Which is correct?

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?


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)


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.)


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.

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


Great, thanks a lot Leebo, this makes sense!

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.