I'm starting to get confused

皆さん、こんにちは、 :raising_hand_man:

I started bunpro less than a month ago, and I’m benefitting from it significantly (Thank you to Haruna san for her story and diary as well, I’m really benefitting from those for reading practice as well).

I’m not new to Japanese, as a matter of fact, I just passed my N2 a while ago (a stroke of luck, I got exactly 90/180), however, my grammar and linguistic levels (and confidence) are quite low.

Sorry to drag it this far, but the point is, I just finished N5 & N4 grammar on bunpro, by the end of N5, I was quite fine. But now when I’m doing reviews for both levels, I’m getting confused and quite forgetful about what grammar points I should answer with.

This also reflects on my conversation practice with Japanese friends on HelloTalk as well…which is discouraging me from engaging in convos (highly not recommended if you want to become fluent, which I do…).

What do you guys suggest me to do to get better at this (effectively)?


As the saying goes “practice makes perfect”. We all suck until we don’t.

I know this is obvious, but just keep at it. Keep working on the troubled grammar until you understand them better before moving forward.

For me, N4 and N3 were the hardest levels. The good news is that understanding the nuances between similar grammar points in these levels will probably help you understand N2 and N1 grammar better, given they basically teach more formal ways of saying the same thing that was previously learned. At least that’s how I feel.

You’ve come this far. Now’s not the time to give up.



I’m not planning on giving up anytime soon (hopefully), it’s only that I’m a bit tight on time xD but I guess you can’t rush language mastery…

I’ll keep at it and study as much as possible.



To start off you are further then I ever plan on getting so don’t put much weight on me.

It sounds like you know it all but you aren’t used to doing it. Kind of like an artist that knows all the techniques and ideas but hasn’t practiced the hand enough to do it well. So just like Jose said, it seems like you just need to practice more.

There is nothing wrong with doing something wrong, but there is something wrong with not doing something because you’re scared of being wrong.

So just go out there and fail a few hundred more times and you might accidentally succeed!


thanks, you’re absolutely right…that’s a bit difficult for a perfectionist to do though, but I guess I’ll have to keep pushing xD

Also, I didn’t mean to put pressure on anyone, so I’m sorry if that’s how you viewed it, I’m just pressured with time due to personal reasons…each of us have their own journeys, so don’t let my case or progress get to you :smiley:


I’m a bit confused at this, do you mean to say hello talk is not a good way to become fluent, or that engaging in conversations is not a good way to be fluent, or Not engaging conversations is not a good way to be fluent? lol


hahaha it’s the last one, NOT engaging in convo is not a good way to be fluent…so let me rephrase:

I want to become fluent, so I should engage with Japanese people on apps (like HelloTalk), but since I’m having this issue, I’m getting somewhat discouraged from starting conversations with them.


I went through something similar yesterday. I got really frustrated when saying stuff in my head made sense, but the other person couldn’t understand me at all. (note: I speak more japanese than writing) I think these frustrations are natural when learning though. I guess the right solution is to ask why they did not understand you. Ask where things broke down. was it bad grammar? lack of correct conjunctions? our 上手 japanese vocabulary? or worse, did you use the forbidden wanikani vocabulary that almost no one actually uses?


You aren’t a perfectionist, no one is. That’s just an excuse people use when they are scared of failing. You aren’t a perfectionist, you aren’t perfect, if you were you wouldn’t be having this problem. Just bite the bullet or live in regret

Source: I’m really good at messing up and not so much at anything else


It’s often suggested people wait to output until they have a reasonable level of comprehension. I think that way of thinking does have some merits but a big weakness is that people may end up getting comfortable with just getting input and studying and then aren’t used to the far more difficult and high pressure situation of actually talking to natives. In the same way that “tolerating ambiguity” is a skill that needs to be trained for input, I strongly believe that “tolerating being shit” is a skill that’s essential to output.

At the end of the day, N2 is not a high level (if your goal is to be “perfect” or at least just be genuinely fluent) and it’s natural to make mistakes that you feel you shouldn’t and also to have rather gigantic holes in your vocabulary and expressive ability. However, conversation is a social skill as well as a linguistic one and if you are putting effort into engaging in conversation and the listener is interested then even with many mistakes and stumbles and circumlocution the conversation can still be a fruitful one for everyone. In fact basically most conversations that I have which aren’t about like the weather or food are like that.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that conversations through a language exchange app are about as low pressure as conversation practice could be due to the context and the fact it is online.

I personally think having conversations (both the speaking and listening parts) are extremely beneficial for learning, even if you are someone who doesn’t plan on becoming a good speaker, as it is extremely engaging and probably the most “active” form of using the language. I have no research behind this claim but I also think it helps your brain accept the language as “real” and thus not something to ignore. I’m sure many beginner learners know the feeling of looking at a page of Japanese text and their brain refusing to properly look at it without being forced.

Last point, speaking is extremely difficult and probably takes more time to develop than other skills. People rarely talk about this (I guess either because they don’t speak to natives or they are yet to be at a level where a conversation is viable). I think partly this is natural due to output always lagging behind input however I also think it because conversation is far more complex than just reading or listening.

Anyway, good luck and just stick with it! If you want to be perfect then first you have to suck so go out there and errr suck…!


Ask where things broke down. was it bad grammar? lack of correct conjunctions? our 上手 japanese vocabulary? or worse, did you use the forbidden wanikani vocabulary that almost no one actually uses?

I chuckled when I read “our 上手 Japanese vocab” :joy: but yeah, I’d guess all of the above :3 haven’t used WK in 3 years though…but some vocabs probably still hold even if unused since I got most of it burned before I got busy with life last time.


can’t agree with that, my friend. Perfectionism is a thing, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss today, so I’ll leave it at that.

What matters most is that I AM trying my best to overcome this, but I guess you can’t just skip stages that easily :’(


Thanks for extensive comment, I know you’re right in everything you said…but I really didn’t face this issue with English before (since it’s not my mother tongue), I just acquired it overtime and then started outputting it comfortably, so I guess the comparison in my mind is making me struggle a bit, even though I’m fully aware that English is a walk in the park compared to Japanese (in most aspects).

Guess I’ll just go and suck as much as possible xD 行って行きま~す。(笑)


That is okay. And it is a very good trait to stick to what you believe. So long as you keep on trying you are A-okay in my book


Is this more of an issue with you just not remembering the grammar points in general or more so about not remembering when to use point A vs. point B for the specific nuance?


kinda both:

just not remembering the grammar points in general

This happens when I’m conversing on HelloTalk, I feel like I have a huge sea in front of me to pick from and I’m not sure which to pick or what to use for a specific situation.

not remembering when to use point A vs. point B for the specific nuance

This happens here during reviews, especially with

But I guess it only shows that I need to pay more attention while studying those points…


I think you’ve already gotten some good feedback on the first one, so I’ll focus more on the second issue~

Have you spent much time using these types of nuance hints during your reviews?

Log in - Japanese Grammar Explained | Bunpro Under ‘Review Hints’ you’ll be able to find different toggles to prioritize seeing certain things first, etc. Might be a good way to help shore up some of your troubles with certain differences and whatnot. Alsooo might not be the biggest game changer for your certain situation but it could help. Either way, more and more reps with reviews will help you iron out some of these things I feel like (speaking from personal experience + what I’ve read on forums.)


thanks for the suggestion, I just configured this yesterday, and I did find it different compared to answering based on the translation + grammar point together…I’ll try cramming as well and see if that’s for me.

Thanks again.


On top of what @EdBunpro suggested, I recommend watching YouTube videos that focus on the nuances between similar grammar points that you’re not clear on yet. That will also cement in your mind which one to use based on the situation, and who you’re speaking with.

Personally I think it’s a good idea for learners to start verbally using the language when they’re around N4 level, since at that point there’s enough knowledge to hold a conversation about everyday things. Waiting too long will present you with the issue you’re currently having, trying to decide which grammar to use, and not knowing how to say what you want to say.

As a separate piece of advice when speaking Japanese: Say what you can say in Japanese (not what you can say in your native language). IOW, simplify what you’re trying to say with as few words as possible. As you get better, you’ll start to fill in by adding more information. But start simple. That’s KEY!

Another thing is, if you don’t know the word in Japanese, then try using the Katakana version. You might be pleasantly surprised at how well this works. As you probably know, Katakana words can be Na-Adjectives or Suru verbs. So many possibilities right there.



I don’t know how your conversations go, and admittedly I have a lot of Japanese friends to talk to but I also have partners on HelloTalk and I feel like this is exactly the thing something like HelloTalk is for–hearing from a native what ‘feels’ better in what situation.
When they explain it to you, it’ll probably stick better than reading a few paragraphs here.

Of course, that depends on how you’re talking to your partners. For my conversations, we do everything in English and Japanese, and we correct grammar or offer more nuanced solutions where possible.
Because we always speak in both languages, sometimes what they said makes more sense in the language that isn’t native, and then you can tell what they meant to say in your language, etc.

Anyway, I am saying all of this to say that I don’t think you should be discouraged, especially on a language exchange application, for not knowing which point to use, because [knowing several points, while not knowing which is best,] is exactly the sort of thing I would think speaking to a native should be able to fix/help.