Category Archives: N4

Do not skip your N4 and N5



Today`s post is on not skipping your N4 and N5.

I saw this post by a guy on the forum:

I went for XXX’s prep course for both N2 and N1. For the other grades, I think it’s possible to self study them, but I never took those exams because I felt it was a waste of money.

Kindly allow me to add something that a lot of Japanese learners don`t know, not even most teachers in the schools. I got to know this as i have been doing research on JLPT since 2010, take exams with my students (毎年生徒とSMUを”散歩”しましょう. (笑) ) and also attend teacher conferences with teachers from other countries.

Every level of JLPT tests you on different areas of the language.


N5: Ability to use correct particles in sentences, basic vocabulary, basic usage of forms, usage of time, date, usage of adverbs, Japanese greetings

N4: Ability to identify usage of transitive/intransitive verbs, potential/passive/volitional forms sentence structures, usage of similar vocabulary (e.g ごはんをたべる vs 食事), basic usage of Keigo (not in recent years), usage of time, date, usage of adverbs

N3: Intermediate level vocabulary, Ability to read composition on people, simple official notices, Keigo, causative passive form, ~そうです, conversational sentences

N2: Understanding of N3, N4 and N5 grammar, Ability to read newspaper articles, official notices, understand simple business conversations, usage of Keigo, causative passive form
usage of particles in sentences.

N1: Understanding of N1-N5 grammar. Ability to read abstract articles, newspaper articles, understand complex business conversations, advanced Keigo, usage of particles in difficult sentences.Depending which year you took JLPT, you might have missed out the important stuff that you need to know.

We also see a trend that N1 vocabulary is tested in N3 (Dec 2016), N4,N5 stuff tested in N1 (Dec 2016)

So students who are taking N1 or N2, please, please make sure that you revise your foundation stuff.


N4文法:意向形+と思います vs ~つもりです





I am thinking of going to Japan.

I intend to go to Japan.

I am going to Japan.
可能性(かのうせい) からみると (if I see it from the level of possibility),  パーセントで表示(ひょうじ)します。

I am thinking of going to Japan.
60-70%可能性 (60-70% possibility of going)

I intend to go to Japan.
80-90%可能性 (80-90% possibility of going)

I am going to Japan.
100%可能性 (100% possibility of going)


みんなの日本語第15課 (結婚しています)を思い出してください。



「日本へ行こうと思っています」indicates that the thought was made quite some time ago whereas 「日本へ行こうと思います」indicates it was a sudden thought when the speaker was being asked.

じゃ、みなさんは日本へ行くつもりですか? (^_^)






N2/N4 Prep Class information out

For those taking JLPT N2 and N4, i am offering prep classes.
Kindly see the following details.

N2 prep class
Dates: 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 31st June
Times: 1030am-1230pm (Sun), 7pm-9.30pm (rest of the days)
Fees: $250 for 5 sessions
Slots left: 3
Guarantee pass or 2nd take is FOC.

N2 prep class topics
1) Exam time management
2) Handling 読解 questions (which qns to aim for to get higher marks)
3) Common exam vocabulary tested
4) Common exam grammar tested
5) Tackling listening questions (which qns to aim for to get higher marks)
6) Speed reading for 読解 questions

N4 prep class
Dates: 18th, 19th June (Sat/Sun)
Times: 1030am-130pm, 230pm-630pm
Fees: $150 for 4 sessions (HWZ frequent poster) , $200 for 4 sessions (others)
Slots left: 3
Guarantee pass or 2nd take is FOC.

N4 prep class topics
1) Common exam vocabulary tested
2) Common exam grammar tested
3) Revision of N4/N5 grammar
4) Tackling listening questions (which qns to aim for to get higher marks)

For those who would like to request for subsidized/free lessons, you may be required to show some form of documentation (i.e payslip, etc).

Hope i can help more people out there who have difficulty passing N2/N4.


Answering ☆ questions


おはようございます。Today i have some time before i start my lesson at 11am, so i would like to share on how to answer ☆ questions, one of the most dreaded questions faced by a lot of students.

1.Look for nouns (名詞)
2.See if you can link the nouns up by a の (Search for a の)
3.Read the noun and see if they link up nicely a not. If it doesn’t, it means it should be a 名+助+動詞 pattern
4.Search for verbs (動詞)
5.Link the 動詞 with the 助詞
6. Do 3 checks

-Grammar check for the options put in (Does it obey the grammar rules?)
-Does the front and back part of the sentence link nicely with the answer in the 1st blank and last blank?
-Read out the whole sentence silently and see if it links up nicely

Following are some various ☆ question patterns:

名:Noun      助: Particle         動詞: Verb
場所: Place

1) 名+助+~動詞
2) 名+助+副詞+動詞
3) 名+助+~動詞+動詞
4) 名+助+名+助~
5) 名+助+場所+動詞
6) 名の名+助+~動詞
7) 動詞(普通形)+名: noun-modifier
8) い-形容詞+名
9) な-形容詞+名
Let’s try to attempt the following star questions from the various levels:

あねは ____ ____ ____ ____。

1) います 2) こうこうで

3) おしえて 4) えいごを

The above sentence follows sentence pattern 5: 名+助+場所+動詞
and sentence pattern 1: 名+助+動詞
Sentence Pattern 5
名: あね
場所: こうこうで (Option 2)
動詞:おしえて+います (Option 3 and 1/ N5 grammar)

Sentence Pattern 1
名:えいご (Option 4)
助詞:を(Option 4)
動詞: おしえて+います (Option 3 and 1/ N5 grammar)

When you link sentence pattern 1 and 5 together, you will get the answer: 2431
りんさんは、来月 ______ ____ ____ ____行きたいそうです。
1) 家の近くの      2) 国へ  3) 公園へ      4) 帰ったら

For this question, you need to apply the 1st and 2nd rule:

1.Look for nouns (名詞)
2.See if you can link the nouns up by a の (Search for a の)

In this case, you can see that there is a 家の近くの(Option 1)
Does it make sense to link it with 国 or 公園? 当たり前でしょう? (It’s obvious right?)
Link it with 公園. So 1 and 3 will be together.

Next we are left with 2 and 4. This is also quite obvious. Actually it’s a N5 grammar.
Link the 国へ and 帰ったら together.
It follows sentence pattern 1’s rule:

Answer for this: 2413
自然の  ______ ____ ____ ____はおいしい。
1) のもとで   2) 育った           3) 恵み              4) この野菜


____はおいしい。 何がおいしい?

この野菜 (選択肢4)

1.Look for nouns (名詞)
2.See if you can link the nouns up by a の (Search for a の)

残りは 1, 2 と3です。

3は1と接続できますね。 恵みのもとで (N2の文法).


自然の恵み (名 の 名)

答えは 3124



国際宇宙ステーション計画はアメリカの ____ _______ ____ ____ を表明した。

1) において        2) 大統領が         3) 実施          4) 一般教科書


実施を表明した。 (選択肢3)

残りは1, 2 と4です。

において と 一般教科書 は接続できます。
「一般教科書において」 (選択肢4と1)


答えは:  2413です。