Which is correct?


#1

For saying I am good at singing.

歌が上手です — I found it like this in my textbook

歌うのが上手です — This is how, according to the same textbook, verbs are converted to nouns.

Is there any difference?

Thanks!


#2

Grammatically both are possible, there’s just a change in the focus, whether it’s the action or the content, though I’d say the difference is minimal, but 上手 is usually used for talking about other people. It sounds a bit pompous to use it for yourself. 得意 is a better word for “good at” when describing your own skills.

歌が得意です。 I’m good at singing (lit: I’m good at songs)
歌うのが得意です。 I’m good at singing (lit: I’m good at singing)


#3

Hmmm… My mother in law regularly says 料理が天才でしょう!She does not lack confidence. (I appreciate that the context is probably different. I just enjoy the way she has no patience for typical Japanese self deprecation. I also enjoy her cooking.)


#4

Well, yeah, when you’re talking to family it’s a pretty different situation. I’m guessing she doesn’t use that in self-introductions.


#5

Yes, she’d probably wait to get to know someone for 10 minutes or so before telling them. No, certainly not.


#6

Great, thanks a lot Leebo, this makes sense!