How to use 方 ( = kata)



= Nee,  mayuge no kakikata, machigatte inai?

= Hey,  isn’t  the way you draw your eyebrows wrong ?

Hello everyone!

Today’s guest teacher is from Hokkaido.

He taught you how to do 自己紹介(=jikoshoukai)  the other day. Remember him?

I don’t know what his real name is but since he has funny eyebrows let’s call him 眉先生 ( = Mayu Sensei) Eyebrows-Sensei.

 眉先生、お願いします!! !JYANE! 

= Mayu-Sensei, onegai shimasu!!

= Mayu-Sensei, please go ahead!



Hello! I am your guest teacher again today and I am VERY happy to be back here.

But why does Maggie keep calling me ” 眉先生 ( = Mayu Sensei) Eyebrow-Sensei“?

What is wrong with my eyebrows? Wait! Do I have eyebrows???

Anyway,  today‘s lesson is for beginners and we will learn how to use (=kata).

 !star! How to form:

*verb + ( = kata)

Ex.  verb 歌う( = utau) to sing

1) verb ます ( = masu) form

 :rrrr:  歌います ( = utaimasu)

2) delete ます ( = masu)

 :rrrr:  歌い ( = utai)

3)  add ( = かた= kata)

 :rrrr: 歌い方  ( = utaikata) 

Ex. 歌いが上手い

= Utaikata ga umai

to sing well (The song someone sings is good.)

Simple isn’t it?

Now I will show you some examples.

遊ぶ ( = asobu) to play

:rrrr: 遊び( = asobikata ) how to play

Ex. このゲームの遊びは複雑だ。

= Kono geimu no asobikata wa fukuzatsuda.

= The way you play this game is very complicated.

書く ( = kaku) to write

:rrrr: 書き( = kakikata)  the way you write, how to write

Ex. 手紙の書きがわからない。

= tegami no kakikata ga wakaranai.

= I don’t know how to write a letter

使う ( = tsukau) to use

:rrrr: 使い( = tsukai kata) how to use ~ , the way you use ~

Ex. このソフトの使いについて聞いてもいいですか?

= Kono sofuto no tsukai kata ni tsuite kiite mo ii desu ka?

= May I ask you how to use this software?

やる ( = yaru) to do

:rrrr: やり方  ( = yarikata ) how to do something, the way you do something.

Ex. 仕事のやりを変えたい。

= Shigoto no yarikata wo kaetai.

= I would like to change the way I work.

結ぶ ( = musubu) to tie

 :rrrr: 結び( = musubikata ) the way you tie ~ / how to tie ~

Ex. 蝶ネクタイの結びを誰か知っていますか?

= Chounekutai no musubikata wo dare ka shitte imasuka?

= Does anybody know how to tie a bow tie?

読む ( = yomu )  to read

 :rrrr: 読み( = yomikata)

Ex. この漢字の読みを教えて下さい。

= Kono kanji no yomikata wo oshiete kudasai.

= Please tell me how to read this kanji.

持つ ( = motsu) to hold

 :rrrr: 持ち( = mochikata )  the way you hold ~ / how to hold ~

Ex. 箸の持ちが上手くなってきましたね。

= Hashi no mochikata ga umaku natte kimashitane.

= The way you use (hold) the chopsticks has gotten better, hasn’t it?

考える ( = kangaeru) to think

 :rrrr: 考え方  ( = kangaekata ) the way you think, how to think, one’s mindset, opinion

Ex. 彼に出会ってから考えが変わりました。

= Kare ni deatte kara kangaekata ga kawarimashita.

= Since I met him the way I think has changed.

食べる ( = taberu) to eat

 :rrrr: 食べ方  ( = tabekata) the way you eat, how to eat

Ex. 蟹の上手な食べを教えてあげます。

= Kani no jouzuna tabekata wo oshiete agemasu.

= I will show you how to eat crab properly.

する ( = suru) to do

 :rrrr:  かた / We also write in it kanji, ( = shikata ) how to do things

Ex. 日本語の勉強のしかた/仕を教えて下さい。

= Nihongo no benkyou no shikata wo oshiete kudasai.

= Please tell me how to study Japanese.


It is very useful to know how to use ( = kata) when you are traveling in Japan,too.

Ex. 地下鉄の乗りを教えて下さい。

= Chikatetsu no norikata wo oshiete kudasai.

= Can you tell me how to ride a subway?

Ex. チケットの買いを教えて頂けますか? (polite)

= Chiketto no kaikata wo oshiete itadakemasu ka?

= Could you tell me how to buy tickets?

Ex. 浴衣の着を教えて下さい。

= Yukata no kikata wo oshiete kudasai.

= Please teach me how to put on a Yukata (casual summer kimono).

Ex. 六本木 (まで)の行きを教えて下さい。

= Roppongi (made) no ikikata wo oshiete kudasai.

= Can you show me how to get to Roppongi?

Ex. Suicaのチャージの仕がわかりません。

= Suica no chaaji no shikata ga wakarimasen.

= I don’t know how to recharge a *Suica card?

(*Suica is a prepaid IC card for JR trains)

OK, that’s about it. I guess I’ll go remove my eyebrows.


= Dareka mayupen de kaita mayuge no keshikata, shitteru?

= Anybody knows how to remove pencil eyebrow makeup?


maggie-senseiマギー先生より= Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


= Mayu Sensei no oshiekata wa dou deshitaka?

= How do you like the way Mayu Sensei teaches?


= Mou “kata” no tsukaikata wa wakarimashitaka?

= Now you know how to use “kata”?


Will you be my Patron? 

I appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう!

Become a Patron!


You may also like


  1. Hello Maggie-sensei!

    Thank you so much for providing us with such good lessons that are easy to understand! I stumbled across a sentence recently including 「方」. It goes like this:


    I have two questions. The first one is how would you translate 在り方 and the second is what is the function of と and で in this sentence.

    1. Hello Mutuio,

      1) 在り方 means “way of being”, “the way something is supposed to be”
      心の在り方 the way you set your mind
      2) と is to quote in this case 償い
      償いというものは→(shorter way) 償いとは
      3) で   
      See the pattern how you make a negative form of a noun
      noun + です
      →noun + ではない

  2. Maggie先生、can you tell me what 私の方 refers to? I think it is “me” or “I” but when is it used? And also, when is 方 pronounced as ほう?

  3. Sensei! What about the -no-kata usage like in ancient names in samurai dramas (Odai-no-kata, Oichi-no-kata)?

    Is that a suffix like -sama?

    1. 於大の方 (Odai no kata)
      お市の方 (Oichi no kata)
      北の方 (Kita no kata)
      Yes, の方 is an honorific expressions like sama.

      We stil use ~の方 to refer to a person.
      そちらの方・その方 That person
      あちらの方・あの方 That person over there
      こちらの方・この方 This person
      待っていらっしゃる方 a person who has been waiting, etc.

  4. Hi Maggie Sensei!

    Can you explain the difference between 上手 (じょうず) which I was taught at school and 上手い (うまい) which I haven’t seen before? Other than that one is a na and one an i-adjective.
    It seems to me that うまい has wider uses, whereas じょうず only means ‘to be good at’, so would you tend to use うまい more commonly?

    1. Hi Cindy

      上手(じょうず)/ 上手(うま)い means “good at” / “to do something well”/ “skillful”/ to handle/manage something well” and they can be interchangeable in many sentences.

      Ex. She is good at cooking.


      If you hear someone is singing well, you can say

      You sing very well!

      I can’t explain well.

      →上手(じょうず)に説明できない ○

      I think your interpretation is right. There is a subtle nuance difference between jouzu and umai in certain cases.

      上手(じょうず) might sound a bit condescending if you use it to someone professional or experienced.

  5. Maggie sensei ✋, is there a functional difference beyween using 方法(houhou) and 方( kata)?

    1. @Shehab

      Hello Shehab,

      1)方法 means “a way / method / system / choice, etc”
      2)While you can use 方法 alone, you can’t use just 方

      There is no choice
      なにも方がない (wrong)

      3)When you compound the words,

      verb masu stem + 方

      The way you eat
      *focusing on the manner/how to eat something

      verb dictionary form + 方法

      how to survive by eating / how to eat
      *focusing on “eating” itself.

  6. こんにちは、マギー先生!この文法を読み直していて質問がありますよ。名詞+方 がどういう意味ですか? よろしくお願いします。

  7. Dear Maggie Sensei,
    referring to the previous comment, could you please explain the nuances of kara&dakara? I always thought Kara was a reason and Dakara is to describe the consequences. But we once came up with a tongue twister: kareshi wa karai karashi ga kirai kara, karai karashi wa kirei:) but the Japanese told us it had to be Dakara. I don’t get, we mention the reason why the musturd is good, why Dakara?

    1. @Eva

      Hello Eva.
      Good question. I will post the question on FB sometime.
      OK, first から(=kara) and だから(=dakara) are both used to give a reason. (because/so…/that’s why)

      1) When they are used in the middle of the sentence.

      *i-adjective + から

      Ex. 美味しいからたくさん食べてしまう。
      = Oishii kara takusan tabete shimau.
      = It is so delicious that I eat a lot.

      *verb (plain form) + から

      *走るから(=hashiru kara)

      Ex. これから10km 走るからゴールで待っていて下さい。
      = Kore kara jukkiro hashiru kara gooru de matte ite kudasai.
      = I will run 10 km no so please wait at the goal

      *走ったから(=hashitta kara) past tense

      Ex. 10km 走ったから疲れた。
      = 10 km hashitta kara tsukareta.
      = I ran 10 km so I am tired.

      *verb with other auxiliary verb

      Ex.走るだろうから(=hashiru darou) will probably run
      Ex.走ったそうだから(= hashitta sou dakara) I heard someone run


      *na-adjecitve + だから 


      Ex. 図書館は静かだから勉強しやすい。
      = Toshokan wa shizuka dakara benkyou shiyasui
      = The library is so quiet that I can study well.

      *noun + だから

      Ex.犬だから = because ~ is a dog
      Ex. マギーだから = Because it’s Maggie…

      2) Sometimes you can start a sentence with だから(=dakara)

      Ex. 明日は雨です。だから野球はしません。
      = Ashita wa ame desu. Dakara tenisu wa shimasen.
      = It is going to rain tomorrow. That’s why (So) I won’t play tennis.

      But you can’t start a sentence with から(=kara)

  8. 眉先生ありがとう!眉毛は可愛いよ( ⋂‿⋂’)
    マギー先生もありがとう!相変わらずマギー先生のレッスンは便利でわかりやすい。今まで「使い方」について知ったけど「方」のすべての文法を見つけてびっくりした。(this sentence was hard and I’m not sure if I wrote right, wanted to say “~I was surprised to find out that there is whole kata grammar”)
    よく見た「とき」と「ときに」と「ときは」それぞれずつの使い方がわからない。英語で説明してもいいですか? よろしくね。
    (If there is any mistake, please correct me. Complicated sentences will be the death of me lol)

    1. @ocd

      こんにちは、ocd!! 眉先生かわいい?伝えておきますね。きっと喜ぶと思います。
      OK, let me help your sentence first.
      *~知ったけど →知っていたけ(れ)ど

      You wanted to say “I hope my Japanese will improve”?
      You started the sentence with だから.
      だから means “that’s why” / “So..” and it has to explain what you mentioned in the previous sentence.
      How about just saying これから(私の)日本語がもっと上手くなりますように。


      They all mean “when” and it is complicated to explain the difference here but

      とき is the most general one.
      ときに is used when you specify the time point
      ときは is used when you show the contrast.

      Ex. 若いときよくこの曲を聴きました。
      = When I was young, I used to listen to the song.

      adding に to specify the time

      Ex. 若いときによくこの曲を聴きました。
      (The translation is the same but に specifies the particular time.)


      Ex. 若いときは好きなことをいっぱいした方がいい。
      = When we are young, we should do a lot of fun things.

      Showing the contrast ‘the time when we are young” and “the time when we get older”

  9. Awww what a lovely dog boucingheart!
    I love -kata, it’s one of my favourite words in Japanese ever!! Kata kata kata !niconico! 
    By the way, does this word have a requirement-describing use too? I’ve read, written on some job offering-bulletins (this stuff appears on my books lol) something like
    (We are looking for new staff, blahblahblah) Requirements:
    Kuruma no unten ga dekiru KATA
    Like, you know, describing the way a person has to be in order to get hired !ase! 

    1. @Rhi

      Hello Rhi,
      車の運転ができる方= Kuruma no unten ga dekiru kata = A person (someone)who can drive a car.
      Ok, that 方=kata means “a person”. It is a polite way to refer to a (third) person.

      Ex. その人 = Sono hito = that person →(polite) その方= sono kata
      Ex. 次の人= Tsugi no hito = the next person →(polite)次の方= tsugi no kata

Leave a Reply to Maggie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *