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Do we have to get a grammar book assisting to our language study through LingQ?

First of all, apologize for any English grammatical error in my question. Now I began to use LingQ for my Spanish learning, my third foreign language. I found that without a knowledge basis of plural/singular and feminine/masculine forms of words, it would be pretty hard for a foreigner, especially from a different language system, like me, a Chinese to set out from zero. Then I double-check the instruction of Japanese I am studying as well in LingQ. The way of LingQ handling the ending inflection of verbs in Japanese confused me even more that LIngQ simply put those different inflections into categories of independent words. For instance, -nasai(なさい)represents "one word" meaning the request of the object action. I don't know if this is a proper way of teaching.

Personally, I think LingQ is an ideal choice for teaching those languages with fairly simple grammar rules, like English and Mandarin, etc. When it comes to those languages with complicated or even awkward(nothing offensive, just grumbling) grammatical rules, do we need a grammar book to come with?

Nevertheless, I still believe the way LingQ has is one of the most work-efficient system to date.

@zzcs7879: "...Personally, I think LingQ is an ideal choice for teaching those languages with fairly simple grammar rules, like English and Mandarin, etc."


@zzcs7879: "...When it comes to those languages with complicated or even awkward [...] grammatical rules, do we need a grammar book...?"


(Well, okay, it's a matter of opinion! I'm guessing Steve would say "no"...)

We need some basic grammar knowledge for making your phrases in a new language.
But the grammar shouldn't be in the focus of your studying.
Listenuing and new words must be first of all.


I'm one of those crazy linguists who love grammar, so one of the first things I do when getting started with a new language is to get a nice and big Comprehensive Grammar and one of those 501 Verbs volume. I have them for all of the languages I learn, and they're pretty useful. I actually like to sit with my big-ass Russian grammar and read it, just for fun, and I even laugh outloud.

@Elric: "...I actually like to sit with my big-ass Russian grammar and read it, just for fun, and I even laugh outloud."

I know the feeling. Slavic grammar is certainly pretty daunting, but I don't see it in a negative way at all. For me it seems like a challenge. Cracking Russian, Polish or Czech would be difficult - but hugely rewarding.

I feel like I'm going to be plugging away at Russian for at least a couple more years before I can finally say I've cracked it.


Maybe we should start a group for grammar addicts.

I am learning German with LingQ. I totally agree with Imy's Oct. 13 comments. Here are my own thoughts on language learning.
I find that after I have listened and read for a while, the grammar system of the language starts to come to my attention naturally. First, the word order, second the verb endings and their function, third the use of prepositions combined with the cases and genders of nouns. This is only an observation of mine, not what 'should' happen. Once I notice something I find that looking it up in a small grammar book is useful to help me to notice even better how the language works as I continue to read and listen.
I also like grammar, but I find that studying grammar is not learning the language. Learning the language is done through active participation in the language. Mostly by listening and reading. Practising involves speaking out and writing. I find that the more listening I do, the more little snippets of the language start coming to the surface in my brain. With continued listening and reading, these snippets become bigger chunks and I start to think in the new language. This method is not fast, but the eventual result is a very wide vocabulary and the ability to listen to natural language and eventually to speak without translating in your head.

The studying any language without any grammar is perhaps the big mistake like maybe the opposite thing - to substitute the teading and listening with a thick grammar books.
For the first stage we need only a very restrickted volume of grammar in order to understand for example that 'am, is, are' in English or 'bin, bist, ist, sind' in German - that they all are the forms of one verb and not 3-4 different verbs like it seems to me when I started to study French and Spanish without any Grammar - and I spoiled and distorted my understanding and my practice usage of these languages.
But without learning new words and a lot of practice by listening and imitation of the native pronunciation all the grammar would be dead and useless.

I agree with Evgueny. The issue is not whether to study grammar or not, but rather how much to focus on grammar and at what stage in one's learning. Vey experienced language learners, and analytical people with a taste for grammar, may want to spend more time on grammar even at the beginning. For most people, and certainly for me, I find that grammar is hard to digest, especially at the beginning. As I progress in the language, listen and read more, have more words, in fact have more experience with the language, I am better able to digest the grammar since I have already come across many of the phenomena described by the grammar, as Rae says.

Often the language text book, or even the commercial language courses, will tell you that in this lesson you will learn the "subjunctive" or something. I don't find that to be the case. All that lesson does is explain a particular point of grammar and give you some examples. You will not learn this form or pattern until much later, but you now have a place to go back to over and over.

The ideal grammar lesson is what Evgueny has done in the target language. I can go back to these over and over, and stay in the target language. This is more difficult to do at the beginning where some light description of the grammar in a language that is known to the learner is probably useful.

So, in my view we need to mix input with some grammar help, and the amount will vary according to the tastes and interests of the learner.

i think its probably good to study grammar, but you dont necessarily have to buy a big book, you could probably find an explanation of most grammar concepts on the internet ;D


I think that a sensible person (which lets me out for Japanese, at least) would AT THE START buy a smallish grammar book and a book showing you how to hand-write all the characters and connect them up into words an sentences.

I spent three years trying to learn Japanese without either. You can still see the dents in the plaster where I have been banging my head against the wall ;-)

Speaking of such things as Helen mentioned, does anyone have a good suggestion for a book to help one learn how to write Chinese characters? If possible, one I can purchase in electronic form.

Try Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji".
I've only used his "Remembering the Kana", the Japanese version, but I imagine the system would work just as well.

To rae68,according to my personal experience in teaching Chinese, there are many online resources of "Chinese Stroke order". I simply google it, an found "" is a pretty easy one to get through.

@rae68: I don't know about Chinese characters, but for Japanese ones I have found a very good app for my phone, Obenkyo. You search for the kanji you want (need to install a Japanese IME such as Smartkeyboard) and it shows you how to write it, and what it means, and example sentences, and so on.

An online equivalent is


Awhile ago someone here, I think it was (skyblue) Helen, mentioned this site which looks good for learning to write Chinese and Japanese characters.

I'd also like to namecheck this site which I've just found:

It's a kanji search engine which tells you which JLPT level each character is. So when I encounter a character I can decide how to prioritise learning it.

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