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    #1

    Question to be good at a skill?

    Dear Teachers and friends,

    In English people normally say 'to be good at sth.' or 'to be good at doing sth.' Now I'm just wondering whether we can say 'to be good at some skills'. For example, can we say something like 'John is good at problem solving and team building skills.'?

    Many thanks for your help.
    Anne Trinh

  1. oregeezer's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to be good at a skill?

    As an American English speaker of 70+ years I would have no troble understanding you.


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    #3

    Re: to be good at a skill?

    There is a difference between being able to understand what a person intends/is trying to say, and whether they are actually expressing their meaning correctly.
    'John is good at problem solving and team building skills.'

    One is 'good at' something, but 'one has' a skill to some greater or less degree.
    'skill' means 'the ability to do something well; expertise' so in the sentence, it would translate as:
    "...and is good at team building expertise."
    I don't think so.
    It should be:
    "...and has team building skills/has expertise in team building."

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    #4

    Question Re: to be good at a skill?

    @ Oregeezer: Thank you very much for your quick reply and your kind encouragement.

    @ David L: In order to achieve 'structural parallelism' can I paraphrase the sentence like this (when talking about a person's working skills and personal
    qualities):

    "John is friendly, self-motivated, and good at problem solving and team building."

    Thank you very much again for your kind help.

    Anne Trinh
    Last edited by AnneTrinh; 09-Apr-2008 at 09:08. Reason: Correcting spelling mistakes

  2. #5

    Re: to be good at a skill?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnneTrinh View Post

    'John is good at problem solving and team building skills.'?
    I do not see anything wrong with "John is good at problem solving and has team building skills"


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    #6

    Re: to be good at a skill?

    "John is friendly, self-motivated, and good at problerm solving and team building."
    Yes - but now John is only 'good' at team building, instead of having 'skills'.
    So, to rephrase and preserve this meaning, go with the 'has' as in
    daznorthants example:
    "John is good at problem solving and has team building skills"

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