English Tips

Me, Myself and I

2015年 11月 20日 English Tips

Many people, including native speakers, often use these pronouns incorrectly. 
‘I’ is a subject pronoun. A subject is the person/thing doing an action.
I like her. 
‘Me’ is an object pronoun. An object is the person/thing being acted on.
She likes me.
‘Myself’ is a reflexive pronoun. It is used in a sentence when ‘I’ is the subject and we want to refer back to it.  
I consider myself a very lucky man.

*Watch this video for a fun animated explanation of the differences.



More or less

2013年 11月 06日 English Tips

The phrase “more or less” is a common expression that has two main uses.

First, it can be used to express the meaning approximately. In this case, the phrase more or less comes at the end of the statement.
For example: We are expecting 50 guests, more or less.

Second, more or less can be used to mean something is basically true, or true to some degree. In this case, more or less usually comes in the middle of a statement.
For example: The project was more or less completed.


“more or less”という言い回しは、よく使われる表現で、代表的な使い方は2通りあります。



I wonder..

2013年 08月 14日 English Tips

If you spend any time around English speakers, you will quickly notice how often they say sentences that begin with “I wonder…”. These sentences may be said to another person or nobody in particular.

“I wonder…” means “I curious and want to know…”. To make this kind of sentence, follow “I wonder..” with a question word (when / who / what etc). If the question you want to know about is a yes-no question, follow “I wonder.. with if or whether.

For example:
I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow. (I want to know tomorrow’s weather forecast? Does anybody know what the weather will be like?)
I wonder who’ll win. (I’m curious about who will win. Who do you think will win?)
I wonder what the time is. (Please tell me the time.)
I wonder if that price includes sales tax. (I want to know if sale tax is included in the price.)

“I wonder..” statements are an indirect way of asking a question. They are also a great way to promote a conversation and discussion about a topic as these statements invite others to suggest possible answers.

もしあなたが英語を話す人たちと一緒にいたら、「I wonder…」で始まる文章が頻繁に使われていることにすぐ気づくことでしょう。これらの文章は他の誰か、もしくは特に誰に対してでもなく、使われることがあります。

「I wonder…」は「興味があるから知りたい。。。」という意味があります。こういった文章を作る時は、「I wonder…」のあとに質問の言葉(いつ/誰/何など)が使われます。もし「はい」か「いいえ」だけを知りたい質問の場合は、「I wonder..の後にifやwhether」が続きます。


「I wonder」は間接的な質問の文の形です。この言い回しは、会話やディスカッションで話題を広げるのにとても良い方法です。


2013年 07月 03日 English Tips

The suffix (word ending) –ish changes nouns into adjectives. It is most commonly used in casual daily conversations to mean “about” or “similar to/like”. It helps speakers to communicate their ideas quickly because they do not need to waste time looking for the perfect word or detail.

Look at the following:
A: What time should I come over on Sunday?
B: Um…1ish would be good.
A: Ok. See you then.

In the above dialog, the speaker is not worried about the exact time guests will arrive on Sunday.

A: How was Okinawa?
B: It was great. The sea was this amazing bluish-greenish color.

In the following example, the speaker finds it a little difficult to describe exactly the color of the sea.

接尾辞(単語の語尾)のish は、名詞を形容詞に変えます。これは、何気ない毎日の会話の中で最も一般的に使われていて、「大体」や「ような」という意味を持ちます。話し手が自分の考えを伝えるために、完璧な単語を探すのが面倒な時に役立つ言葉です。

A: 日曜日、何時にいけばいいですか?
B: そうですね・・・1時くらいがいいですね。
A: わかりました。じゃあまたその時に。


A: 沖縄はどうでした?
B: すごくよかったですよ。海が青っぽい、緑がかった色ですごくきれいでした。


Have to vs. have got to

2013年 06月 05日 English Tips

Many students wonder about the difference in meaning between “I have to …” and “I have got to…”.
The truth is that these two common phrases have the same meaning. The difference comes in how they are used.

I have to ____ is more grammatically correct and is used in written English and more formal conversation.

I have got to.. is more idiomatic and is used in more casual conversation. With practice, it can be spoken with more casually and may add emphasis. E.g.” I have GOT to study!”

In very casual conversations between friends this phrase may be reduced further to “I gotta ___”

生徒の多くの人たちは、“I have to…”と“I have got to …”の違いを不思議に思っていることでしょう。

I have to ______は、より文法的に正しく、書きの場合に使われることが多く、よりフォーマルな会話において使われます。

I have got to…はより慣用的で、よりカジュアルな会話において使われます。練習すれば、よりさりげなく言えるようになって、強調を加えることもできるでしょう。。例:「私は勉強しないと!」

友達とのカジュアルな会話では、このフレーズがさらに“I gotta____”となります。

realize and notice

2012年 12月 05日 English Tips

Many students of English have trouble choosing between these two verbs and deciding which is more appropriate. While they are similar in meaning, they are not identical.

notice:  to see, hear, or feel something

・He was late to class, but his teacher did not notice.
・You may notice a numb feeling in your toes.

realize 1: to know and understand the importance of something

・Do you realize that the meeting started an hour ago?
・I realize how much she means to you.

realize 2:  to suddenly know something that you had not noticed before

・I suddenly realized that the taxi driver was going the wrong way.
・Bill didn’t realize his mistake until the next day.

The definitions of realize include the word “know”, while the definition of notice includes “see, hear or feel”. In other words, realizing is something which involves thinking about a situation. Noticing is more of a physical event in which something comes to our attention through our senses. It is possible to notice something without realizing that it is important.

notice と realize の使い分けに苦労することありませんか? どちらも似たような意味ですが、同じではありません。

 notice: 何かを見る、聞く、感じる


 realize 1重要な何かを理解する、知る


realize 2前は気づかなかった何かに突然気付く


realizeの定義には、単語“know(=知る)”の意を含んでおり、一方notice の定義には、“see, hear or feel (=見る、聞く、感じる)” が含まれています。言いかえると、Realizingは頭でその状態を理解すること、Noticingは感覚を通して感じることを言います。大切だということに気づかず(=realize)に、何かに気づく(=notice)ことは可能です。


Could vs. was able to

2012年 11月 13日 English Tips

These two phrases are almost the same in meaning, but there are some cases in which one sounds more natural than the other. In particular, when you are emphasizing something that you actually did, was able to sounds better.

O.K.:             Even though the train was crowded, I could get a seat.
Better:        Even though the train was crowded, I was able to get a seat.

Could is not incorrect in the example above, but was able to sounds more natural and emphasizes the fact that the speaker actually did get a seat.

Could is more often used to describe events that did not actually happen, but that might have happened if the situation had been different. In other words, could is often used to describe unreal events. The next sentence is an example of this.

・I could get a seat but I preferred to stand.

In this case, the speaker is emphasizing that there were empty seats available if he wanted to sit; however, he chose to stand instead.

・I knew that if I got to the station early I could get a seat, but I didn’t want to get up so early.

In this example, the speaker is implying that he actually did not get up early, did not get to the station early, and so did not get a seat.

“Could” と “was able to” この2つの言葉の意味は、ほぼ同じと言って良いでしょう。 ただし、どちらを選ぶかによって会話の自然さが変わってきます。あなたが「実際に何かをした」と強調したいときは、”was able to” の方が自然です。

まあまあな使い方:      電車が混んでいたけれど、座れました。
Even though the train was crowded, I could get a seat.
自然な使い方           電車が混んでいたけれど、座ることができました。

Even though the train was crowded, I was able to get a seat.

上の例では、Could を使用しても間違いではないのですが、was able to の方がより自然で、話し手が実際に席を得ることができたという事実を強調できています。

 Could は実際には起こらなかった出来事を表す場合によく使われます。実際には起こらなかったけれども、状況が違っていたら起こっていたかもしれない・・という状況の時です。







Care for, take care of, and be careful

2012年 10月 23日 English Tips

“Take care” is an English phrase that is similar to ”気をつける”. However, in general, the meaning of “take care of” is quite different from ”気をつける”. The meaning of _気をつける could be translated as “be careful (to/about)” or “watch out for” or even “pay attention to.”“Take care” is an abbreviation of “take care of yourself.” “Take care of” has almost the same meaning as “care for”. They both mean “to do necessary things for someone or something; to be responsible for someone or something.”

An example: I’m sorry I can’t come to your party, but I have to stay home and take care of my grandmother; she’s not well.

“Take care”は日本語の「気をつける」と似たような意味を持つフレーズです。
“Take care of ” は「気をつける」という意味とは大きく異なります。
「気をつける」という意味では、“be careful (to/about) ”、 “watch out for”や“pay attention to”が使われます。
“Take care” は “take care of yourself” の省略形です。“Take care of” は、“care for”とほぼ同じ意味です。両方とも、誰か/何か他のものにとって必要なことをする、また、誰か/何かに責任を持つということです。


What kind of English do they speak?

2012年 09月 25日 English Tips

Naturally, remembering so many new words is a big challenge when learning English. It becomes even more difficult when you discover that one item can have different names in different variations of English, such as British English and American English.

Take a look at these examples:


It becomes even more difficult when you add extra variations like Australian, Canadian and Singaporean English. So, what should you do as a language learner?

1)    The most important thing is to keep an open mind.2)    Trust your own common sense to help you understand what people are talking about.3)    Be sure to ASK if you’re not sure. The most useful question you practice before travelling is, “Sorry. What does ________ mean?”





1) 一番大切なのは心を開いてみましょう。2) 自分の判断を信じて、他の人が話していることを理解しよう。3) もし確かでないのなら、聞いてみましょう。旅行の前に最も使える質問は、「すみませんが、___は何という意味ですか?」

So, you’d like to lose weight?

2012年 09月 11日 English Tips

Synonyms are words that have similar meanings. However, their meanings are often not exactly the same and making an effort to understand these small differences, or nuances, can really improve your English skills.

Three words that are often used to describe someone who is “not fat” are slim, thin, and skinny. These words are synonyms but they each have a unique nuance.
Slim suggests that a person is fit, healthy and “just the right size”.
Thin suggests that the person is not fat, but may be “a little too small”.
Skinny suggests that the person is definitely not fat, but in fact is “too small”. In this way, it is more negative than the either slim or thin. (I can just hear my mother now, “You’re too skinny! Are you eating enough?”)

Knowing the nuance of words can ensure you express your thoughts accurately.
So, would you like to be slim, thin or skinny?


同義語とは、似たような意味を持つ言葉のことをいいます。 ただし、その意味は必ずしも全く同じということではありません。

この3つの言葉 「slim=スリム」、「thin=細い」、「skinny=痩せている」は、「太っていない」人を表すのによく使われます。