I've often found 方 to be quite abstract sometimes, and I've been thinking about it more when I saw this:


To me it looks like the sentence would mean exactly the same thing if I took out の方 - "I can say with confidence that it feels like Sugiyama san"

Is this true or is 方 actually changing something here?

  • 1
    Are you reading it as ほう or かた? Read as かた, it's a polite synonym for 人.
    – Angelos
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 20:20
  • @Nothing at all I'm not completely sure whether the writer wanted it to be read as ほう or かた, there's no furigana to accompany it either. I originally thought ほう, but if かた is correct would that change the translation to "I can say with confidence that Sugiyama san feels like that sort of person" ?
    – isodorasan
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 21:02
  • Yes, but I don't know where you're getting 'I can say with confidence that ...' from. Literally translated, it says 'Sugiyama-san is sort of person, isn't he?'
    – Angelos
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 21:10
  • Oh someone told me なんです means when you want to say something with confidence or sureness. I looked it up in a dictionary and it seemed to say the same thing, is this not true?
    – isodorasan
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 21:18
  • 2
    It has a lot of meanings, and right here I don't think it's assertion.
    – Angelos
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


First, let's clarify two things:

  1. The 方 in “こういう感じの” is read かた, which is the polite way of saying person.
  2. The 〜ね at the end is important in understanding the tone of this sentence. 〜なんです is a confident/declarative statement, while 〜なんです effectively dampens the assertiveness in the tone. Think of the difference between saying “It's a friendly cat” versus something like “You could say it's a friendly cat” or “So it's a friendly cat, huh?”.

Back to your example,

  1. 杉山さんって、こういう感じの方なんですね
    Sugiyama-san is this kind of person, huh.
  2. 杉山さんって、こういう感じなんですね
    Sugiyama-san is like this, huh.

Since the topic is clearly Sugiyama-san, a person, you can remove the の方 without altering the basic meaning of the sentence.

The only difference is that, in sentence #1, there is more information to be gleaned about the relationship between the speaker and Sugiyama-san. Since the speaker is referring to Sugiyama-san using the polite [方]{かた}, you can infer that there is quite a bit of polite distance between the two people. I would say that this distance is greater than what can be assumed from just the use of 〜さん.

So while sentence #2 could be about any kind of two people, you can assume from sentence #1 that the speaker and Sugiyama-san are not two classmates in high school, for example.


The situation could be the following.


"方" in "杉山さんって、こういう感じの方なんですね" always "方{かた}," because "〇〇さんって、こういう感じの方{かた}なんですね" or "〇〇さんって、そういう感じの方{かた}なんですね" is a common phrase expressing criticism against a person without making a firm critic statememt.

If you'd like to make it clear, you can say "〇〇さんって、失礼{しつれい}な方{かた}なんですね" or "〇〇さんって、礼儀{れいぎ}を知{し}らない方なんですね."

You can say "杉山さんって、こういう感じなんですね" insted of "杉山さんって、こういう感じの方なんですね."

Both are interchangeable. I feel the first sentence skip "の方" or "の人{ひと}."


オフィスにて、In the office,

"杉山さんの机の上は書類だらけだ。杉山さんはアバウトな方{ほう} or 方{かた}なんですね。"
Mr. Sugiyama has a pile of papers on his desk, he is not fussy about anything, isn't he?

This example sentence is just confusing. We can read "方" as not only "方{かた}" but also "方{ほう}."

If you read "アバウトな方{ほう}," in your mind there are two groups of person. One is the group of people who are fussy, the other is the gruoup of people who are not fussy. So you can say "He is a person who is not on fussy side. "side=方{ほう}" ←I'm not sure this is an appropriate English or not."

  • 2
    "〇〇さんって、こういう感じの方なんですね"... is a common phrase expressing criticism against a person ← "ってこういう感じの方なんですね" を検索した限りでは、ほとんど好意的な文脈で、criticism的な用例は無いようなのですが。 google.co.jp/… (ところでフリガナがずれてるの、直させていただいてはいけませんか。)
    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 0:48
  • confusingにならないように、わたしの例文は明らかに批判的な状況にしました。好意的な文脈の例は私も興味があります。例示されてはどうでしょうか? Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 2:12

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