のがじょうず (no ga jouzu) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Be Good At

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'のがじょうず (no ga jouzu) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Be Good At'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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のがじょうず (no ga jouzu) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Be Good At

The expression のがじょうず (no ga jouzu) means to be good at doing something.

Its antonym is のがへた which we use to say be bad at, be unskillful.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of のがじょうず, how it is formed and when のがじょうず is used through real example sentences.

Expressing ability through the noun

Let's start with the basic and short form that expresses skill in some field or in our daily activities.

It consists of:



He is good at baseball.

(じょう)() with the Verb する

Many expressions and verbs of common use are formed by: a Noun + the verb する do.

  • (りょう)()する cook
  • スポーツする play sports
  • (でん)()する telephone

The verb する is omitted and only the noun is used.


Be good at cooking.

We find the same form with various other adjectives:

  • 下手(へた)だ the antonym of (じょう)()だ: not being good at something
  • ()きだ to indicate what we like
  • (きら)いだ to express what we dislike, we hate
  • (にが)()だ to represent our weak points
You can speak Japanese very well!
(じょう)(): skillful


You can speak Japanese very well!

You're really good at Japanese!

Expressing ability through the verb

のが(じょう)() is used when we want to express ability in a certain field or as we have anticipated in actions of our daily life.


She is good at dancing.

How to form のが(じょう)()

In the structure we are analysing in this post we find the な Adjective: (じょう)()な meaning skillful, proficient, good at.

We have seen by studying adjectives the attributive function in which the adjective precedes the noun and maintains the syllabe な.


A skilled student

In the predicative function the adjective loses the particle な and is followed by the copula だ


He is skillful.

The form のが(じょう)() consists of:

  • the verb in its plain form
  • the particle that nominalises, transforms the predicate into a noun
  • the particle が which indicates the subject
  • the adjective (じょう)()


She is a good chanson singer.

The structure のが(じょう)() can be followed:

  • by the copula だ: I am good at
  • by になる: become good at, improve
  • by a noun: のが(じょう)()な + noun
(じょう)()になる: become good at, get better


Six tips to make a good presentation.

(じょう)() and 上手(うま)


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(じょう)() and (とく)()

(じょう)() is not used in the first person or referring to uchi, the sphere of family members and intimate persons. When we want to say that we or a member of our family is skilled at something we use 得意 tokui.


My mum is good at cooking.

(とく)() can also be used when talking about other people.


He is good at Mathematics.



Akiko, you're good at cooking!



Thank you, I'm good at it.

Examples of のがじょうず


You are good at praising!

ピアノを()く: play piano

What are the characteristics of a good piano player? 3 common tips
ピアノが(じょう)()(ひと): a good piano player


What are the characteristics of a good piano player? 3 common tips


Mr. Yamada is good at tennis.


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