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I'm looking for a good Japanese grammar dictionary. I've used Seiichi Makino's "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" and it's an excellent guide. However, I'm looking for a more advanced grammar dictionary with less frequently used grammar constructions. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Some things I'm looking for in the book:

(1) Must use kanji/hiragana-- no dictionaries which only use romaji.

(2) Must be able to check in alphabetical/hiragana order. ie. some dictionaries are for linguists, who search entries like "Prepositional forms" "Causative forms" which are the linguistic classifications. I'm rather looking for entries like "-ni naru" "-kakeru" so that when I see such forms in use, I can look them up in the dictionary to see what they mean.

(3) Must go beyond basic usage. Basically JLPT 1 standard and beyond.

Amazon lists a few books, but from what I've seen, they usually don't satisfy the above conditions. Would like to hear what fellow Japanese learners think.

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I have:

Japanese: A Comprehensive Grammar (Kaiser, Ichikawa, Kobayashi, Yamamoto) ISBN 0-415-099290-X

which is the most comprehensive grammar I know of. It's ordered partially alphabetically and partially by forms, so the contents look like:

Adverbs: by derivation

Adverbs: by meaning

Aida: [conjunctive particle]

Aida: [relational noun]

Aida, mae, -nagara, -tsutsu, uchi: comparison

Animate and Inanimate existential/locational verbs

Apposition of Nouns



-ba, dattara, -nara, -tara, to: comparison


Anyway you get the picture. It can be a little difficult to find what you're looking for, especially going from English to Japanese, but once you do it's fairly comprehensive. Uses kanji/hiragana with romanji and translation underneath, the examples are all real world. I don't know what the requirements of level 1 JLPT are, but at level 3 there is stuff in there which is way too advanced for me.

With the exception of that 200 page book on the differences between 'wa' and 'ga' I don't know of anything more comprehensive :mrgreen: I'd be interested if anyone else does.

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I know no Japanese at all, but "Comprehensive grammar" sounds like Routledge. I'm generally very satisfied with their products. "Colloquial Chinese" is a very good textbook, in spite of the settings being a bit outdated. I am not so fond of their Chinese Compr.Gr., but so far (a year or so) I haven't been disappointed with their Ch. Essential Gr. They have a Persian Gr. with yet another label; fairly good. And you can't write a better grammar than their Urdu Ess. Gr.

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Thanks to both of you. Yes, I've flipped briefly through the routledge and it seems the closest I can find to what I need. Might get it as a stop-gap till I find the one huge mother-of-all-japanese-grammar-books. I sometimes wish Japanese was more like Chinese-- no conjugations, so you can find EVERYTHING even in a moderately comprehensive dictionary!

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It sounds like you need to buy a book that natvies would use then. There are many grammar dictionaries and resources available, so search Japanese web sites for the one you like best. I was in your position awhile ago, and an old man here in Japan showed me the books the native speakers use. They are accessible by non-natives, and very very helpful, much better than resources perpared for foreigners.

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I don't remember the title, unfortunately. It was over a year ago that I used the book. But 紀伊国屋 should have several types under the 国語 section. They are called grammar dictionaries.

For example if you are unsure about the meaning or usage of 「~をめぐって」, you look up めぐる in the index and it will tell you where to look. They entry will have an an explanation, and then examples of how it is properly used. I really should buy a book like that myself. Alas, I have not been studying so hard lately though. :mrgreen:

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The example novemberfog gave makes it sound more like a dictionary of usage than a grammar dictionary. Of the usage dictionaries I know of, I've got this at hand:

EFFECTIVE JAPANESE USAGE GUIDE: a concise explanation of frequently confused words and phrases (755 pages; Kodansha,1994; ISBN 4061232827 )

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I guess you could say it is a usage book. But it is what students in Japan use. Students studying to enter Waseda and what not use it. The sales guys at KDDI corporation also use such a book. It is really helpful when you need to try to understand some grammer. When I get a chance I will go to a book store again and see if I can' find the title.

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