This question is derived from another one that has recently appeared in the Spanish Stack Site.

There, OP has translated a Spanish sentence into English and it's a good translation but it's not an accurate one.

The sentence in Spanish is: Se me da bien
It can be translated as: I'm good at it.

But in the original Spanish version "it" is the omitted subject, this has been "reversed" in the English version where the first person is the subject. How can I express that in English, forcing the thing that I'm good at as the subject?

I can only come with that's my thing, a sentence that has already been discussed here but notice that this expression lacks an adjective or adverb, it doesn't explicitly states if I'm good nor if I always do something well or wrong [modus operandi, a behavioural pattern].

I'm looking for something like: [subject - it] [verb] [adjective - good] [first person pronoun - me?]

  • 2
    You could simply say Good at it as a reply to praise or else say It's my forte Jan 17, 2019 at 8:11
  • Well, "Good at it" is just "I'm good at it" omitting the subject. "It's my forte" is a good approximation.
    – RubioRic
    Jan 17, 2019 at 8:18
  • 1
    I'm sure there are a lot of slangy expressions with the similar meaning but that's not my forte ))) Jan 17, 2019 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


Translation from one language to another is not merely a substitution of words. As some languages are constructed differently, an accurate translation conveys the intended meaning, not the structure. Other Romance languages may allow you to translate from Spanish and keep the structure, but that is not necessarily possible with a Germanic language such as English.

If you were to omit the subject in English and simply say "I'm good" this would not be well understood, as this expression is used idiomatically by native English speakers to mean either "I am well", and sometimes in American English to decline an offer of something, akin to saying "no thank you". So, I would have to agree that "I'm good at it" is probably the best translation of the Spanish phrase "se me da bien".

You could reverse the English phrase and say...

It is what I am good at.

... but this implies that "it" is the only thing you are good at, whereas "I'm good at it" does not exclude the possibility that you are good at other things too.

To remove that implication you could say:

It is something I am good at.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .