Introducing Polls (Feedback)
Thanks for participating in our first online poll. As I am writing this, the most popular answer is “I would never vote for right-wing parties,” but there were also a lot of votes for “I might vote for them because I think Japan needs a change.” I agree 100% that Japan needs a change, but I cannot imagine that an 80-year-old nationalist is the way for this country to move forward. Unfortunately, however, I don’t have the right to vote in Japan, so I can’t do anything except trust the good sense of Japanese people. Yoroshiku! There must be some good politicians around who don’t want to try to take Japan back to the way it used to be before the war.
The discussion about black and white was also very interesting, so thank you Biwa for bringing it up. Maybe we could use that as a topic again sometime in the future.
Here is some feedback on your comments.
That’s techy enough for me!
Nice. You could also say “That’s techy as far as I’m concerned.”
I think I can get it, but when it is difficult, I’ll send you an e-mail for help.
I think I will be able to get one, but if I have trouble, I’ll email you.
I hope each individual will pounder over our country’s future and vote.
I hope that each person will think carefully about the future of our country before they vote.
I think we need strong politicians but I’m not support Mr.Ishihara.
… but I don’t support Mr. Ishihara.
I think some of those right-wingers are quite fluent speakers (or shall I say too noisy?), and hence they just grab people’s hearts dissatisfied with the current government.
I think some of those right-wingers are quite eloquent (or maybe they just make a lot of noise?), so they grab the attention of people who are dissatisfied with the current government.
By the way, 80,000 yen for the entrance fee? It cost much.
By the way, 80,000 yen for the entrance fee is a lot!
I’m not sure if the commenters are right, but many say like this:
“… but many say this” or “but many explain it like this.”
he is thinking of a coalition with Mr Hashimoto despite that some of their policies are completely different.
“he is thinking of forming a coalition with Mr Hashimoto even though some of their policies are completely different” or “… despite the fact that…”
I’m not blaming you, rinko, but…
I think “I’m not criticising you” would be more appropriate here.
This is my first post on this website.
This is a useful sentence to learn.
If Mr.Ishihara hadn’t announced buying the islands, Japan might have found a better and more peaceful solution. As
I know what you mean, and if I don’t know the law I mentioned, I might think the same thing.
I know what you mean, and if I didn’t know about the law I mentioned, I might think the same thing.
I used to live in San Francisco for 4 years in the early ’70s,
I lived in San Francisco for 4 years in the early ’70s. (A-Z: Used to / would)
The important thing to remember is that Japanese economy is going down rapidly,whilst Chinese economy is going up in some years
The important thing to remember is that Japan’s economy is shrinking rapidly while China’s has been growing in recent years.
If you check the entries of Jan 15 and 17, 2007 on David’s blog of ALC’s website, you can see his face. FYI
Thanks for posting that. You can see his shiny head, too!
By the way, I tried to listen to those interviews, but the audio file doesn’t seem to work. Does it have a time limit, David?
Sorry, I’m not sure how long files are kept on the ALC servers.
That’s all for today. Please let me know if you have any questions about my feedback or about any of the other language in the comment.
Have a great weekend.
The new polling system was very interesting (I’d like to do it again!)and thanks always for your feedback. Can I make sure about “used to”? Does it mean when I am specific about the time, I should use “live”? So, if I write just “I used to live somewhere.”, is it okay?
And one more, I understand “to grab people’s attention” should be more natural, but is it impossible “to grab someone’s heart”?, because in Japanese we say “心をつかむ”. Can I say “He just grabbed my heart!(He attracted me!)”? ちょっと変ですか？
The black/white discussion was interesting for me, too, and thank you for introducing Vick. It’s a real pity that I can’t litsen to those interviews! I’m looking forward to other chances.
Have a nice weekend, everyone!
Thank you for your feedback as always.
The polling system is interesting, but I’m not tecky so OI still had not idea how to fix this system.
>I think I will be able to get one, but if I have trouble, I’ll email you.—I’ve learned a lot of things from your corrections!
*not”it” but “one.”
*I have trouble—I couldn’t figure out this sentence without your help.
*email you—Actually, I wrote this way first and then changed. I got it.
I haven’t said “Hello” to you yet. Nice to have you with us:)
Concerning the difference between “used to live” and “lived”, can I share my idea?
＊used to …は過去の習慣や生活、または「かっての状態」について話すときの言い方。
例文としてMy family used to got to Hokkaido in summer.【went なら一回きり】
I’ll wait the answer from David,too.
Have a lovely weekend,everyone
it’s me again.
Sorry, “My family used to got to Hokkaido in summer.” should be “My family used to go to Hokkaido in summer.”
Hi David and everyone,
Thank you for your feedback, David.
> I agree 100% that Japan needs a change, but I cannot imagine that an 80-year-old nationalist is the way for this country to move forward.
He might bring not only “a change” to Japan, but also convert it into completely a “different” country!
夜露死苦!! by ヤンキー
> Thanks for posting that. You can see his shiny head, too!
Speaking of “shiny head”, I happened to read an interesting article yesterday.
Here it is ;
I knew that humans are said to have evolved from the ape, but I didn’t know that there was a theory that body hair has fallen in the process of evolution so human’s ‘baldness’ was a proof of human evolution, therefore, bald people are developed people!!
I found Mr.Takasu’s idea of giving someone “増毛” very interesting. I wonder if Mr.Son would receive his present…
Have a great weekend all!
I read the item of “used to/would”, but still I’m not really clear why “used to live” is incorrect.
I guess it because of your description, “used to do/be は「よく～した/だった」という意味で、過去の習慣や生活、または何かの「かつての状態」について話すときに使う言い方です。「今はもうやっていない、そうではない」という意味も含まれます。”
In my opinion, Biwa’s sentence, “I used to live in San Francisco for 4 years in the early ’70s,”
is exactly the case above described ; She had lived in San Francisco, but she doesn’t live there now.(かつてサンフランシスコに住んでいたことがあった、でも今はそうではない[過去の生活、かつての状態],「よく～した/だった」という意味はないけれど)。
I’m afraid to say this, but this is a bit confusing explanations for Japanese people,
you might mean something different by this descrition, though.
I’m not criticizing your book at all, but I think “I used to live ～” is one of the most frequent erros Japanese people make, so why don’t you give this example in the next edition?
Thanks for your feedback as usual, and new voting system.
Regarding “used to live” and I think your understanding is right. He explained this and I quote:
“Used to” is very convenient because it allows you to talk about the past without being specific about time.
So I think if you say “I used to live somewhere.” is okey.
About “grab someone’s heart,” I hear this phrase before so I think you can use this. In your sentence this time, it didn’t fit here as you said.
I am off to go,
Have a nice weekend 🙂
Hi Biwa and YU,
As for the expression”かって。。。した.”, as you mentioned, it’s tricky and difficult.
I also checked another grammar book(Practical English Usage), here’s the excerpts from the book:
“It is not used simply to say what happened at a past time, or how long it took, or how many times it happened.”
「used to は過去に起こった出来事（単発の）については言えない。またそれが、それがどのぐらいだったとか、何回そうしたことがあったか、と言うことについても使うことはできない。」
eg. I lived in Chester for three years.(○）
I used to live in Chester for three years.(X)
と言うことなので、もしBiwaの文章が”I used to live in San Fransisco.”だけならば、ＯＫだと思います。
Hi Biwa, Anne and amo,
>“Used to” is very convenient because it allows you to talk about the past without being specific about time.
I think “I used to live somewhere.” is okay, too,
but I got a bit confused after reading the part of explanation about “time” in A-Z book. I have the Japanese version only, but it says, “it allows you to talk about the past “with and without” being specific about time.
I used to play baseball when I was in high school.
I used to play baseball.
* Both sentences are correct.
But I don’t think you can say, “I used to play baseball for 3 years.”
So, I wonder if you can say, “I used to live in San Francisco when I was in high school.”, too…
The part of “when I was in high school” isn’t a specific time of period, too!?
So, that means,
“I used to ~ + for ~ years” is not okay. (期間）
“I used to ~ + when I was ….” is okay.(時期）
FYI, A-Z book says “used to～は時期や期間を指定する必要がない”, and that’s true, but it is also true that “時期は指定していいけど期間は指定してはいけない”, I feel. I might be wrong, though….
Hi, it’s me again.
For the reason above mentioned, do you think the following sentence makes sense?
“I used to live in San Fransisco in the early ’70s.”
– “for 4 years” は「期間」だからダメだけど”in the early ’70s” 「時期」だからそのまま残してもOK???
Hi mother members,
By the way, my son’s suddenly started writing lots of alphabets and 数式 12+1=, 41÷2=, % $ #, etc… since a week or so. Have you ever experienced such a moment when your children were small?
I guess it is because he’s been really into “DS” recently. At first, I was not really sure if he should have played with a computer game like that, but it seems to stimulate his brain a lot, at least!
He still can’t write his name properly in hiragana(he can read them well, though), but he can write his name and some English words what he has “seen”, such as “TOTO(in the toilet!) or OPEN”, in alphabets, though I didn’t teach them to him at all. That’s interesting, isn’t it?
Thank you for doing feedback. I often forget to put ‘about’ after ‘know’. I will be careful about it. I’m now confused about ‘used to’, so I’m waiting your comment.
I have no children, so I’m not sure about it, but I’m sometimes impressed by such children’s ability. They have infinite ability, don’t they?
Hi Anne and everyone,
Thank you for checking the book. Actually, it is a little bit tough for me to read even ‘Tuesday with Morrie’.
I want to be able to read a paper bag. I have been reading English books called ‘graded readers’ for the past a year. Yet, reading a paper bag is difficult to read for me. If someone knows the good way to develop reading skills, would you give me some advice?
>Yet, reading a paper bag is difficult to read for me.
⇒Yet, reading a paper bag is difficult for me.
You perhaps meant “paperback”(softcover)?!
I seldom read books, but are there any differences between ‘paperback’ and ‘hardcover’ of the book with an identical title?
I’m very embarrassed. I meant ‘paperback’. I want to crawl under the rug.
Yes, exactly, because you wrote ;
Hi YU and everyone,
Thanks for thinking about the correct usage for “used to”. The more I think, the more confused I get. lol!
First of all, I said “I used to live in ” instead of “I lived in” because I wanted to say “住んだことがあります”. If I simply said “I lived in”, that will mean “住んでいました” which is slightly different from what I wanted to say. Aside from the rule that “used to” cannot be used together with a specific time, are the translations/meanings of the phrases correct in the first place?
One more, is there a difference between these two sentences?
1. My friend has lived in San Francisco.
2. My friend lived in San Francisco.
Reading the A-Zbook(present perfect tense), does the second sentence also suggest that my friend is dead?
I want to read English books in the original.
> I said “I used to live in ” instead of “I lived in” because I wanted to say “住んだことがあります”. If I simply said “I lived in”, that will mean “住んでいました” which is slightly different from what I wanted to say.
ところで、”used to live”の日本語訳は「（かつて）住んでいました（今は住んでいない）＝住んだことがある」だと思います。
1. “have lived”が頭に浮かびますが、
I have lived in San Francisco for 4 years in the early ’70s.
“have lived in ~ for ~ years” はサンフランシスコに住んで４年になります（今も住んでいます）だから”in the early ’70s” をこの文に入れることはできませんよね。
2. では”had lived”はどうか。
過去完了は過去の特定の時点を軸に考えるので”in the early ’70s”は残せないと思いますが
I had lived in San Francisco for 4 years until 1975 / before I moved to New York.
３．消去法で残るは “lived” です。
I lived in San Francisco for 4 years in the early ’70s.
“lived” = “住んだ” のような気がしますよね。「過去形のlived だけで何で’住んでいた’の意味が出るの？」って思いますよね。今まで習ってきた文法の概念がくずれてしまう。。。
でもポイントは後半の”for 4 years in the early ’70s”の部分なんだと思います。時期や期間をを特定する表現の中には”have lived, had lived, used to live”と相性が悪いものがある、ってことじゃないでしょうか。
I just remebered talking about “while I give lessons” in the previous entry. I think the verb “live” is also an action that continues for a certain time, so I guess the translation has to be ”住んでいた” instead of “住んだ”.
The difference between “住んでいました” and “住んだことがあります” is that the second one focuses on one’s experience while the first one just expresses the fact. “I used to live near the ocean (but now I live in the mountains)”
By the way, Is コメダコーヒーa cafe? I’m a coffee drinker, too!
Thank you for your feedback!
The online poll was very interesting and I hope you’ll take up the system again for another topic.
>I don’t have the right to vote in Japan, so I can’t do anything except trust the good sense of Japanese people.
The Prime Minister Noda has mentioned about calling a general election within the year,so we have to see each party’s action more carefully for the election!
Have you ever read the books of Sidney Sheldon in English?His books are quite easy and interesting to read even in English.
Have a nice day everyone!
Sorry I wasn’t able to check the blog yesterday. Basically, “used to” can be used to talk about something that happened within a specified time frame, so the following sentences are okay.
I used to … when I was in high school.
I used to … when I lived in Singapore.
I used to … in the ‘ 70s.
“Used to” is not used when you state the exact amount of time, so “I used to … for ten years / two months / 3 days etc.” is strange.
Regarding Biwa’s question:
1. My friend has lived in San Francisco.
2. My friend lived in San Francisco.
The first sentence means 住んだことがある, but it would often be more natural to say “My friend used to live in …” to express this meaning. “Has lived” is used to describe experience, so it would be more natural to use this structure if you were stressing the experience aspect:
My friend has lived in Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan.
(i.e., My friend has experience of living in a lot of Asian countries.)
“My friend lived in San Francisco” doesn’t really make sense by itself. That is the big difference between “used to” and the past simple tense. If you said, “My friend lived in San Francisco,” I would be waiting for you to finish the sentence with something like “for four years when she was in high school,” “before she moved to New York,” or “when she was a child.”
Hope that helps.
Hi Biwa, YU and Anne,
I googled “used to” last night and it seemed difficult to me to explain so I gave up on posting (lol) Thanks to David, I got it now, especially, I am glad to learn that it is ok to say “I used to… in the ’70s.”
Thanks for your explanation, and that is a big help 🙂
The sky is cloudy and it’s a bit cold today:(
I am going to pop out in the afternoon to buy a birthday present for a niece. Her birthday is next Saturday.
bye for now,
Thanks for your help.
>I lived in S.F. for 4 years.
>I used to live in S.F. in the ’70s.
I think I got the differences about the rules for the words that come after, and I guess there is a slight difference in the translations, too.
So, for the following example you gave, is it okay to change “has lived” into “used to live”?
>My friend has lived in Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan.
(i.e., My friend has experience of living in a lot of Asian countries.)
For the past simple tense, I got that you need something to specify the period of time, but I still don’t get that your example sentence in the book “My grandfather visited a lot of countries” suggests that the speaker’s grandfather is dead.
Sorry if I’m being too persistent, but I use these expressions very often, so I want to make sure.
Thank you for explanation about ‘used to’. I learnt the different nuance between ‘use to’ and perfect tense.
Thank you for your advice. I will try it someday.
Thank you for your feedback and explanation of “used to”. When I was following some members’ discussion about “used to”, the more I read them, the more I got confused. I think I understand its rule mostly thanks to your explanation.
>Have you ever experienced such a moment when your children were small?
When my son was little, I was surprised at he became able to do addition although no one has taught him. Now he (4th grader) read some difficult Kanjis which he doesn’t learn at school yet. (Although he isn’t good at writing Kanjis.) I guess he learnt how to read them through TV, signs, internet.
BTW, young children get interested in some signs like supermarkets’ signs, convenience stores’ ones and restaurants’s ones.
About reading English books(original books), how about tackle some books which is your favorite genre: adventure, documentary, romance ,SF, mystery: whatever you get interested in. In case books that were already made into movies, if you watch movies and then read books, it is easier to follow the stories.
> By the way, Is コメダコーヒーa cafe? I’m a coffee drinker, too!
Yes, they are.
Komeda Coffee Shop is a coffee shop chain that originated in Nagoya. They’ve been expanding their business into the Kanto region in the last couple of years. They aren’t as fashionable as STARBUCKS or Tully’s, but they are cozy and famili-friendly. They offer good coffee and a large variety of light meals, too.
If you’re interested, here is the link ;
Thank you for your help.
Your explanations this time are 永久保存版.
Good night, everyone!
> but they are cozy and famili-friendly.
should be “family-friendly”, of course.
> Now he (4th grader) read some difficult Kanjis which he doesn’t learn at school yet. (Although he isn’t good at writing Kanjis.) I guess he learnt how to read them through TV, signs, internet
I think so, too.
I guess for young children kanjis(and other letters) are like pictures. They take pictures of them and store in their brain. That’s maybe why they can usually read them, but they can’t write them. The same applies to my husband. He can read lots of kanjis, but he can’t write that much.
Thank you for your explanation about the usage of “used to.”
I agree with Fumie.
Besides that, I sometimes read kid’s books because it doesn’t take much time to read through the whole story.
If you are interested in classic(old stories) like “a Christmas carol”, you can read from the following link for free:
That happened to my sons,too. I guess children visualize the image of each scene and suddenly start speaking or writing.
By the way, you seem to like “コメダ.” The main shop is 15 walk from my house and is always crowded with people. Have you ever tried “シロノワール”?
See you soon,
Sorry, I’ve forgotten to say “Thank you for telling me ‘I want to read English books in the original.'”
Hi Fumie and Anne,
Thank you for your advice and the nice website. As you mentioned, I will try a book which interesting me.
Have a nice day, everyone!
“The main shop is 15 walk from my house” should be “The main coffee shop is a 15-minute walk from my house.”
By the way, I’m afraid I told the same story to YU… Ah…senior moment!
You are welcome:)
Thanks for the link for Komeda Coffee. I’ve never heard of it before, but I found one near my place. Sounds very “Nagoya” because they seem to serve “Misokatsu-sandwich”! lol!!
By the way, I found a weird word “scratch-bakery” in a leaflet yesterday. I think it comes from the phrase “from scratch” and they said they provide all their bread freshly baked from their in-store oven. I guess it’s a Japanese-English, but it’s interesting, isn’t it?
Talking about children’s ability of recognizing signs and characters, I’m often amazed with it, too. When I teach little children, I use original signs to let them understand what I’m trying to say. For example, I draw very simple icons to teach prepositions, and they understand them in seconds. In that way, I can introduce new words without using any Japanese, and sometimes it’s easier to explain things like “on” and “over”. They’re something like 象形文字, aren’t they?
Did you find a nice present for your niece? I love to hang around looking for presents!
Yes, I like Komeda.
The nearest Komeda from my house is located at a stone’s throw from the supermarket we usually shop at on weekends, so we visit the Komeda twice a month or so before shopping there.
> By the way, I’m afraid I told the same story to YU… Ah…senior moment!
No, it was new to me, so don’t worry, Anne!!
(Or I forgot that you told me the story before?! Hahaha…)
Anyway, you live quite close by the main shop! Wow!!
I’ve tried “シロノワール” several times, but I usually order it for my son. It’s a bit too sweet to me, but it tastes very good!
Don’t worry about that, I always forget to say or do something, too! 🙂
By the way, I’m not sure if my sentence is correct….
> I guess it’s a Japanese-English, but it’s interesting, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s interesting and kawaii.
What they wanted to say was probably “うちのパンは全工程手作りのおいしい焼きたて石釜パンです”?!
I have introduced this site to other members long time ago, but if you’re interested in those “ヘンな英語”, please have a look at these ;
> For example, I draw very simple icons to teach prepositions, and they understand them in seconds. In that way, I can introduce new words without using any Japanese, and sometimes it’s easier to explain things like “on” and “over”. They’re something like 象形文字, aren’t they?
You always do your best for your students. I admire you!! I’m a lazy mother so all what I do for my son’s English education is that just letting him watch English DVDs(or listen to English CDs), which are mostly got from my friends…. Long time ago I happened to get a sample DVD of DWE (Disney’s World of English) from one of my friend from my English Club, and there was a song teaching your children prepositions. Lots of disney characters plays hide-and-seek in the living room in the song. My son naturally started singing the song using those prepositions! I thought, “さすがDWE！ナイスアイディア！”.
I’m so glad I dont have a camera on my PC monitor!! I’m laughing too hard that tears are coming out! Thanks!
The example sentence “My grandfather visited a lot of countries” suggests that your grandfather is dead because if he was still alive, you would either say “has visited” or you would specify a time period such as “when he was in the army.”
Let me give you another example. The actor John Wayne is now dead, so we could say “John Wayne won an Academy Award.”
If he were still alive, we could say either “John Wayne has won an Academy Award” or “John Wayne won an Academy Award in 19–,” but not just “John Wayne won an academy award.”
The present perfect is used to talk about experience during a period that includes the present time. When a person is dead, the period of their life does not include the present time, so we talk about their experiences using the past tense.
Hope that helps.