This is another common mistake I hear from my Japanese students.
Me: "Where do you live?"
Student: "I'm living in Saitama."
A native speaker would never say this! 自然じゃない！
A native speaker would say:
"I live in Saitama." This is natural :-) 自然な英語です！
Natural Japanese would be "埼玉に住んでいる"
動詞+ている = verb+ing
している = doing
私の自転車を乗りている。I'm riding my bicycle.
This means the action is happening now.
But in English if we do something regularly we will use the simple form of the verb without ING. For example:
I ride my bicycle every Saturday. NOT I'm riding my bicycle Saturday.
Harvey drives to work every day. NOT Harvey is driving to work every day.
I play the guitar. = this is my hobby or something I do often.
I’m playing the guitar. = right now!
Our city, country, house etc. is where live regularly (every day of course!) do we don't need the ING form of live.
I live in Tokyo. Where do you live?
Kumamon, the popular black bear mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, has been demoted for being too fat.
demoted = 降格
Too = すぎ(る)
Here are some more examples:
I drank too much at the party last night!
My coffee is too sweet, I added too much sugar!
Kumamon video 日本語
In English some nouns have a plural form. (複数) We use this form if there are more than 1 of something.
1 person 2 people
1 child 7 children
Most nouns that we can count only need an S at the end of the word to make it's plural form.
1 basket 4 baskets
1 flower 100 flowers
Here are 3 English words written in katakana that are common in Japan.
Because the kana ツ makes a tsu sound at the end of these words, it sounds like they are plural.
shirts, suits, and fruits
My Japanese friend told me he had to buy a new スーツ.
I explained that 'a' means one, so he doesn't need it in this sentence. “I have to buy new suits” is correct.
"No, no!" He said. "I only need 1 new スーツ."
Ah! Okay, you should say "I want to buy a new suit."
スーツ sounds just like suits in English, so be careful! Suits means more than 1.
"My shirt is still at the dry cleaners." (One shirt)
"Eric eats fresh fruit everyday with his breakfast." (when we talk about fruit in general we don't need an S)
Some English speakers in Japan will say that 花見 means "flower viewing" but this is not so useful when speaking in natural English. 花見 is an event, you are not only looking at flowers! I can't ever imagine a native English speaker telling friends in his/her home country:
"I went flower viewing last weekend."
"Flower viewing" is not natural English...
During cherry blossom season you may go to a 花見パーティー. What do you do at a 花見パーティー? You sit on a blanket outside, eat and drink. In English this is a Picnic! You had a picnic! Now let's add more information. Where do you have a 花見パーティー (picnic)?
You have a picnic under the blossoming cherry trees!
This is flower viewing (looking at flowers)
This is 花見 (having a picnic under the cherry blossoms)
So flower viewing is a direct translation but it is not exactly 花見! Next time you can tell your English speaking friends that you “Had a picnic under the cherry blossoms!” Enjoy 花見!!!
English phrase beef up = make stronger
The President says we must beef up our military forces.
Should Japan beef up its anti-terrorism measures?
Click the image for the English news story (上級英語)
Have you ever seen this katakana?
What does it mean?
That's right! No シュガー! (No sugar!)
Do you know what this word means?
Have you ever heard someone say "Take care." when they are saying goodbye? This is like "気をつけて." How about "I don't care." when they are mad? This is like "関係ない."
What do you think the careless means?
Right! They are not safe or concerned. If someone is careless it's easy to have an accident or lose something.
Do you know the opposite of careless?
*I'll write it at the end of this post ;-)
I usually buy yogurt that is 無脂肪. Do you know how to say 無脂肪 in English? It's FAT FREE!
What do we call someone who is very relaxed, never worried or stressed? That person is carefree! They don't have a care in the world!
You can find many examples of English words that end in FREE or LESS. Now you can understand the meaning.
So did you guess the opposite of careless? If someone cares a lot they are careful! They are "full" of concern or full of care.
Are you careful, carefree or careless?
Here is another common mistake I have heard from some of my Japanese students.
"Dave is very kindly."
Kindly ends with an いい (EE) sound *BUT* words that have an いい (EE) sound are NOT ALWAYS adjectives in English! (Remember this post? English adjectives 形容詞)
Kindly is an adverb (副詞). Many adverbs end with 'LY' so be careful, an adverb can ONLY be used to describe verbs (an action/動詞), not nouns (a person, place or thing/名詞)
Here are some common adverb examples:
carefully "Karen drives very carefully."
Drive is a verb so if we want to describe how do someone drives (or describe their driving) we can use the adverb carefully.
quickly "Usain Bolt runs quickly."
Run is a verb so we use the adverb quickly to describe it.
gently “Bob kisses his baby’s head gently.”
Kiss is also a verb...
The word 'Dave' is a noun from our first sentence, so we need an adjective to describe him (me!). The adjective is kind so we would say...
"Dave is very kind."
What a nice thing to say! Thank you very much!
In English we use the verb TAKE with medicine or vitamins. So…
“I was sick but I TOOK some medicine last night so I feel better now.” This is correct!
I don’t like to take medicine! Do you take any vitamins?
*発音練習* vitamin は VAI-TAH-MIN (ヴッアイタミン) NOT ビタミン!!! Be careful with this word :)
I take vitamin C (sometimes!)
My students sometimes tell me:
“I was sick, but I drank some medicine last night so I feel better now.”
In Japanese we use the verb 飲む when we have medicine, but if you translate it directly into English (直接翻訳) it sounds very strange!
usable adjective - that can be used; in good enough condition to be used
Suica to become usable on ANA domestic flights. = We can use Suica on domestic flights
The bike is rusty but usable. = The bike’s condition not great, but good enough to use
domestic adjective - of or inside a particular country; not foreign or international
domestic flights (= to and from places within a country)
interoperable adjective - (of computer systems or programs) able to exchange information
*(this word is very technical, it is not common in spoken English)
Pasmo and Suica are interoperable. = They can share information (They can be used for the train and subway)
Suica to become usable on ANA domestic flights
THE JAPAN NEWS -- SEP 25 2014
All Nippon Airways said Monday that passengers using its domestic routes will be able to pay for their in-flight purchases with East Japan Railway Co.'s Suica electronic money from Oct. 1.
It will be the first time for electronic money of a transport service company to become usable for payments on domestic flights in Japan.
Eight other kinds of transport service-related electronic money, including Pasmo, will also become usable on ANA domestic flights because they are interoperable with Suica, according to the airline.
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How about you?
How often do you travel?
Do you travel for business or pleasure or both?
How often do you travel domestically?
Do you think being able to use Suica to buy items on the plane is a good idea? Why or why not?
Would you use this service? Why or why not?
What new service or feature would you like to see on commercial flights?