Is this N5, or N1?

I think that there are several items in the N5 deck, which are actually Nx (x not 5). E.g. this one is like N1 or so. Any opinions on this please?

This one (below) is actually N4. Anyone from the team who can check this thoroughly please?

なくちゃ and なきゃ are just the more casual contracted versions. They mean the same, so it makes sense to have them taught near each other. They’re definitely basic and belong in n5


Hi there !

These two are actually the same grammar and are really basic, beginner level constructions.

What do you mean exactly ? Did you find somewhere else that they should be classified differently? Definitely not N1 anyway.



sorry - I said N1 but meant N4-ish.


Okay n4 but from where? (“N4ish” is basically N5 anyway)

I don’t know if there’s an official hardcoded list somewhere I haven’t seen yet, but the N levels are just guidelines. They’re not rigid, and as long as you’ve learned なくて you shouldn’t have any trouble with it or learning it sooner than some other place says


OP, I feel your pain. I remember asking the exact same question when I first learned these contractions: “How is this N5? I did 3 years of Japanese class, we covered up to N3 and I never saw this!”

I agree that there is no standard consensus on what fits into each N level, so you will frequently come across points that one resource or another slots in a level above or a level below what you are studying.

A lot of grammar resources tend to completely omit なくちゃ and なきゃ since the JLPT tends to include more formal and less plain speech. But the most basic children’s book or manga will contain these, so it is appropriate to learn them in N5.

Finally, it is worth noting that JLPT grammar points are not organized based on difficulty/complexity but rather on frequency of use in the language. The upshot is that some N5 points will be very difficult to conceptualize, but they don’t get much harder as you advance (It’s mostly just the vocabulary and Kanji that get more difficult).


It’s certainly debatable where exactly contractions belong in the N-system. Then again, the JLPTs are for quite formal and “proper” Japanese. Similar to English, you wouldn’t be expected to know “ain’t” in a proper and formal English test. And just like “ain’t”, なくちゃ and なきゃ appear so commonly in the Japanese language that you should be actually glad that Bunpro decided to teach it this early. It’ll help you understand a ton of phrases that otherwise would make no sense, like the stock phrase “行かなきゃ”


When I was being taught in Japan, なきゃ was taught at the same time as なくてはいけない .

In general our lessons (especially to begin with) stuck to fairly formal Japanese, but this was one case where we were taught both formal and informal versions. なくてはいけない is a bit of a mouthful, so from my experience, it’s super common to hear the informal contraction in media, day to day conversation etc.

In any case, it’s not a bad thing to know!


I actually wish more of these things were taught alongside their more “proper” counterparts.

If you believe at all in the idea of some general order of acquisition I would say these patterns come a bit later down the road and things like the passive and causitive take even longer despite also being N5/N4. You still need to understand them though even if they’re tough to use at the start.

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ok thanks! I thought the content of the levels was set in stone but I was wrong.