I have to answer the question "日本には「好きこそものの上手なれ」という 諺 がありますが、どんな意味だと思いますか。" using 生かす and my idea is to answer that if you are interested in something, you'll do your best. I started writing "あなたが何かに興味があるなら、あなたは..." and I don't know how to continue the sentence with you'll do your best using 生かす.

  • But being 上手 at something is not the same as doing your best in the first place. Do you really need to say "do your best" using 生かす?
    – naruto
    Dec 9, 2018 at 20:58
  • @naruto Yes, the exercise is about using 生かす, so it's necessary...
    – sherryflox
    Dec 9, 2018 at 21:41
  • 1
    I mean, why do you have to say "do your best" in Japanese when it's not what the original proverb is saying?
    – naruto
    Dec 9, 2018 at 22:08
  • @naruto Oh, sorry! So I think I misunderstood the proverb. Could you explain me what does it say?
    – sherryflox
    Dec 9, 2018 at 22:13
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    Do your teachers want you to answer the question using the word 生かす for some reason?
    – Angelos
    Dec 11, 2018 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


First, 好きこそものの上手なれ literally means "Liking something is being good at it", or "If you like something, you'll do it well." 上手 means being good at something, not doing your best. This こそ-なれ is koso musubi used in archaic grammar, but you can probably forget about it for now.

The difficult part is how we can use the transitive verb 生かす ("to make use of ~", "to take advantage of ~" or "to keep ~ alive") to explain this proverb. 生かす is simply unnecessary to explain the meaning of this proverb. (Of course we can create a long example sentence that happens to include 生かす, but I'm not sure if that is the right approach.) If you already have an answer and can share it with us, we may have some meaningful discussion about it...

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