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Thanks for all your comments. I suppose that as so many of you are mothers, it’s not surprising that this was one of the more popular topics.

YU and Biwa, I think you are overanalyzing the “precisely / exactly” distinction. When you meet a pair like this, my advice is to check a dictionary to get the basic meanings, and then just look out for examples of the words in use. If you want, you can also do a search for each of the words in a corpus like the Corpus of Contemporary American English or the British National Corpus. This will give you hundreds of examples of how each word is used in real English.

Here is some feedback on your comments.

I suggested to my sister and my two brothers to give “sodas” to our uncle.
I suggested to my sister and my two brothers that we give “sodas” to our uncle.

I have been encountering a lot of mischief by my children
I have a lot of experience of children getting into mischief

Here are some incidents that happened to me.
Here are some things that happened to me.

We had to buy electric fan every year because they sat on the neck of fan and broke it.
Do you know this structure? “We kept having to buy a new fan every year because they kept sitting on them and breaking them.”

Luckily, he just ended up strongly hitting his tailbone,
Luckily, he just ended up hitting his tailbone hard,

So I’d been wondering why I have to do the work exactly now, before my son enters kindergarten, too.
I would remove “exactly” from this sentence altogether.

I still have to do 隣組班長, though…
I think that Japanese people use “have to” in a very different way from Westerners. If someone tells me to do something that I don’t want to do, I just refuse. Of course, Japanese people say 断れなかった, though. It’s just a cultural difference.

Hi Kattie,
Thanks for the comments. There were lots of useful expressions in there, and I’m glad to see that people picked up on them.

You used to be a tomboy. So do I.
You used to be a tomboy? So did I.

Looking back those days,
Looking back on those days,

I could not imagine that he was interested in my makeup
I never imagined that he would be interested in my makeup. / It never crossed my mind that he would be interested in my makeup.

my friends and I used to climb over the fences and sneak into each others dorms when we were in university.
Nice sentence.

Yes, but you have to bear with the countless jars all over the house.
Yes, but you have to put up with …

>It’s a real pity (and also funny) that they gradually lose those minds because their schoolwork gets busier.
It’s a real pity that they gradually lose that curiosity as they get busier with schoolwork. (Call me cynical, but as I have said before, it seems to me that the whole purpose of the Japanese education system is to destroy children’s curiosity. That is why they overload them with so much work and so many tests.)

I am afraid but the site is still something wrong,
I am afraid there is still something wrong with the site.

and also they carry their plans into action.
and also, they put their plans into action.

I thought that my children might have the game “egg toss”,
I thought that my children might have been playing “egg toss,”

I went up to see if everything was okay
Nice sentence.

I’ve worn false eyelashes only once in my life
Some of my students wear false eyelashes. I think they look ridiculous.

in short, mothers have to do some volunteer work
I think you mean “volunteer” work!

I’m sorry now I have a guset.
I know you meant “guest,” but this typo made me laugh. Check “gusset” in a dictionary if you don’t know what it means.

Your discussion about “よりによって”is interesting.
Yes, but remember that there are many possible translations depending on the context.

No wonder why I didn’t get what she meant!
No wonder I didn’t get what she meant!

Thanks for your explanations – it certainly sounds a lot more involved than it is in the UK.
Most things here tend to be a lot more involved than they are in the U.K., especially anything to do with schools.

Thank you for sharing lovely stories of David and Peter. I can easily imagine how David used his toes of his shoes!
Don’t believe a word of it. I was an angelic child who never did anything wrong at all.

We feel like working at the kindergarten,don’t we?”
I think you mean “We feel as though we are working at the kindergarten, don’t we.”

That’s it for today.

Have a great weekend.

13 Comments

  1. YU on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 03:25 PM

    Hi Mika,

    Thank you for your explanations!

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.

    > YU and Biwa, I think you are overanalyzing the “precisely / exactly” distinction.

    I’m afraid I don’t really think I was talking that much about the “precisely / exactly” distinction, though. But anyway, I guess what you want to say is that we are pernickety, and that’s totally nonsense.

    > When you meet a pair like this, my advice is to check a dictionary to get the basic meanings, and then just look out for examples of the words in use.

    Thank you for your advice. You’re right.
    However, if other members ask someone for help on this blog, you can’t ignore them, can’t you?

    > If someone tells me to do something that I don’t want to do, I just refuse. Of course, Japanese people say 断れなかった, though. It’s just a cultural difference.

    I know exactly what you mean, but 隣組 or 自治会 work are something that you can not avoid once you bought a house of your own. All memebers need to take part in the volunteer work, when you have children in particular, so I used “have to”.
    Of course, you can choose not to become a member of them, but then all your neighbours would look coldly on you because for example, ごみ捨て当番 is one of the work. You can’t live without throwing out your rubbish, can you? I wonder if you don’t want to join those Japanese communities when you start living in a new house next year.
    In my case, I plan to live where I live now until I die, so I don’t want to be an outsider here.

    > it seems to me that the whole purpose of the Japanese education system is to destroy children’s curiosity. That is why they overload them with so much work and so many tests

    It seems to me the whole purpose of the poor English education system in Japan is to unable Japanese people to copy Western culture on purpose. Understanding and copying Western culture often requires English knowledge.
    This is what I realized quite recently.



  2. YU on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 03:33 PM

    【correction】

    > you can’t ignore them, can’t you?
    should be “you can’t ignore them, can you?”



  3. Biwa on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 04:03 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback and also for your advice. And sorry YU, I think it was me that was a bit persistent. However, I just wanted to know the difference because I wanted to use the words myself.
    As you(David) say, I always look for example sentences as much as I can, but I couldn’t get the difference. I guess I need to add it to my 要注意word list. I’d also like to know what you think about Ms. Ishihara’s example sentence.

    I also need to look up for “bear with” and “put up with” later. I don’t have enough time now!
    Today, I’m going to say good-bye to some of the 6th-graders. They were really nice students, so I’m really going to miss them!



  4. Mika on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    This Sunday, I’ll have a guest who works as an art teacher in high school.
    Most exciting for me, we will make some wreaths. (One of my hobbies is making wreath and it would be presumptuous of me to say, but I’m good at, although I have never learned.)

    Have a good weekend.



  5. Anne on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback as always.
    >It never crossed my mind that he would be interested in my makeup.
    —Oh, I see. It’s a shame that I couldn’t use this expression even though I knew it. I’m afraid I need to write sentences a lot more.

    >Yes, but remember that there are many possible translations depending on the context.
    —Yes, I think so,too.

    >I think you mean “We feel as though we are working at the kindergarten, don’t we.”
    —Yes, exactly! Thank you. I had no idea with using “as though” when I wrote this.

    >Don’t believe a word of it. I was an angelic child who never did anything wrong at all.
    —-Hmmm….I believe your mum’s story!^^)

    Hi Mika,
    What kind of wreath are you going to make?
    >but I’m good at, although I have never learned.)
    –That’s great!

    Have a lovely weekend,everyone

    Anne



  6. YU on Saturday March 23rd, 2013 at 09:00 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > And sorry YU, I think it was me that was a bit persistent.

    Please don’t say sorry, I always admire your enthusiasm for learning English!
    As you know, I’m correcting students’ papers. There’s an entry colum where students can write their worries, grammatical questions on the answer paper and teachers like me must answer their questions. I often receive difficult questions like “What are the differences between precisely and exactly?” from students and I always use David’s A-Z book, 石原真弓先生の英会話質問箱 and other grammar books to answer them.
    To tell the truth, it’s much tougher than just correcting students’ answers referring to the model answers because it’s not going to end with just showing some example sentences, students expect clear explanations from me. But anyway, I believe it’s a good practice for me, too!

    Hi everyone,

    Are you going to see cherry blossoms this weekend?
    I’m going to do it next Friday with my English club friends and their children. I hope they are still in bloom then!!

    Have a nice weekend, all!!



  7. Biwa on Saturday March 23rd, 2013 at 05:43 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for your message! You’re always a great help to me.

    >I believe it’s a good practice for me, too!

    Yes, I guess so. Reading your questions to David is a good practice for me, so I hope you post them from time to time!

    Hi everyone,

    I hope you’re all having a great weekend.
    The cherry blossoms are in full bloom here in Kanagawa. I met my mother at Motomachi, and walked along 外人墓地and 港の見える丘公園. It was really refreshing to walk under the light-pink blossoms!



  8. Fumie on Sunday March 24th, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Hi David ,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    My son also used the toes of his shoes as brakes when he rode a bicycle. So we kept having to buy new pair of shoes for him.

    Hi everyone,

    Sad thing happened to my family and we had been away from home for a few days so I couldn’t respond to some comments addressed to me. I’m sorry.



  9. Biwa on Sunday March 24th, 2013 at 09:26 AM

    Hi David,

    I’ve just sent you an email about the problem. I hope you can see it as soon as possible.



  10. amo on Sunday March 24th, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    By the way, about the site, the same thing happened again on Friday. I forgot to tell you but I use iPhone5.

    Hi everyone,

    How’s your weekend?
    Hope you had a nice weekend. I went to have a massage yesterday and went for shopping today. I bought a T-shirt and a pair of jeans half price so I am very happy 🙂

    Good night and sweet dreams,
    amo



  11. David Barker on Monday March 25th, 2013 at 03:51 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I’m having another busy day today, and I don’t think I will be able to do a new entry. I’ve got a really interesting topic for you, though, so I’ll do it tomorrow.

    Bye for now.



  12. Mika on Monday March 25th, 2013 at 06:40 PM

    Hi Anne,

    I’m sorry, I could tell you about the wreath quickly.
    Unfortunately, my friend and I had no time to make any wreath yesterday, because she had a job until 5. Of course she came to my house, but first of all we needed to confer about my third book. (When I published my second book, she drew the cover and all the wonderful illustrations.)

    About wreath, I make different types and shapes of wreath with many kinds of nuts that I collected. Of course I buy some materials.
    Dandelion is a cute material and we can get easily. If you are interested in making it, please try.
    1)Prepare a small basket (bicycle type is nice) and set oasis in the basket.
    2)Insert a thin wire into a stalk of dandelion until the seed and spray hardening agent on it.
    (*Cut wire longer than stalk)
    3) Put the dandelion in the oasis. (*each dandelion sticks together very easily)

    If you love wine, you can make a wreath with corks.
    Material… cork (over 200 corks)
    toothpick (not Japanese type)
    (Chinese type is good because it have two pointed ends)
    wreath (made of straws)
    1)Stick a toothpick in a cork
    2) Stick 1) in the wreath.

    I hope if I can show you the pictures of my wreaths.



  13. Anne on Tuesday March 26th, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Hi Mika,
    Wow, you’ve already published two books!? That’s amazing! The image of the wreath is more artistic than I imagined. Yes, I wish I could see the pictures. Thank you for letting me know how to make wreath.

    Anne



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