Friday 24 February 2012

Useful English #1 - lend/borrow

the verbs 'lend' and 'borrow' are part of one process, but seen from different points of view.

'I lent my friend 10 pounds' = 'My friend borrowed 10 pounds (from me)'

It is very useful for making requests eg.

'Please lend me a pen'
'Can I borrow a pen please?'

When money or a fee is involved we use 'rent' or 'hire' eg.

'We hired a car for the weekend'
'I want to rent an apartment in London'

Monday 20 February 2012


Now. I don't drink very much. Maybe 1 can of beer a week, and often not at all, but when I do I really don't like drinking famous brand lager. In England there are so many small, independent breweries which produce some fantastic tasting, locally produced 'real ale'. Every time I go to London I try as many different ones as I can, as in the UK you can buy a large selection of ales in your local supermarket.
However in Japan it is very difficult to find 'real' beer. Once before I have been to Kure-ru in Kure which has it's own brewery on site, and it was pretty good (especially their black beer).

Then last night we went to an inn in Kure and they had a locally brewed, 'navy' beer, and it was great! It was very cloudy and tasted almost like home-brewed beer. It is a little expensive but I will be drinking it again soon...

Monday 13 February 2012

Strawberry Picking

Yesterday Kaori had booked for us to go strawberry picking in Kamagari, so we woke up early, became late (as usual) and raced to Kamagari in record time. We got there just on time and ran to the green-houses to start our 40 minutes of free strawberries!

After 5 minutes my son was already full up and wanted to go home! but my daughter kept going and when she couldn't eat any more she started picking them for me and Kaori. After 40 minutes I had eaten about 60 or 70 BIG strawberries and was feeling pretty full up. I don't think I want to eat any more strawberries for about a year!
It is a fantastic place, in some green-houses just above 'Kenmin no hama' beach. They are open from January to May and it costs 1500 yen for adults and 800-1200 yen for kids. If you have time and can get there it is well worth going!

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Common English Mistakes #3 - smart

...also in English the word smart has a different meaning to スマート in Japanese.
In English smart does not refer to body shape, but dress style.

eg. "He is wearing his new suit for the wedding. He looks really smart"

...but not "He has been working out at the gym. He looks smart"
which should be "He has been working out at the gym. He looks thin / He has lost weight"

so SMART...

and THIN...

Saturday 4 February 2012

Useful English #2 - remember/forget

I was teaching in Hiroshima last week and one of my students said...

"Last Wednesday I forgot going to the dentist"

What he wanted to say was "I forgot to go to the dentist"

The difference may seem small, if you think about 'like' ( I like to ski / I like skiing ), but with forget and remember the meaning of the sentence changes completely.

forget to (do...) = forget a plan you have eg. "I always forget to buy milk at the supermarket"

forget (doing...) = forget something that you have already done in the past eg. "I forget meeting him before" = I have met him before but now I don't remember that event

also with remember the same applies...

remember to (do...) = remember a plan you have eg. "I always remember to take my key to work"

remember (doing...) = remember something that you have already done in the past eg. "I remember seeing her for the first time" = I remember the first time I saw her

This is often used in the past, as in my student's example "I forgot to go to the dentist" = "I didn't remember to go to the dentist"

I hope this makes sense...

Thursday 2 February 2012


I was just listening to the radio on my pc and this song came on...WOW!
This song is just AMAZING
If you have time please 'have a listen'

'have a listen' = London English for listen

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Common English Mistakes #2 - narrow/wide

In English narrow and wide are used to describe the width of things...

"Central Street is very wide"
"The hallway is very narrow"

...but not to describe the size of spaces.

NOT "My room is very wide" X
BUT "My room is very big" O


NOT "Inside his car is narrow" X
BUT "Inside his car is small"O

I hope this helps