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I was writing a composition in Japanese, and since I wanted to give reasons I wrote the following:

僕は日本語の会話がまだできないし、友達は英語が上手、日本語を少ししか練習しませんでした。

However, I got corrected like this:

僕は日本語の会話がまだできないし、友達は英語が上手なので、日本語を少ししか練習しませんでした。

I don't understand why I can't use し or why it's better ので in this context. Can anyone explain me the reason?

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  • I think it should be 友達 英語が上手だし to be a bit more natural. (Or should that be 友達は英語も ?)
    – oals
    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:24

2 Answers 2

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友達は英語が上手

I'm afraid 「[上手]{じょうず}し」/「[上手]{うま}し」 is incorrect.

I think you could use ~し, ~ので, or ~から here. You could say like this, using the na-adjective [上手]{じょうず}な:

[上手]{じょうず}し、
上手なので、
上手だから、

or, using the i-adjective [上手]{うま}い:

[上手]{うま}し、
上手いので、
上手いから、

「~し」 and 「~から」 would sound more casual than 「~ので」.

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上手し is wrong. It must be 上手だし.

According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", page 396, na-adjectives and nouns must be followed by だし (or だったし if it is the past tense).

Examples:
先生だし (noun + だし)
綺麗だし (na-adjective + だし)

Grammatically that is the only mistake.

You teacher used ので probably just to make it clear that it implies a reason or cause.
し, on the other hand, does not imply reason or cause, it is just an emphatic "and".

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  • 6
    し does not imply reason or cause, it is just an emphatic "and" <- But デジタル大辞泉 says し can indicate 原因・理由: "し 1⃣[接助]2 前に挙げた事柄を原因・理由として下の事柄に続ける意を表す。から。ので。 「身体はじょうぶですし、もっと働けます」「家も近いんだし、たまには寄れよ」"
    – chocolate
    Nov 18, 2016 at 16:07
  • Basically ので indicates the reason, し indicates a reason (non-exhaustive). Since all of these し reasons participate in the causality, you get the "and" meaning.
    – Amadan
    Nov 22, 2016 at 7:38

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