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15 Comments

  1. Biwa on 2013年07月12日 at 19:05

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.
    The expression “and about time too” is very interesting. I didn’t expect that it would mean “it should have happened sooner.” In Japanese, it’s like “遅すぎるくらいだ”, right? Now I really get what he wanted to say.
    I wonder if you can use it without “too.”



  2. David on 2013年07月12日 at 19:09

    Hi Biwa,

    Yes, you can use it without “too.”

    Worker: I finished the report you asked me to write.
    Boss: About time!



  3. Biwa on 2013年07月12日 at 19:17

    Hi David,

    Thank you!
    Have a nice weekend everyone! 🙂



  4. Anne on 2013年07月12日 at 20:17

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    >I liked Bjorn Borg’s calm demeanor.
    —I see. I know the word “demeanor”, but have never used it so far. Thank you.

    >How about “I suppose it’s no wonder he writes so well when you consider that writing is what he does for a living.”
    –I see. As I wrote in my former comment, I was not sure how to combine each part. Thank you for your help.

    Also, Biwa and YU, thank you for thinking about my question together!

    >I can only say “and about time too.”
    This expression is used when you want to say that you think something has taken too long and should have happened sooner.
    —Interesting expression. I’m wondering if this sentence is used by adding “it’s”? (It’s about time.) Or,is “About time” used as a set phrase?

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!



  5. Biwa on 2013年07月12日 at 21:23

    Hi Anne,

    I found lots of examples in the British National Corpus which David mentioned a while ago.

    >It really is about time we had a BIT of luck.
    >It was about time that something should be done.

    So I guess the words omitted were as in ( ) below.
    >What one loved was not only his skill but the character he displayed, and if the Centre Court has come to adore him, I can only say “and (it was) about time (that he won the championship) too



  6. Fumie on 2013年07月12日 at 22:28

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.

    >It’s really hot in Gifu, too. It was 37 outside the university, and near my house, one temperature gauge was reading 40 degrees!

    It’s getting really hot and the temperature goes up almost intolerable, so be careful, everyone.

    Can I ask you a question?
    I’m teaching student “can: I can~/ Can you~?” I thought “can” means the ability to do something, so “Can you eat ~?” isn’t proper because whether you eat ~ or not is their preference not the ability. And when I asked my co-worker who had been living in the US for several years, about it, she said we can use “Can you eat~?” but I’m not convinced.
    (I’m not in a hurry, so please answer my question when you have time.)

    Have a marvelous weekend!



  7. YU on 2013年07月13日 at 13:31

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.

    Indeed, it’s been sizzling hot here too and this heat is killing me… I really don’t want to cook dishes with using fire. I really really admire people cooking and selling takoyaki in this heat!

    Hi Fumie,

    > I thought “can” means the ability to do something

    I looked up a dictionary. It says “can” has more than 10 meanings and usages.

    Anyway, like your co-worker said, I feel that you can say “Can you eat~?”.

    For example, when you ask your friends from the West to go to eat at sushi restaurant, don’t you ask them “Can you eat raw fish?” first of all?
    In this case, I don’t think “Do you eat raw fish?” is a proper expression(or am I already wrong here? ここで既に間違ってますかね?!) because you know that people in the West usually don’t eat raw fish. So, this “Can you eat raw fish?” means “生のさかな食べられる?”, but it doesn’t ask them about their “ability” to eat raw fish because I believe that it’s biologically possible for humans to eat raw fish. The evidence is that in fact Japanese, Koreans and people in some European countries eat raw fish and they don’t die even they eat them.

    Talking about myself, “I can eat raw fish, but I can’t eat raw meat.”(生魚は食べられるけど、生肉(ユッケとか馬刺しとか)は食べられない)This is about my food preference.
    Actually, I think everyone could eat both if you were left alone on a desert island!

    So, I think you can say “Can you eat~?” when you ask someone about their food preference, too.

    これ、あくまでも私の個人的な見解です!

    Have a nice weekend, all !



  8. Biwa on 2013年07月13日 at 17:17

    Hi Anne,

    Sorry, I guess I was half asleep when I wrote my comment last night! Today, I re-read my ( ), and I recognized that it doesn’t make sense at all.
    すみません、あれではまるで逆の意味、書き手がマレーがもっと早く優勝すべきだった、と思っているという文章になってしまいますね(汗;)
    “it was about time that the Centre Court adored him” としなければいけなかったですね、たぶん。

    Today, I went to Shibuya to meet a friend of mine. It was so crowded that I almost felt dizzy! As always, there were lots of tourists from other countries taking pictures of the scramble crossing. I don’t know why it’s so interesting to them!



  9. Fumie on 2013年07月13日 at 21:55

    Hi YU,

    Thank you always for helping me!
    >In this case, I don’t think “Do you eat raw fish?” is a proper expression(or am I already wrong here?
    First, I was convinced by your explanation and “Can you eat~?” is the proper expression. (Your explanation is well-said.) But I did net-surfing and found an interesting site. If the site is the credible one, “Do you eat~?” is the proper one. This site also tells us about other points which David told us before.
    http://www.wa-pedia.com/gaijin/what_japanese_should_not_say_to_foreigners-jp.shtml



  10. Anne on 2013年07月13日 at 22:14

    Hi Biwa,
    Thank you so much for your help.
    >“it was about time that the Centre Court adored him” としなければいけなかったですね、たぶん.—I agree with your idea, but first version also looks fine.

    When I read the article and David’s example sentence, I wonder if there is a difference in nuance between “it’s about time….” and “about time.” I wonder if the latter one implies sarcastic meaning or not. Maybe, I read too much.



  11. Biwa on 2013年07月14日 at 08:10

    Hi David,

    I wonder how “(It’s) about time” actually sounds. Would it sound like “about TIME” or “a-BOUT TIE-m” or “a-BOUT time”? It would be really helpful if you could attach some example conversations to your next entry. 🙂



  12. YU on 2013年07月14日 at 08:40

    Hi Fumie,

    Thank you for the site.

    > surfing and found an interesting site. If the site is the credible one, “Do you eat~?” is the proper one.

    According to the article, “Do you ‘LIKE'(not ‘EAT’!) raw fish?” is the proper expression, I think.

    I wonder if “Do you like raw fish?” and “Do you eat raw fish?” sound different to native English speakers. To me, the first one sounds “生魚好きですか?(=好きという答えなら当然食べられる)” and the latter one sounds “(好きかどうかは別にして)生魚って食べますか?”

    ちょっと話はずれますが
    I get a bit annoyed when I’m asked “Can you speak English?”. “Do you speak English?” sounds nicer to me.

    > This site also tells us about other points which David told us before

    Yes, as soon as I read your question, I remembered David’s article, too. He says that many foreigners get annoyed when they are asked “Do you like natto?”, though.

    > 日本語の「納豆食べられる?」には嫌いな人は食べられないという断定があるため、「納豆好きですか?」という意味を含んでいます。

    しかし、英語にはこのようなニュアンスがないため、“Can you eat Natto?”ではなく、“Do you like Natto?”と聞くのが正しい質問の仕方です。外国人に“Can you eat Natto?”と聞いて、YESと答えられたとしても、その人が納豆が苦手ではないと言う保証はありません。

    日本語では“納豆食べれますか?”と誰かに聞かれた場合、無条件に「納豆を好きかどうか」が聞きたいのだと察することができます。相手の言いたいことを察し合うことが求められる日本人同士の会話は外国人にとってはとても曖昧で、外国人に英語で話しかける場合は自分の言いたいことをより具体的にする必要があります。

    唐突に「食べられる?」と聞かれて、イラッとしてしまう外国人もいるそうです。

    Why don’t you show this article to your co-worker to see her reactions?
    I guess she said that you could also say “Can you eat~?” because she has heard Americans using it in those cases, and I have a feeling that I have heard it too. I’m not sure if it sounds rude or incorrect though…
    My American teacher sometimes excuses like, “I’m not sure if British people say this, but we say …..”

    Can you eat~? が間違いなのかどうかは置いといて、何の脈絡もなく”Can you eat~?” と唐突に聞かれると確かに「何をやぶからぼうに!」って思うかもしれないけど、寿司を食べに行こうという時に”Can you eat raw fish?” とか”Do you like raw fish?” と聞かれて怒る外国人はまずいないと思います。時と場合による、んじゃないんでしょうかね?



  13. Fumie on 2013年07月14日 at 22:14

    Hi YU,

    Thank you for writing your ideas.
    I think “can” could be tricky word when we express whether we are good at something or not. In “Hi, friends 2″(text book for 6 graders), example sentences are: I can play socceer, Can you play soccer?, etc.
    Students aren’t sure whether they should say, “I can ~, Yes, I can.” or “I can’t ~, No, I can’t.” when they can do that but not good at it. It’s better to teach them that I’m good at (playing) soccer or I’m a good soccer player. I guess “I can ~, Can you ~?” are easier and they chose “can”.
    There are still some unpractical expressions in the textbooks (maybe because they took into consideration that students are beginners) but I don’t think it’s a good idea to teach them unpractical expressions and it’s better that they mix English with Japanese.



  14. taco on 2013年07月15日 at 12:39

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    I believe he used to wear Fred Perry in Wimbledon, but he didn’t.
    … but he doesn’t wear it any more. / … but he wasn’t wearing it this time.

    but now everyone admits his great achievement.
    but now everyone acknowledges / recognizes his achievements.

    These above are my sentences. I think now I got your points. I looked up “admit” in a dictionary and understood the difference between admit and acknowledge.

    bye for now,
    taco



  15. David on 2013年07月16日 at 14:42

    Hi everyone,

    “Can you eat?” is not wrong, but we tend to use “Do you like …?” unless there is something unusual about the food or you suspect that the other person may have allergies. Basically, Japanese people use “Can you eat…?” too much, so it’s better to teach “Do you like…?”

    Hope that helps.



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