Need Help with 「好きな方だ」
  • Can any one help me with the meaning of 好きな方だ? I assume 方 in this case is read かた and not ほう。 I usually understand it to be lover, but within the sentence it doesn't really make sense.

    The entire sentence is: 北朝鮮を 「好きな方だ」 と答えた人は72.4%に達する。

    I read that as: The number of people who replied "I love North Korea" reached 72.4 percent.

    Can anyone explain why the particle is を and not が? Does 好きな方だ in this context translate more as a favorable feeling or attitude?

  • Hello,

    Very interesting question..

    First off, I think your translation is correct, although I wouldn't say "love" but "like" or something alike. "love" is a bit strong here, I suppose.
    Also, 「方」 is indeed かた.

    Concerning the particle, after googling a bit, it seems that one theory is that people have started using 「~を好きだ」 instead of「~ が好きだ 」(which is grammatically correct) to clear the difference between subject and object. (i.e. who/what is being liked, and who/what is doing the liking).

    An example I found online:
    "I know he likes me"

    It's extremely unclear who's liking who, therefore they break grammatical rules, and say the following:

    Another theory is that the word 好き, which is a noun, comes from the verb 好く(すく), which is still used in the passive sence (for example: 彼はあまり好かれていない - he's not really loved / nobody really likes him), but no longer in the active sence (only as a different word: 好む - to like).
    Because of the origins as a verb and not a noun, particles got mixed up and people use both 「~を好き」 and 「~が好き」.

    The second theory sounds pretty cool, but I think the first one makes more sense. Because it isn't always clear who/what is liking who/what, they use 「を好き」in situations it isn't clear, and then they get used to hearing it, and also use it in situations it isn't necessary.

    I'd love to hear what anyone else knows or is able to find about this.

  • The percentage of people who said "North Korea is my favourite direction (to travel to, to go to)" reached 72,4(%).

    You DO read it かた, but it still means "direction, way". You might have read it as ほう but it STILL WOULD mean "direction, way". In this context for sure, I suppose.

    Depending on context, 方 means "direction, way" but also in 謙譲語 as "lady, gentlemen" - that is, politely addressing to people. But in this context I see no sense in talking about 方 as "people".

    About the particles (this is what I think). There was given a question (i.e: 好きな方が何ですか?) and the を particle emphasizes the answer. Like picking THE ANSWER (answer as receiver of picking).
  • If you break it down, this sentence says:

    北朝鮮を達する。 in which case the use of 「を」 becomes apparent. The rest of the sentence is qualifying and describing this sentence.

    北朝鮮を 「好きな方だ」 と答えた人は72.4%に達する。

    Who did the choosing?
    北朝鮮を [人は] 達する。

    What kind of people?
    北朝鮮を [答えた] 人は達する。

    In what way did they answer?
    北朝鮮を [「好きな方だ」 と] 答えた人は達する。

    How often/With what frequency?
    北朝鮮を 「好きな方だ」 と答えた人は [72.4%に] 達する。

    It's a tricky sentence because usually the subject, 「Xは」 goes first. As MaestroS said, it's there to emphasize the choice of North Korea. This makes sense, since if you are presenting the results of a survey then you will probably be most concerned with the #1 answer.

    You can split this into two sentences to see more clearly how 「「好きな方だ」 と答えた」 is modifying 「人」, and also to see how doing so weakens the necessary link between 「好きな方だ」 と答える」 and 「北朝鮮を達する」:

    人は北朝鮮を72.4%に達する。「好きな方だ」 と答えた人だ。
  • I think Sam's translation is basically correct.

    My attempt would be something like:
    72.4% of people said they felt favourably towards North Korea.

    So yes, I'd say the sentence translates more naturally into English with a 'favourable feeling' than:

    72.4% of people said they liked North Korea.

    Actually I'm not sure what to do with 達する. It can just be a plain statement as above, though it can also carry a slight sense of surprise (as many as 72.4%...), especially with にも達する but there is no も above.

    As for を instead of が, I'm pretty sure this is connected with 'と'. There are many structures like this:
  • 方 is read as ほう. 好きな方 means 'if I had to choose one, I'd choose 好き'. You don't love it, but you like it more than you dislike it.

    I agree with IDen about the を/が thing.

    @nate: 達する is referring to the amount of people that chose "好き" in the survey. It's not transitive. を is marking 北朝鮮 as the object of 好き.

    @MaestroS: You mean 尊敬語
  • Thanks a lot guys, that really helped a lot.
  • @louis @Richard I see now. Thanks for the correction!

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