Instantaneous Composition Method

Intermediate Japanese Grammar with Anki Flashcards

Wasabi and Anki

This is a continuation of Materials: Japanese Grammar with Instantaneous Composition Method. Thus, we assume that you have already:

It is not a problem if you have used different materials so far. However, you should be at the equivalent level, i.e. understanding Japanese grammar up to lower-intermediate (JLPT N4) and having a good command of what you know. If you are not yet at this level, please go back to the previous articles and tackle them before proceeding.

How to Acquire Intermediate Japanese Grammar

As we explained in the previous articles, becoming fluent in Japanese can be reliant on three factors: Knowledge, Practice, and Experience. Here, you will add new knowledge of intermediate and, if you want, advanced Japanese grammar into your study. You will also simultaneously practice in order to have a good command of them. Don’t worry. As you have already built a solid base for Japanese, it is not difficult to build on top of it.

Learning Materials

Depending on your goal, you can purchase the intermediate one or both. You can use them to learn Japanese grammar itself or as a reference tool. Frankly speaking, you may not need the advanced one unless you will take JLPT N1, because it includes uncommon or useless expressions. Unfortunately, they are not available as e-books, but we think that they are worthwhile to purchase, even from overseas. If Amazon cannot send them to your country, you may read them via Intermediate and Advanced.

Anki is one of the most useful and well-designed learning tools in the world. If you haven’t used it yet, you can install it along with the add-on “Japanese support” as the following tutorial video shows. If you don’t like to use digital tools like this, you can substitute your handwritten flashcards for it.

How Anki Works to Learn Japanese (*External Resource)

The Process of Learning Intermediate Japanese Grammar

We hope that you have already recognized how effective the Instantaneous Composition Method is. It‘s applicable for learning intermediate and advanced Japanese grammar by using flashcards. That way, unlike conventional learning methods for grammar, you will quickly become able to use what you have learned in everyday life. For this program, we will not provide our original materials, but you will make your own while learning and practicing Japanese grammar.

Step 1 Preparation

For the Instantaneous Composition Method, flashcards need to show English translations on the front and Japanese scripts on the back. Thus, you will first configure Anki based on the following presentation or make your handwritten flashcards accordingly.

<--! Edit the Front Template like this;-->

<--! Edit the Back Template like this;-->

<hr id=answer>
<div class=jp> {{furigana:Reading}} </div><br>

Step 2 Adding New Knowledge

Our recommended books explain Japanese grammar points, listed in alphabetical order. This is very useful for when you need to refer back to something. When you use them as a learning tool, you should tackle them from the beginning. The detailed process is like this: as you proceed with the books, you will learn various pieces of Japanese grammar. Firstly, consider whether or not you are familiar enough with it to use it almost effortlessly.

A Example Page in A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar


For example, you will have 「…あまり」 on the first page of the main entries. The Genki series and Tae Kim’s Japanese grammar guide don’t cover 「…あまり」, so this may be new knowledge for you. If this is the case, make several flashcards with the example sentences and their explanations.

Example: Anki Flashcards

Example: Anki Flashcards

In Anki, insert a Japanese script in the Expression column and an English translation in the Meaning column. Soon after that, Furigana will automatically appear in the Reading column. Be careful, however; the program is not perfect. You should check whether the Furigana is correct. You may also make notes in the Reading column as you like (I made notes for the formation). Of course, you can skip the ones you are already familiar with. By repeating this process, you will understand all of the important grammar up to the intermediate level (JLPT N3-N2).

Step 3 Having a Good Command of the Knowledge

As you’re learning Japanese grammar, you should also start practicing what you have learned. As for the way to practice, you adopt the Instantaneous Composition Method. The flashcards you made in Anki will repeatedly and automatically appear based on the most appropriate time to memorize. Therefore, you need just to perform steps 1-3 in the previous article (*Compose Japanese Sentences (1), Check Japanese Scripts (2), and Quick Review (3)). Regarding an English script as a ‘trigger,’ you reflexively create an equivalent sentence.

When you have succeeded within a few seconds without a mistake, please click “Good” or “Easy.” If you make a mistake or take a lot of time to compose, please click “Again.” Then, Anki will give you the flashcard again when it’s the most appropriate time to review. The important point here is that you don’t have to answer in a certain time. By composing instantaneously, your fluency will dramatically improve. So, if you have difficulty doing so, please check the Japanese script and do the quick review. By repeating this process, you will eventually have a good command of all of the grammar you have learned and be able to use them in conversation effortlessly.

Necessary Learning Time for Intermediate Japanese Grammar

The total time will be 300 hours. A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar contains approximately 200 Japanese grammar. If you take an hour to learn two Japanese grammar points, it will take 100 hours, and we guess that you may take twice the time (200 hours) to practice what you have learned. *It will vary depending on your current proficiency.


In general, this can be the last time you learn Japanese grammar in particular, though you need further learning if you aim to be a professional translator or interpreter. You can use Anki on Android for free. The app for iOS costs a fee, but you can still open Ankiweb on Safari. Please efficiently proceed with your learning by utilizing your spare time. After completing this program, you will be able to converse with native speakers about more complex topics or in formal situations with less strain for either party. You’re really close to upper-intermediate level. もう少しです。がんばってください!

Recommended Links

Recommended Links

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