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Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late entry. As I told you in my last comment, I hurt my back at the weekend, and I haven’t really been able to do much since then. It’s not too bad now, but sitting for long periods really hurts, so I wasn’t able to do a new entry. I’ll do the next one next week. In the meantime, here is some feedback on your comments on the last topic.

I don’t really think the results mean that people agree with your policies.
Nice sentence.

My third request is “Don’t raise the consumption tax now!”
The latest news stories are saying that he is thinking of deferring it.

I know it sounds cliche,
“I know it sounds cliched” or “I know it sounds like a cliche.”

I heard that radiation safety standards for food have been relaxed, but I don’t think most Japanese people realize that.
Nice sentence.

Some mother friends of mine
Some friends of mine who have children

We don’t want to spend money for that at all and actually we’d like to spend it for a family trip
spend money on

Why is education fee in Japan so expensive?
Why is education in Japan so expensive?

you should spend more budget for working generation and children
you should spend more of the budget on people of working age and children

Abenomics is the effective plan
Abenomics is an effective plan

I really hope you will make right choices and make Japan the better place.
… and make Japan a better place.

Settling the problem is beyond just Toden’s control, and I really think the government needs to take leadership actions.
The problem is clearly too big for Toden to control, and I really think the government needs to show some leadership.

However, the fact that 日本遺族会(war-bereaved associaotion) is a huge source of votes for the LDP seems to make the issue even worse and complicated.
As always, the problem is vested interests and lobby groups. This happens in every country, unfortunately, but it seems to be particularly bad in Japan.

this is just my imagination, though…
this is just my guess / impression, though…

people are spending more and more money for their children.
people are spending more and more money on their children.

I think I had to say “higher birth rate” instead of “larger birth rate.”
I think I should have said “higher birth rate” instead of “larger birth rate.”

Anyway, it is a consolation that it didn’t happen when you were away from home!
That’s very true!

That’s it for today. Please feel free to write comments on anything that interests you this week, and I will do a new entry on Monday.

By the way, we are having the 地鎮祭 for the new house on Saturday, and if everything goes okay with the bank, the building will start next week.

Hope you are all having a great week and not suffering too much in the heat.


  1. Biwa on Tuesday July 30th, 2013 at 06:13 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback. 🙂
    A friend of mine who has back problems always says that sitting for a long period is really torturous. He says he often brings his computer to a high counter so that he can work standing.

    By the way, you said that you hurt your back ‘at the weekend.’ I have recently learned that it is British English, and American people say ‘on the weekend.’ I get that difference, but do you also say ‘during the weekend’? Or is it a bit unnatural? I always ask my students ‘What did you do during the weekend?’ or ‘Did you meet your grandparents during the summer vacation?’. I might need to change my questions if it’s weird.

  2. YU on Wednesday July 31st, 2013 at 04:52 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.

    > Some mother friends of mine
    Some friends of mine who have children

    I always wondered how to say “ママ友” in English, now I know it, but I feel it’s a bit long. Do you have any other shorter expression in English? Anyway, I feel that Japanese has often easier and shorter expressions.

    > if everything goes okay with the bank, the building will start next week.

    That’s exciting!
    In our case, our house maker told us not to go to check our house’s builing too often because it was a 建売 house and we payed after all the building was completed, but yours is a 注文住宅, so you must be interested in every progress of the work!!

    I hope everything will go okay with the bank and it will rain when you have 地鎮祭. Raining when you have 地鎮祭 seems to be a sign of luck. Did you know that? 「雨降って地固まる」、 「火事にならない」、ということらしいです。

    I’m leaving for Osaka very early Friday morning and come back very late Sunday night.

    So, I hope you all will have a nice weekend and see you next week!

  3. David on Wednesday July 31st, 2013 at 08:11 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Personally, I would say “at the weekend” or “over the weekend.” “During the weekend” sounds strange to me, but I checked it in the Corpus of American English, and I found quite a few examples, so I guess it’s okay.

  4. Kattie on Wednesday July 31st, 2013 at 08:59 PM

    Hi David

    Sorry to hear about your back – I hope it’s on the mend. Very exciting to hear about your house though, I can’t imagine getting a house built from scratch.

    Hi everyone,

    It’s interesting to read all your letters and it makes any news I hear about Japan much more relevant.

    I am still really busy with students. Last week I had a French girl who wanted help with a university entrance exam and next week I have an 18 year old French boy. My eldest daughter, Emily, is also home now, she’s just graduated so we were down in Brighton yesterday picking up all her stuff. I think she was a bit sad because it’s the end of an era and also Brighton is about 5 hours drive away so it’s not the sort of place she can easily nip down to in the future.

  5. Fumie on Wednesday July 31st, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for your feedback! I really appreciate that you gave us feedback although you are not well.

    I made similar mistakes on two sentences. I know basic rules of “article” but sometimes I’m not sure which I should use “a” or “the”.

    We just came back from Aichi prefecture. We went to the beach on Minami Chita 南知多 yesterday and today we wanted to get in Nagoya City Science Museum 名古屋市科学館 but we gave up because there were LLLong queue to see the planetarium although we went there early. (I got interest in the museum because Anne once wrote about it on her blog or facebook.)We went to Osu 大須 shopping arcade instead. I like its’ bit international atmosphere.

    Hi YU,

    I hope you will have a fabulous time here in Osaka!

    Hi Kattie,

    Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation from the university! It’s the beggining of new life for her, isn’t it?

  6. Biwa on Thursday August 1st, 2013 at 08:12 AM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your help!
    I checked it in the British English Corpus, too, but it had only 41 hits. It seems that people(in Britain) say ‘during the weekend’ when you talk about a particular weekend as ‘Brixton was the scene of the next outbreak of violent disorder, during the weekend 28–9 September 1985.’ However, I found sentences like ‘Occasionally, his father was at home during the weekend.’, too, so I got even more complicated.
    Anyway, I’m glad to know I wasn’t teaching something wrong (at least!), but I’ll be careful what other people say from now on.

  7. Biwa on Friday August 2nd, 2013 at 08:46 AM

    Hi everyone,

    It seems that Russia has granted Edward Snowden temporary asylum. I’m not sure at all what is going to happen next, but it doesn’t seem so difficult for the US to spot a person in this digital world. I personally guess that that is Putin’s intention. It sounds as if he’s saying “Russia will never yield to the US, however, go get him if you want.”

  8. Anne on Friday August 2nd, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Hi David,

    You are having “地鎮祭” tomorrow, aren’t you? That’s must be an exciting and wonderful moment!
    By the way, iI hope your back is getting better.

    Hi kattie,

    Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation!
    I hope her new life will be wonderful.

    Hi amo,
    I watched the movie “Song for Marion(Unfinished Song”, too. Its taste was very British and I liked it.

    Hi Fumie,
    You seem to have had a great time in Nagoya;) Good for all of your family!
    Yeah, Osu looks exotic, and is different from other part of Nagoya. Actually, World Cosplay Summit 2013 is going to be held at Osu and Sakae this weekend. A lot of young people from various countries come to Nagoya and compete in the championship.

  9. Fumie on Saturday August 3rd, 2013 at 07:56 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your warm message! I wish there are such places like Osu where has exotic atmosphere and sell foreign food like kebab sandwiches or Turkish ice-cream in Osaka, too.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

  10. Biwa on Saturday August 3rd, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Can I ask a question?
    What is the past form of ‘skip/jump rope(as a verb)’? Would ‘I skipped rope yesterday.’ be correct? If so, which part of the sentence is stressed?

    Hi David,

    Hope everything is going fine with your 地鎮祭. 🙂

  11. amo on Sunday August 4th, 2013 at 09:31 AM

    Hi David,

    How was your 地鎮祭? hope it went well:)

    Hi Anne,

    Yes, I think so, too. As I said I really enjoyed the movie.

    Hi everyone,
    How’s your weekend?
    Yesterday, I went to see the dentist for a checkup in the morning, I watched a movie on TV in the afternoon, and I went for drink with a couple of friends at night. I am on duty today and am on my way:( I am going to a Yoga class after work. I will be very tired so that I am sure I could sleep like a log tonight:)

    Hi Biwa,

    About your question, when I checked a dictionary, I found some examples, and one of them is:
    The children skipped rope at the playground yesterday.
    So I think your sentence is ok. But sorry, I don’t know which part of the sentence is stressed.

    Oh, it’s my station, so I got to go.

    Have a nice day,

  12. Biwa on Monday August 5th, 2013 at 08:55 AM

    Hi amo,

    Thanks for your help. 🙂
    I’m guessing that if ‘skip rope’ was a noun, ‘skip’ should be emphasized, and ‘rope’ if it was a verb. I hope I’m right.

  13. YU on Monday August 5th, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation!!

    Hi Fumie,

    We came back from Osaka last night.
    USJ was a disappointment, but people in Osaka were very nice and we enjoyed Osaka’s soul food (ぼてぢゅうのお好み焼き, だるまの串カツ, くくるのたこ焼き)very much! My son even cried saying “帰りたくな~い!” last night.
    We took a 道頓堀リバークルーズ, went to TIGER COPENHAGEN in 心斎橋 and bought a lot of lovely 雑貨.
    Anyway, my husband and I came to a conclusion that “大阪って住んだら楽しそう!”