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12 Free MCD Examples

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series MCD Revolution

Never say I never did nothing for the peoples!

To commemorate the beginning October…

…Coz I’m all about commemorating October…

…Myeah, not really…

But just for the heck of it anyway, here are a dozen free, real-life (i.e. from or inspired by actual cards in my actual decks) examples of MCDs. There are three basic types. Bilingual, tranny I mean transitional, and monolingual. 1

Some people give you roses. Some sacrifice virgins. I give you SRS card examples that make your learning fun, easy and effective. I think it’s quite clear who’s really looking out for your best interests 😛 : the virgin-sacrificing people; they’re really going all out. But I imagine I’m a close second.

Remember, the basic MCD principle is this: instead of having 1 card with 9 unknowns, you have 9 cards with 1 unknown each. But you keep the same massive context as when you had a single big, bad, intimidating, f-off card. 9 is a fake number.

Talk longa. Action brevis. Begin!

First things first, here is the format for these examples:

  1. FRONT

The front contains the cloze (the blank represented by ######## or some other equally awesome marker).
The back contains the clozetext (the correct answer to the blank; the filler to the donut hole, if you will) as well as additional materials like definitions, readings, sound files and any other relevant reference material.


Bilingual MCDs are good for when you lack the knowledge — or the context — to happily handle monolingual cards. Beginners, noobs and nervous nellies should focus just on bilingual cards. Just as with old skool sentence cards, don’t go writing your own translations. If you’re noob enough to need a translation, ya shouldn’t be rolling your own.

  1. ########に行きます。
    I shall come with you.

    I shall come with you.
    いっしょ【一緒】 1 〔共に同じ事をすること〕 毎朝學校へ一緒に行ったものです We used to go to school together every morning. 一緒に行ってくださいませんか Won’t you come with me? 一緒に遊びませんか Won’t you join us in the game? クラスが一緒でした We were in the same class. 途中までご一緒しましょう I’ll 「go with [((文))accompany] you part of the way. 
  2. 一緒########行きます。
    I shall come with you.


    I shall come with you.
  3. ########覚を研ぎ澄ますことじゃ。そうすればわかる。
    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.

    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.
    かんかく【感覚】 1 〔知覚〕a sense; (a) sensation
    スターウォーズセリフbot (StarWarsbot)さんはTwitterを使っています 
  4. ########を研ぎ澄ますことじゃ。そうすればわかる。
    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.


    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.
    かんかく【感覚】 1 〔知覚〕a sense; (a) sensation
    スターウォーズセリフbot (StarWarsbot)さんはTwitterを使っています 
  5. 感覚を########すことじゃ。そうすればわかる。
    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.

    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.
    とぎすます【研ぎ澄ます】  II 〔精神を鋭くする〕 研ぎ澄まされた芸術的感覚 a keen artistic sense
    スターウォーズセリフbot (StarWarsbot)さんはTwitterを使っています 
  6. 感覚を研ぎ澄ますことじゃ。そう########わかる。
    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.

    Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.
    とぎすます【研ぎ澄ます】  II 〔精神を鋭くする〕 研ぎ澄まされた芸術的感覚 a keen artistic sense
    スターウォーズセリフbot (StarWarsbot)さんはTwitterを使っています 


Tranny 2 I mean transitional cards are useful for when you’re trying to crack the same risqué joke twice in a single blogpost, or just actively making the (get this) transition 3 to using monolingual dictionaries. Basically, they’re MCDs of dictionary definitions of simple words you already know. The front of the card is monolingual, the back of the card is bilingual (so we have an English definition of the definition we’re clozing). Contrast with bilingual cards, which are bilingual on both sides, and monolingual cards, which are monolingual on both sides.

  1. ########る】1 食物を噛んで、呑み込む。「生で########る」「ひと口########てみる」
    た・べる【食べる】 [動バ下一][文]た・ぶ[バ下二]《尊敬語「たぶ」(四段)に対応する謙譲語》 1 食物をかんで、のみこむ。「生(なま)で─・べる」「ひと口─・べてみる」
    たべる【食べる】 I 〔食う〕eat
  2. 【食物】 ########物。生物が########て身體の栄養とするもの。
    しょく‐もつ【食物】 食べ物。生物が食べてからだの栄養とするもの。
    しょくもつ【食物】 food 食物をとる eat (food) 腐りやすい食物 perishables 食物繊維 dietary fiber 食物連鎖 a food chain
  3. ########く】 1 向こうへ移動する。「はやく########け」

    い・く【行く/逝く/▽往く】 [動カ五(四)] 1 向こうへ移動する。「はやく─・け」
    ゆく【行く】 ⇒いく(行く) 1 〔目的地に向かう〕go
  4. ########】1 命がなくなる。息が絶える。また、自ら命を斷つ。「交通事故で########」「世をはかなんで########」「########か生きるかの大問題」「########ほどの苦しみ」「死んでも言えない」⇔生きる。
    し・ぬ【死ぬ】 [動ナ五][文][ナ四・ナ変]《古くはナ行変格活用。室町時代ころからナ行四段活用が見られるようになり、江戸時代には二つの活用が並存。明治以降はナ行四段(五段)活用が一般的になったが、なお「死ぬる」「死ぬれ(ば)」などナ行変格活用が用いられることもある》 1 命がなくなる。息が絶える。また、自ら命を斷つ。「交通事故で─・ぬ」「世をはかなんで─・ぬ」「─・ぬか生きるかの大問題」「─・ぬほどの苦しみ」「─・んでも言えない」⇔生きる。
    しぬ【死ぬ】 1 die


Monolingual cards are especially well-suited to long, context-rich passages of L2 text. Having said that, they will of course work on short passages as well: they don’t know how long your passage is 😛 .

If you don’t get how these are working, don’t worry: you’re not supposed to get it…yet. Focus first on bilingual and transitional cards. Get a few thousand of those under your belt. Your time will come.

  1. 【彼氏(アメリカ人)との喧譁について】
    彼氏(アメリカ人)との喧譁について – Yahoo!知恵袋 
  2. 【「真犯人は########」…PC遠隔操作「犯罪予告」】
    ひ‐れつ【卑劣/×鄙劣】 [名・形動]品性や言動がいやしいこと。人格的に低級であること。また、そのさま。「─な行為」 [派生]ひれつさ[名]

    「真犯人は卑劣」…PC遠隔操作「犯罪予告」 : ニュース : ネット&デジタル : YOMIURI ONLINE(読売新聞) 
  3. 【「真犯人は卑########」…PC遠隔操作「犯罪予告」】

    ひ‐れつ【卑劣/×鄙劣】 [名・形動]品性や言動がいやしいこと。人格的に低級であること。また、そのさま。「─な行為」 [派生]ひれつさ[名]
    「真犯人は卑劣」…PC遠隔操作「犯罪予告」 : ニュース : ネット&デジタル : YOMIURI ONLINE(読売新聞)

And so it came to pass that twelve free MCD examples were given. And there was much rejoicing throughout the land 4. And it was good.

Questions? Comments? Confusion? Let me know.

Also, you might want to talk to the MCD Revolution Kit…it’ll almost certainly have your answers 😛 .

Series Navigation<< What is it about these MCDs? BONUS: The Easy ButtonA New MCD Card Format for Japanese (Even Lazier and More Effective Than Before) >>


  1. Yes, I do hate transgender people. They start all the wars and take all our jobs. All. Of. Them.
  2. Don’t worry…it’s not raciss…they don’t have feelings like you and I
  3. do you see what I did there?
  4. I tell you, that land…always with the rejoicing

  37 comments for “12 Free MCD Examples

  1. October 9, 2012 at 02:40

    Thsnks Khatz 🙂

  2. RedheadedAmerican
    October 9, 2012 at 04:21

    Questions, Khatz- I have a million.

    1. would it be a good idea to use pictures as context clues? (e.g. sentence from a website or book, picture from same source page?) I do this already with recipe sentences but I’m curious as to your take.

    2. How big a context are we looking for in J-to-J?

    3. isn’t it more convenient to just do [—] instead of ########?

    Thanks a whole bundle.

    • 名前
      October 10, 2012 at 10:55

      1. If you find it helpful and not too annoying to create, then yes, it is great. The point of these cards is sorta to use context, adding more context certainly won’t hurt.

      2. As big as you need/are willing to put up with.

      3. Personal preference?

    • kalek
      October 11, 2012 at 01:55

      It’s more convenient to do ####### in Surusu

      • RedheadedAmerican
        October 17, 2012 at 09:12

        Ah. I use Anki (shame on me)

  3. Jordan Johnson
    October 9, 2012 at 04:32

    Thank you this helps a lot 😀

  4. Kaminokamen
    October 9, 2012 at 05:22

    Wow, thanks, you rock so much!

  5. ジェイコブ
    October 9, 2012 at 07:33

    Soo… Khatz or anyone for that matter, could you explain to me how exactly these are supposed to work?

    • 名前
      October 10, 2012 at 10:51

      You find sentences with stuff you want to learn in them. You then close out each part you don’t know as well as possibly the particles to help strengthen your knowledge of them.
      He’s kinda shown how to use the back of the card based on which stage you’re at already.

  6. フレヂィー
    October 9, 2012 at 15:47


  7. タマには
    October 11, 2012 at 23:22

    お教えになって下さって誠にありがとうございました! (Been studying some keigo recently, so…)

    It’s almost been a year since I begun studying Japanese, but the only SRS I’ve ever used is the one found on the Reviewing the Kanji site; recently, though, I’ve thought about trying out something different, and I guess this post gave me a final push. I read authentic Japanese every day, but is that enough to raise my level of understanding? Well, I don’t think it’s 「時間の無駄」, if you would, ’cause I’m having fun using nothing but Japanese after all, but I think I’ll give these monolingual MCDs a shot.

  8. Kita
    October 12, 2012 at 01:07

    I still quite don’t understand how MCD’s work. Could someone give an example or two in English?

    For example, how would a MCD work with the sentence, “I shall come with you.” ?

  9. October 13, 2012 at 20:44

    I have a question–doesn’t this violate Piotr Wozniak’s “minimum information principle” for creating SRS cards? That dude knows as much about SRS as anyone, and he constantly says to make questions as short as possible in order to isolate the information that you don’t know, so you can be scheduled for review.

    What is it about these MCDs . . . that makes them better?

    • 名前
      October 14, 2012 at 05:28

      It is simple and minimum information that is being tested though. Instead of needing to know a whole sentence you need only recall a single particle, word or kanji.
      The rest of the information is simply context and definitions if you should require them.

    • RedheadedAmerican
      October 17, 2012 at 09:11

      See number 9 of the 20 rules, and combine with what 名前 said. (my opinion)

      • October 17, 2012 at 14:07

        I’m still a little skeptical. It seems reasonable using short question and answers would enable a person to learn more vocabulary in the same amount of time. I could see, however, how MCDs could help with learning to read longer passages, similar to incremental reading.

        But if you say they’re better than short reps, I’d give it a go. So, are they better? And how many MCD reps do you typically do a day?

        • November 21, 2012 at 10:53

          I suggest self-experimentation. Also, joining ajatt+ really smooths things out.

        • Anthony
          March 14, 2013 at 14:28

          The question is effectively short, it just consists of “What is the word that goes here?” He does specifically recommend Cloze deletion to make long questions short. Now, he does advise against long Cloze deletions, but I believe that’s mostly because a lot of irrelevant stuff in a Cloze deletion *usually* gets in the way. With language learning, on the other hand, more context usually aids you.

  10. dom
    October 30, 2012 at 20:21

    Where does pronunciation fit it to the MCDs?? because I thought sentences were for the pronunciation part.

  11. November 16, 2012 at 04:45

    Could you please provide us with example MCDs for some of the more commonly taught languages? Are these MCDs pre-packaged sentences or do users create their own content? Or both? “instead of having 1 card with 9 unknowns, you have 9 cards with 1 unknown each” I like the concept of learning from context but I’d like to understand your approach better.


    • November 21, 2012 at 10:55

      1. Pick a massive (or micro) context in any language
      1.5 Choose something you want to read
      2. Choose words you want to know
      3. Cloze-delete
      4. ????
      5. Delete cards you don’t like
      6. Profit.

  12. Eva
    November 24, 2012 at 02:31

    – Could someone tell me a good online dictionary / good website for example sentences of words with good translations? I’ve so far just copied out example sentences from a book for my bilingual cards but I’ve finished the book and am a bit lost 🙂

    Also is Tangorin suitable for this purpose; I’ve looked on it already but there’s a disclaimer about the authenticity of the sentences and it’s put me off a bit

    – Is Khatz using an online dictionary for his example cards here and if so, which one is it, or are there any good ones like it? I want to start making some transitional cards for the words I already know
    Thank you 😀

    • November 24, 2012 at 11:26

      I think he took his examples from everyday life. I know of, but proceed with caution if you check it out…I’ve heard a little bit of negative feedback about awkward translations or sentences just being wrong (I guess kind of like Wikipedia in its early days). Either way, check it out, have fun, but take note that your mileage may vary.

  13. mark95427
    March 26, 2013 at 05:58

    great help!

  14. Hexe
    August 2, 2013 at 18:23

    You can cloze the kanji readings and individual word meanings, but how do you come to understand the meaning of the sentence? Can’t you learn the meaning and reading of every word and still not know what the sentence means?

  15. Thomas Smith
    August 11, 2013 at 20:13

    Splitting Hanzi compounds into separate cards seriously screwed everything up for my Mandarin.

    1) When reading, I’d fail to recognise words I’d reviewed, because split cards had trained me to view them separately. Eg 成果 wouldn’t seem like a word in it’s native environment, and I’d

    a) subvocalise it as “chéng guǒ” rather than “chéngguǒ”.
    b) understand it as something more like “become fruit” than “result”.

    2) SRS scheduling got mangled by “false passes”. Eg upon hitting 名######## I should have written 子, failed, and studied 名字 from the beginning, lesson learned. But as it happened, I met the card ########字 just beforehand, and “passed” with 字, sending my 名######## way off into the future, unremedied. Any attempt to cleverly counteract this with ease buttons just lead to agonisation and slowed me down.

    3) When outputting, I’d constantly not know whether to produce 成果 or 果成.

    4) When choosing between multiple possible readings, isolated characters are more likely to be screwed up. Eg, when only clozing the 為 in 為了 為什麼 I’d falsely generalise and keep reading 以為 as yǐwèi. the distinction between the two was becoming fuzzied by not treating words as what they are, words.

    Clozing words instead of parts of words has eliminated all 4 of the above problems, and I’m not going back!

    My failure rate on SRS has increased by about 5-10% from what it previously was. But that’s not a bad thing, it’s a genuine reflection of my level. And more important, failing on Anki isn’t bad, it’s learning, and keeping it artificially low is just self-delusion. Seriously, WTF use is half a word?

    Meanwhile, genuine IRL screw-ups as described above are going DOWN.

    TL;DR Clozing compounds one Kanji at a time >>> weak. Clozing words as words >>> strong.

    • Evangeline
      July 8, 2016 at 06:49

      Thank you! This was helpful!

  16. skrwitch
    November 17, 2013 at 19:21

    For billingual MCDs, do I put the English translation on the front card, or the back?

  17. Crablan
    August 13, 2014 at 14:25

    I’m able to gather a fair bit from these, but it is quite hard to follow when my L2 is not Japanese!

    The bilingual is easy to follow, but I’m not so clear on the tranny cards. I think I’m being confused by the multiple cloze deletions. Here is what I think I’m looking at in the 4 tranny examples.

    1. (Part of?) a known word is clozed. A definition and 2 example sentences follow, in which the word is clozed again. On the back, the answer to the cloze is given in bold, followed by the unclozed text. A translation of the cloze to english is also given

    2. A word and its definition are given. A word that recurs in the definition is clozed twice (the word is unclozed). On the bacn, the answer to the cloze is given in bold, follwoed by the unclozed text. A translation is given for the word as well as for varying related words.

    3&4. Same as 1

    And can’t make much out for the monolingual ones.

    Am I at all in the right area?

    Thanks to anyone who can help clear this up.

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