Japanese Writing Checklist for Beginner and Intermediate

Japanese writing is not that easy, …right? Actually, Japanese writing is difficult even for Japanese children. In elementary school, they learn to write naturally through composing practices over and over again.

In this article, we introduce a writing checklist that elementary schoolers actually use. You can use this list to check your Japanese writing, too!
(The checklist is at the bottom!)

All the letters were spelled correctly

Check whether you’ve written similar words by mistake.

I went shopping together with my friend.


Check whether you have written small letters that should be small.

I will watch a soccer game.


I chose the right verbs (Kanji, meaning, and collocation)

Check whether you chose the right verbs for what you would like to say. Verbs may be different from ones in English or your native language.

I have an appointment at 3 pm.


I need to take this medicine.


To check Japanese collocation, use this website!
*Type the subject in Japanese or English, and click “show collocation” on the result page.

I chose the right kanjis

It is very important to choose the right kanjis. If you choose the wrong one, it can change the meaning of the whole sentence. (But, don’t stress yourself out. We, Japanese people, sometimes make mistakes too!)

(To reply, “Are you free on Christmas day?”)

“I have a partner (to spend Christmas with).”

“I am free.”

I used punctuation (、or 。) properly

Comma 「、」is used to separate elements within a sentence.
Full stop 「。」is placed in the same position as periods in English.

Thank you. I’ve learned a lot from you.


*What I often see on social media are sentences like the one below. When you use an emoji, full-stop punctuation is not used. (You can use an emoji with exclamation marks, though.)

I received flowers today.

今日お花をもらった 🙂

I used the same sentence ending style throughout my writing
(「~です。」「~ます。」or 「~だ。」「~である。」)

Be careful not to mix polite and casual sentences in a single paragraph.

I went to a cafe with my friend yesterday. The coffee was good. But the cake was not so good.


*This rule does not apply to a phrase between Japanese quotation marks, whether it is polite or casual because it is directly spoken.

I went to school yesterday. My teacher told me, “Good job!” then.

*Sometimes, even in the middle of polite writing on social media, casual sentences can be included when you are talking to yourself about your feelings.

Yum! I’m very hungry.

I got very good offers from two companies. Yay! I’ll try a little more.

I used Japanese quotation marks (「」) properly

To quote directly from a person’s speech, use the Japanese quotation marks (「」).


↓[direct speech]
A friend asked me, “did you get a haircut?”.

↓[indirect speech]
A friend asked me if I got a haircut.

*When you need to use a quotation within a quotation, we use 『』just like English single (or double) quotations.

My brother said to me, “Mom said, ‘don’t forget to buy eggs on your way home’.” in the morning.

*We sometimes use it to emphasize words as well.

Let me check again. We’re meeting at “9 pm” on Friday, right?

There was no space between words

In Japanese, there is no space between words. When practicing your Japanese writing on your phone or computer, it’s okay to separate words to make it easier to understand. Just be sure to delete the spaces before finishing it.

猫 が 欲しい ので ペットショップ に 行きます。
I will go to a pet store because I want to have a cat.


Use Google Docs

Autocorrect and spelling and grammar suggestions are available on Google Docs.
Correct your spelling & grammar in Google Docs

*You need to change your typing language setting first.
Change your typing language (Translate documents or write in a different language)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask us on Twitter or Instagram.

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