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Duo Japanese course vs JLPT grammar: requirements checklist

I've noticed that many people in the forums asked about the level of Duolingo Japanese course according to JLPT. I made a checklist of the grammar needed for JLPT N5 and N4 that I want to share with everyone who loves learning Japanese and wants to take the JLPT test in the future :D

Sources of JLPT grammar requirements:

japanesetest4you, nihongoichiban, tanos

If you spot any mistakes (a grammar structure that was taught but I didn't notice it, or one that wasn't taught but I listed it etc.) please let me know so I can make this list more accurate. This will be a long post, so brace yourselves...



だ / です (da / desu): to be (copula)
で (de) – 1: at, in
で (de) – 2: with, by
が (ga) – 1: subject marker
がある (gaaru): there is (used for non-living things)
がいる (gairu): there is (used for living things)
ほうがいい (hou ga ii) 1: it’d be better to
ほうがいい (hou ga ii) 2: it’d be better to not
いちばん (ichiban): the most
か (ka) 2: question particle
から (kara) 1: because, since
から (kara) – 2: from
くらい (kurai): about, approximately
まだ (mada): still, not yet
まだ~ていません (mada~te imasen): haven't done yet
まで (made): until, till, to, even
まえに (mae ni): before
ませんか (masen ka): let’s, won’t you
ましょう (mashou): let’s, shall we (~ましょうか?)
も (mo): also, too, as well
もう (mo): already, anymore
~んです(ndesu): explanatory copula
な (na): don’t do
ないでください (naidekudasai): please don't
なる (naru): to become
~く/ ~になる ( ~ku/ ~ninaru)
に (ni): in, at, to, for
に/へ (ni/e): to
にいく (ni iku): to go in order to
にする (nisuru): to decide on
の (no) – 1: of (indicates possessive)
の (no) – 2: Verb nominalizer
ので (node) - because, the reason is...
のがじょうず (no ga jouzu): to be good at
のがすき (no ga suki): like / love doing
のがへた (no ga heta): to be bad at
すぎる (sugiru): too much
たい (tai): want to ~たり …~たりする
たことがある (takotogaaru): have done before
ている (teiru): is/are/am doing
てください (tekudasai): please do…
てもいい (temo ii): is okay, is alright to, can
てから (tekara): after doing
てはいけない (tewaikenai): must not, may not
と (to): and, with
つもりだ (tsumori da): plan to, intend to
や (ya): and
より ~ のほうが ~ (yori ~ nohouga ~): is more ~ than
を (wo) particle


だけ (dake): only, just
だろう (darou): probably
でしょう (deshou): I think, probably
が (ga) – 2: but, however
か (ka) 1: or (A or B, choice between 2 objects)
けれども (keredomo): but, although
~なくちゃいけない (~nakucha ikenai)



Volitional form (~しよう) - Let's... / Shall we...
Dictionary form + と
Number + も
(period) に (frequency)
~く/ ~にする ( ~ku/ ~nisuru)
あまり~ない (amari~nai): not very, not much
あとで (ato de): after, later
でも (demo): or something
ごろ (goro): around, about
はじめる (hajimeru): to start, to begin to
ほしい (hoshii): to want something, to be in need of
じゃないか (janai ka): isn't it
こと (koto): Verb nominalizer
までに (made ni): by, by the time
ないで (naide): without doing, don’t
のなかで (no naka de): in, among
お~ください (o~kudasai): please do (honorific)
おわる (owaru): to finish, to end
たがる (tagaru): to want to
たり~たり (tari~tari): do such things like
てある (te aru): something is/has been done
ていく (te iku): to go on, to start
ていた (te ita): was doing something
ても (temo): even if, even though
と (to): if, when, and
と~と、どちらが (to~to, dochira ga): which one
とおもう (to omou): I think, you think
やすい (yasui): easy to, likely to
より (yori): than
ようとおもう (you to omou): I think I will
ぜんぜん (zenzen): (not) at all


Transitive & Intransitive Verbs (only some taught, but not really explained)
~ばよかった (~bayokatta)
ば (ba): if… then ~ば/~れば ( ~ba/ ~reba)
場合は (baai wa): in the event of
だけで (dake de): just by
だす (dasu): to suddenly begin, to suddenly appear
でございます (de gozaimasu): to be (honorific)
がる (garu): to show signs of, to feel, to think
がする (ga suru): smell, hear, taste
ございます (gozaimasu): to be, to exist (honorific)
はずだ (hazu da): it must be, it should be ~はずです
はずがない (hazu ga nai): cannot be
ひつよう (hitsuyou): need, necessary
ひつようがある (hitsuyou ga aru): it is necessary to
いらっしゃる (irassharu): to be, to come, to go
いたす (itasu): to do (honorific)
かどうか (ka dou ka): whether or not
かい (kai): (turns a sentence into a yes/no question)
かもしれない (kamoshirenai): might, maybe
かな (kana): I wonder
かた (kata): how to
かしら (kashira): I wonder
ことができる (koto ga dekiru): can, be able to
~ことにする(~koto nisuru)
みたい (mitai): like, similar to, resembling
みたいに/みたいな (mitai ni/mitai na): like, similar to
など (nado): such as, things like
ながら (nagara): while, during, as
なければいけない/なければならない (nakereba ikenai/nakereba naranai): must do, have to do
なくてはいけない/なくてはならない (nakutewa ikenai/nakutewa naranai): must do, have to do
なくてもいい (nakute mo ii): don’t have to
なら (nara): if, in case, as for
なさい (nasai): (command/order somebody to do something)
なさる (nasaru): to do (honorific)
に気がつく (ni ki ga tsuku): to notice, to realize
にくい (nikui): difficult to, hard to
にみえる (ni mieru): to look, to seem, to appear
のに(noni) – 1: in order to
のに (noni) – 2: although, in spite of, even though
のように / のような (no you ni/no you na): like, similar to
~のようてほしい (~no youtehoshii)
お~になる (o~ni naru): to do (honorific)
おきに (oki ni): repeated at intervals, every
られる (rareru) – 1: to be able to do something
られる (rareru) – 2: (passive voice)
らしい (rashii): seems like
さ (sa): (nominalizer for adjectives)
させる (saseru): to make/let somebody do something
させられる (saserareru): to be made to do something
さすが (sasuga): as one would expect
し~し (shi~shi): and
しか~ない (shika~nai): there’s only
そんなに (sonna ni): so, so much, like that
それでも (sore demo): but still, and yet
そうに/そうな (sou ni/sou na): seem, look like
そうだ (sou da) – 1: I heard that, it is said that
そうだ (sou da) – 2: look like, appear, seem
たばかり (ta bakari): just did, something just happened
たら (tara): if, after, when
たらどう (tara dou): why don’t you (~たらどうですか?)
たところ (ta tokoro): just finished doing, was just doing
~ているあいだに,~ (~teiru aida ni~) - while, during
てあげる (te ageru): to do something for someone
てほしい (te hoshii): I need you to
ているところ (teiru tokoro): in the process of doing
ていただけませんか (te itadakemasen ka): could you please
てくれる (te kureru): to do something for someone
~てくれてありがとう(~te kurete arigatou)
てくる (te kuru): to come to, to become, to continue
てみる (te miru): to try to
てもらう (te morau): to get somebody to do something
ておく (te oku): to do something in advance
てしまう (te shimau): to do something by accident, to finish completely
てすみません (te sumimasen): I’m sorry for
てよかった (te yokatta): I’m glad that
ということ (to iu koto): (changes a sentence or phrase into a Noun)
といってもいい (to itte mo ii): you could say, you might say
といわれている (to iwarete iru): it is said that
とか~とか (toka ~ toka): among other things, such as
とき (toki): when, at the time
ときいた (to kiita): I heard that
ところ (tokoro): about to, on the verge of
とみえる (to mieru): it seems that
つづける (tsuzukeru): to continue
よていだ (yotei da): plan to, intend to
ようだ (you da): it seems that, it appears that, it looks like
ように/ような (you ni/you na): as, like, just like
ようになる (you ni naru): to reach the point that
ようにする (you ni suru): to try to, to make sure that

Transitive and intransitive verbs:

  1. basic explanation
  2. another explanation
  3. comprehensive list
  4. more beginner-friendly version of the site above

(AN !!!) Japanese words and grammar presented in the comments about the course sentences are not listed here. It's worth checking out, though! You can learn a lot of kanji there and get more knowledge of the language and Japan's culture!

You can find the explanation of the grammar structures on the websites mentioned above, along with example sentences.

I'm working on making the checklists for vocabulary and kanji for N5 and N4, hopefully I will get them together soon. Finished! Vocabulary checklists

Repository thread for the Japanese learning posts.

EDIT, 16 December 2017: added slight corrections and explanations to some structures. Added links to grammar structures not taught.
EDIT, 25 December 2017: further corrections, linked up most of the structures, formatted the text into tables.

楽しんで下さい! :)

December 8, 2017



Wow, and I thought my attempt to find all the kanji in the course was crazy! :D



Wow, amazing! I'm still working on the kanji and vocab list because there are so many words...


They've added a significant amount of kanji to the accepted answers since I made those kanji lists, and I think they may even add new sentences to the course occasionally. But if you're counting only the kanji used within the course's own sentences, then my list of 101 kanji might still be accurate.

Good luck with vocab though. I considered trying that too, but I gave up on it as I couldn't decide precise enough rules for what should count as a unique word. Different spellings of kanji/kana, plain/polite, etc. and whether auxiliaries and particles are separate or joined... Lots of annoying decisions stuff like that. ^^;

Btw, for your grammar list, I'm pretty sure there are a few in your "not taught" sections which are actually taught. I get a bit mixed up since I do the reverse tree too and recognise just about every single one from there. However, I'm 99.999% certain about the following ones at least:

  • くらい
  • ごろ
  • あとで
  • たり~たり


Edited! ありがとうございます!

I'm not sure about the たり~たり structure. I remember there was a sentence: "I want/buy all sorts of things." using いろいろ (all sorts of). I honestly don't know if たり~たり appeared somewhere, too... I also do the reverse tree so I try not to mix up things too much, especially the kanji, since its running free in the Jap-Eng tree ;D



I was beginning to wonder myself, so I typed "行ったり" (quotes are necessary) in the Discussion's search box. I remembered it was about going on holiday to various places, so I knew it was for 行く. This search found it straightaway. ^^


That clears it up :) Thank you! Added to the "taught"list!


Wow! Thanks for making that list! It's great for reviewing too.


Not all heroes wear capes.


Da (だ) is casual desu (です), with ending よ it means: " ...it is, you know".

だ、よ! ;)


Whhoaa just found this gem of a thread, thank you MyaRexa! It will be interesting to see after the tree 2.0 is released how much it will cover in comparison to this list of N5 and N4.


That is completely amazing! Thank you very much for the lists!

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