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のが + … Posted by on Jun 23, 2010 in Culture

You can indicate whether someone is good at something by using のが上手です.

比嘉さんは日本語を話すのが上手です = Mr. Higa is good at speaking Japanese

(ひが/比嘉 = Higa. さん = Mr. = subject particle. にほん/日本 = Japan. / = language. = direct object marker. はなす/話す =  speak. のがじょうずです/のが上手です = is good at [doing])

You can also indicate whether someone is bad at something by using のが下手です.

洋子は名前を覚えるのが下手です= Yōko is bad at remembering names

(ようこ/洋子 = Yoko. = subject marker. なまえ/名前 = name. = direct object marker. おぼえる/覚える = remember. のが下手です = is bad at)

To express that you like doing something, use のが好きです

直哉は泳ぐのが好きです = Naoya likes swimming

(なおや/直哉 = Naoya. = subject marker. およぐ/泳ぐ =  swim. のが好きです = like [to do] )

To express that you don’t like to do something, use のがきらいです

英語を勉強するのがきらいです =  [I] don’t like studying English

(えいご/英語 =  English. = direct object marker. べんきょうする/勉強する = study. のがきらいです = like )

By adding to the short form of a verb, you are expressing the idea of being good/bad at an action or liking/disliking an action. This is not used for describing nouns. If you were to take the last sentence and change it to the sentence below, it would be describing a noun, like English.

英語がきらいです= [I] don’t like English.

“I don’t like English” is  more vague because it doesn’t answer the question of what exactly you don’t like about English. Is it that you don’t like reading in English, studying it, writing it? By adding の to the short form of a verb, you’re being a lot more specific about what you don’t like about English.

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