How do I use 上手 in my own sentences?

みんなさん こんにちは!

New-learner here! I’ve been practicing Japanese by writing my goal vocabulary in sentences comprised of words I already know. I am having trouble with placing 上手 into my sentences that aren’t simple “A is B” sentences (i.e. in my examples I am actively avoiding using making sentences like ″学生は上手です”.)

How do I use 上手 in saying things like “The student is skillful at studying” or “My friend is good at drawing”?

I tried to refer to WK’s examples, but because I don’t understand a lot of the grammar yet, I am having trouble understanding why it is placed where it is and why it is followed by certain particles sometimes and not others. I’m sure this is going to open a whole can of worms that will unravel as I traverse into the never-ending world of particles and sentence structure, but is anyone able to give a basic run-down of using a word such as this?

If it helps at all, WK’s example sentences are the following:


Satou is good at singing.


Do you know any princes who are good at using olive oil?


I’m good at making funny faces.


上手 is a な-adjective. In the first sentence, it’s been converted to its adverbial form 上手に (i.e. “Satou sings songs skilfully”). In the second sentence, it’s directly modifying the noun 王子, so it’s got the な in between. In the third sentence, it’s serving as the sentence’s predicate.

Honestly, it’s up to you how you want to structure your sentences, but understanding the grammar is probably step one…


Thank you! I’ve been learning from a few resources but not one has really explained how adverbs work in Japanese (to the point where I am in them) or explained the particle な yet. I’ll try searching some grammar resources for more information.

BunPro has a free one month full trial. It’s similar to WaniKani in the sense that it also uses SRS. If you want to get some reading done, Tae Kim’s is pretty useful!

If you’ve got an extra ten dollars, Udemy has a course from Attain on JLPT N5 grammar and vocabulary. It’s a one time payment, and you can use use it whenever you want! I personally only bought the N3 version of it, but in my experience it’s been pretty good, if not all comprehensive. The N5 course should get you up to speed when it comes to learning the basics of Japanese grammar. Of course, if you prefer, you can buy a monthly/yearly subscription from Attain themselves for the same content.

Good luck!

I’ll just add that if you go with Tae Kim, I found this anki deck to be a good way to drill what I’d learned in an SRS fashion.

Thank you!! This is really nice and helpful :slight_smile: thank you for providing links to these sources as well. I’ve heard good things about all of these, so I’ll have to check a few of them out!

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Thank you! I just downloaded anki yesterday after hearing about it for awhile so I’m excited to try out this deck.

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