Now I have been self studying Japanese for 1 and a half year now. Today I came across this sentence:

He is pretty good at English.

I have always been taught that I should construct sentence like these like:

His English is pretty good.

I just wanted to know if there is some kind of different message being transferred with the first one. Maybe it's more fluent?

All help/criticism is welcome.


I don't see any difference in terms of fluency.

It is really hard for me to tell the differences. They are almost the same. But, after self-observation for a while, I came up with this.

「は」 limits scope of a topic. 「A は B」suggests that "I am talking only about A but not other things."

So, for example, suppose someone asks 「我々には三人の候補者がいる。意見が欲しい。」("We have three candidates. Any ideas?").

「彼はかなり英語が上手です。」(I am talking only about him not other candidates.)

「彼の英語はかなり上手です。」(I am talking only about his English skill.)

  • Thank you! This helped my understand the difference. Again, thanks. – DarthFoot Feb 2 '17 at 14:25

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