanese language school, meaning having daily lessons, so all my N4 and N3 knowledge mostly comes from my classes (teachers and textbooks). I’ve always been further behind with BP than I have been with the class. (For example, I didn’t finish BP N4 lessons until late November/early December, and my class moved into N3 at the beginning of October.)

So I can’t give an accurate opinion whether BP is enough from N4 and up. Sorry.

I can however say that it starts becoming much easier to read manga when you are done with N4. Because N5+N4 covers a lot of the basic grammar used. (Obviously getting through more grammar will just make it easier and easier, so don’t stop at N4. ^____^ )


Mind if i ask about the Japanese language school? I live in Fort Lauderdale and i think it would be nice to eventually signup for a class but i couldn’t find one. How did you go about finding yours? is it a college class? Do you think its worth it? I started on the self study route because i couldn’t find a class. I think the self study for Kanji is definitely the way to go but for all other aspects im curious of the pros and cons of a class. Thank you

I’m going to Japanese language school in Japan. Here on a 1-year visa and will soon be done (mid-March). And I’m from Sweden so how I found it wouldn’t be relevant for you (I used a Swedish intermediary company).

Do I think classes is worth it? Hard to tell, my main motivation was that I wanted to live in Japan a year, and one of the easiest ways to make that happen was to get a 1-year student visa. I did have an interest in the language, don’t get me wrong.

The classes have been really good. I think I got to this level of skill much faster than I would have otherwise. But then I would also have been working if I hadn’t been in school every day, so it has a lot to do with how much time I’ve spent on Japanese too through my classes. Having a teacher who can explain nuances of grammar, what is often used, and so on. What words would be the more common ones to use for different situations (there are many words that mean the same, but they tend to be used in different contexts). Those things are very helpful, but it also means having a really good teacher, preferably a Japanese person who knows how to teach Japanese, or someone who is extremely fluent in Japanese.

(Believe me, I’ve had language teachers who have never used the language they taught for much of anything, except study it at university so they can teach it. Those teachers will never be as good as someone who have actively used the language for some purpose for a long time.)

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