Disclaimer for Fancy-Pants Linguists: This is a course that is intended to help learners of Japanese understand its grammar. I’m sure that there are some linguists and Japanese teachers (especially) out there who will read it and want to strangle me. I’m not trying to rewrite the official organization of grammar for the world, though. Instead, I’m trying to show students a way that they can look at Japanese grammar in order to understand it in terms of English. With this guide, students should be able to do two things: (1) Have a better understanding as to why Japanese sentences are structured the way they are, and (2) Create their own sentences more readily and accurately.

Disclaimer for Absolute Beginners: If you are just beginning to study Japanese, then a lot of this is probably going to make your head spin. That's OK. When studying a language there are always two types of new language content: (1) Things I am ready to learn, and (2) Things I will be ready to learn at a higher level. If an explanation seems too difficult, then do your best to read through it, don't stress about not understanding it, then come back to it at a later date when your Japanese is at a higher level (for example, after you have gone through all of Phase 1, Phase 2, etc.).

Disclaimer for Lazy People: This course goes into ridiculous detail on a lot of grammar topics. Some might think that the volume of information presented is overwhelming, might think, No thanks, man. This is too much. But don’t worry about feeling that way. Skim over stuff that is overwhelming. Or come back and read it later when you have some spare time. You don’t have to be some psycho-motivated polyglot lingophile to learn Japanese. You just need to have fun and stay motivated. If you get consistent, high volumes of level-appropriate language exposure, you will learn Japanese. So no pressure. Let’s enjoy this journey…

Additionally, I should mention that, although we use kanji in our example sentences, you do not need to know/understand the kanji being used in this course.

We use kanji in our sentences because we always write Japanese the same way that native speakers write it. Attempting to read sentences like this, and getting lots of exposure to them, will help your brain to gradually see kanji as images (more specifically, as "sight vocabulary"—more on this in Kanji Mastery).

In short, it's fine if you aren't able to read anything in the naturally written version of a Japanese sentence with kanji. You can just look at it, then read the kana breakdown beneath it. Someday in the future, you'll be able to read the natural versions with kanji... especially if you complete all of our courses! ^_^

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