What textbooks take you through N3 level grammar?

Finding that learning from a textbook and reinforcing through BP is working well for me.
Am I correct in thinking that Genki 2 takes you up towards end of n4? If so, whats next? Does Quartet cover the late N4/N3 ‘stuff’.



I’m in the same struggle: I’ve just finished Minna No Nihongo (both books) and now I’m looking for a new textbook. I read somewhere the Tobira could be the next choice, but it would be nice to have some feedback from some more experienced learners. Cheers!


If you did Genki then Quartet can be a good next step. They are newer than Tobira and from the same publisher, however idk how good they are for self-study versus classroom instruction.


Other than those, Tobira is often recommended as well as the 中級へ行こう and 中級を学ぼう books


I’m in the exact same spot. I just finished taking in person classes using the Minna books and before that I used the Genki books for self study.

I tried Tobira before starting classes after I finished Genki and I found it a bit difficult but pretty good. Lots of reading practice, grammar, and vocabulary, and the accompanying website has listening practice.

The school I just left uses Quartet and Try at the same time, so they gave me those books. I just started them this week and I like them as well. Quartet has a LOT of material but I don’t know if you can really utilize all of it with self study. Each chapter has reading, grammar, essay, and conversation practice. I don’t know how you can really do the essay and conversation practice on your own without someone to correct inevitable mistakes. I’m going to continue with a tutor because of that issue. But the reading and grammar practices are excellent. It includes vocabulary that’s reinforced throughout the chapter as well and there’s a workbook for more practice.

The Try books are more JLPT focused but it seems to be more self study friendly. There’s only reading, grammar, and listening and they are all specific for the JLPT.

All three books have their pros and cons, so I would recommend a combination of books based on what you want and can do with your study. If you have a tutor, then Quartet would be best along with Try for more reinforcement. If you’re focused on the JLPT and don’t have a tutor, Try would be best with maybe Tobira for more reinforcement.

Hope this helps! Good luck!


I passed it just using Bunpro, so I think anyone can haha


I went from Genki 1/2 to then going to Tobira. Yes it is a big step and it is a lot to do, but all of it I found useful and really interesting. If you just keep at it you can do it!

Also the topics that were in the books were very interesting!


When I passed the N3 I just used the 新完全マスター series (I bought them all but only used grammar and vocabulary), Memrise (I quit using it after the redesign and now use Anki), and Bunpro. I also started reading more easy non-manga books at about this time which really helped.


If you liked the first 2 Minna no Nihongo books there is also another set of 2 intermediate level Minna no Nihongo books that continues onwards.


I’m part way through Quartet 1 (there’s 2 books, similar to Genki) and I find them a lot more fun than the Genki books. Supposedly quartet 1 gets you to N3 and quartet 2 goes to N2 but take that with a grain of salt.

I’m also following along with the livestreams from TokiniAndi (you can find them on youtube, look for the Quartet LIVE playlists) where they offer a deeper dive into the grammar. I’ve found it super useful!


I think Tofugu covered this question when they reviewed Quartet. I might suggest Yoshi Sensei to use this textbook after we’re done with our Genki 2 lessons (although it will probably take a long while with Sensei’s recent health condition).

According to the review, looks like Quartet is best utilised in a classroom setting, especially with its Writing and Speaking sections.


if you are prepping for N3 jlpt I would recommend the 新完全マスター series. They have a book for each of the jlpt parts including grammar.


Oh gosh, nowhere near good enough to consider that at the moment. I’m early N3 level on BP, looking for textbooks at that level.

できる日本語 is also a good option and its around N3 level. Its all in Japanese though!
中級へ行こう is probably the smallest step up (this is what we used after Genki 2 in class but it may be old by now. It was all in Japanese too… )

Kanzen Master are great for practice… Just note that on Bunpro there is a lot more grammar points per JLPT level compared to books…


I actually passed N2 with just Tobira under my belt…
Disclaimer: Although Tobira was my main textbook for studying, I had already lived in Japan for 5 years (albeit in an English bubble) when I took the N2 and I have an abnormal penchant for standardized tests (to the level that the SAT’s got me a full ride scholarship). I also studied the book exhaustively, which means I memorized every word and kanji written in it.

That being said, I absolutely adore Tobira as a textbook and almost felt regretful when I finished it. It taught me a lot of useful stuff that I could immediately apply to my life in Japan.

I used Memrise and Skritter to learn the vocab/kanji and then I met with a private tutor once a week to read through the passages and practice the speaking prompts. I didn’t do anything to nurture my listening or grammar. Living in Japan took care of the listening, but my grammar was basically still at Genki 1 level.

Now that I’ve discovered Bunpro, I ‘m retroactively studying all the Tobira grammar and I love how much it’s helping my Japanese.
At this point, I’ve covered almost all of the grammar in the Tobira path with just 41 more grammar points to go.

EDIT: I just finished adding all the grammar points. Tobira covers 128/217 of N3 and 43/210 of N2. I skipped one point in ch 11 and one in ch 13 as they didn’t match the grammar being taught in the book.

TLDR: Tobira doesn’t cover all N3 grammar, but it’ll cover a little more than half and will give you a great foundation of vocab. and kanji on top of it. Definitely nothing to scoff at, but if you suffer from test anxiety or tend to perform poorly under pressure, I’d recommend you use Shinkansen Master or something to fill in the gaps.


interesting! I was really curious where tobira leaves you at the end. So your comment was perfect!
I’m only 5 chapters in, but was planning to pick up kanzen master N2 if I wanted to continue with textbook study. It’s nice to know ahead of time to either pick up N3 as well or just fill in the gaps here. Thanks :sparkles:


Mmm I’ve had a little flick through of the N4 kanzen master grammar book. I thought it was very sparse on the explanations, a little surprised to see this series recommended as a learning series - great for jlpt prep as it’s so condensed, but I’m happy I’m a bit conversant with what it’s covering and just need my tired brain cells prodded.

I’m going back to take another look.

I have questions.
How did you get your listening practice?
And also: really? :eyes:

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I’ve given them a look though before and personally, I don’t mind the condensed/sparse grammar. I have the dictionaries of Japanese grammar anyway (100% recommend for anybody who doesn’t have them and think it’s something they would like).

But now you’ve got me thinking. I only wanted the kanzen master as a guide and prep, but that was before bunpro had become what it is now. I’ll have to look through them again before settling obviously but, following the bunpro path with the dojg books for details might be all I need grammar wise(⁠。⁠•̀⁠ᴗ⁠-⁠)⁠✧

not sure what the kanzen reading book is like, but maybe a kanzen path could be helpful here🔥

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I do have one book like this (it’s not to hand at the moment) but I find that I never use it and look stuff up on bunpro instead. What’s the difference in your opinion? I found the explanations in my book very concise indeed.

My work flow uses them extensively :blush:I go through the textbooks and take notes from textbook and primarily the dictionaries, and then add them on bunpro. They just answer every question I have or I didn’t know I have in a way that makes sense to me. It helps me solidify it in my head. Use case, similarities and differences between grammar points. Yes, bunpro is getting to be a fearsome beast itself, but I personally learn better with the physical books in hand flipping though similar points that are referenced. Sometimes none of it makes sense, sometimes I come back later and it just clicks in an “ohhhhhhhhhh” moment. Anyway if you’re perfectly fine with just bunpro that’s okay🥳 we all learn different and what works for some doesn’t work for others. You say you have one somewhere, id assume the first basic one, try reinforcing what you go through on bunpro assuming it’s in the first book. you dont have to take notes or anything, just read through the entries. just for a week or two. If you haven’t really used it yet it might just not be your style, or maybe it is and you don’t know it yet✧⁠◝⁠(⁠⁰⁠▿⁠⁰⁠)⁠◜⁠✧

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