Friday, 24 July 2009

Chibi's ワン-Point English: "How often do you~?"

Hi everyone,

Sorry that it's been so long since my last entry, but I've been suffering from the summer heat (夏ばて) recently and have been feeling sluggish (だるい).

Anyway, Alan promised to take me swimming if I reviewed "How often do you ~?" (どれぐらい~をしますか。) with you. So, here are some sample questions:

1. How often do you study? (どれぐらい勉強しますか。)
2. How often do you exercise? (どれぐらい運動しますか。)
3. How often do you get a haircut? (どれぐらい散髪しますか。)

You can answer these questions in a few different ways. One method is to say "Every day/week/month/year." (毎日、週、月、年). Another way is to say "Once/Twice/Three times a day/week/month/year." (日、週、月、年に1、2、3回). You can also answer by saying "Always." (いつも); "Often."(しばしば); "Sometimes."(時々); "Rarely."(めったにしない); or "Never."(ぜんぜんしない).

I hope this helps you. If you want to know MY answers to the questions above, please ask Alan in class next week. Of course, you will need to change the question pattern from "How often do you ~?" to "How often does Chibi ~?"

Good luck,

Number 8, Chibi

P.S. Corre ocho!
P.P.S. Do you know "8000 Hams" in Shibuya?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Vocab Builder - At School

Every week at the start of my beginners' class we play a vocabulary building game. One of the students picks a card, and then everyone has to say one word connected to the picture on the card.

This week's card is "At school" (学校で)
Here are some useful school words for you:
  • Biology - 生物
  • Chemistry - 化学
  • Physics - 物理
  • Art - 美術
  • Craft - 図工
  • History - 歴史
  • Geography - 地理
  • Mathematics (maths) - 数学
  • Music - 音楽
  • Physical Education (P.E.) - 体育
  • Social Studies - 社会
  • Home Economics - 家庭科
  • Calligraphy - 書写
  • Ethics - 道徳

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


This is a little late but I'd like to review the article we looked at in my advanced class 2 weeks ago. The article is titled "Would you work for nothing?" and is about workers at British Airways(英国航空) being asked to work for nothing for a short time to help the company survive the economic crisis(経済危機を克服する):

Here as usual is a list of useful phrases featured in the article:
  • economic meltdown - 経済的メルトダウン、経済破綻
  • feel the pinch - ~の苦しみを味わう、~の厳しい影響を受ける
  • mire - 沼地、泥沼、ぬかる、窮地、苦境
  • lowly worker - 平社員
  • juggle -
  • in someone's good books -
  • step up to the plate -
  • onus - 負担、重荷、義務、責任
  • axe - ~を解雇する、首にする、(人員を)削減{さくげん}する
  • two-way street - 相互的なもの、相互的関係、相恵的関係
  • casual employment - 一時雇用
  • high turnover of staff - 離職率が高い
  • dust off - 引っ張り出してくる、探し出してもう一度利用する
  • spur - ~を刺激する、~を促進させる、~を励ます
  • economic turmoil - 経済混乱
  • altruism - 利他主義、利他的行為
  • belt-tightening - 金融引き締め、倹約、減量経営

Thursday, 2 July 2009

It wasn't my fault!

The other day in Chibi's ワン-Point English lesson, Chibi talked about "It's not my fault." Sometimes, we can use that in the past tense (過去形). Here is a great example from a 1980 American movie called The Blues Brothers. In this scene, the man is making many excuses (言い訳) for not showing up at his own wedding. Push play on this video to have a listen. See if you can understand all of his excuses.

Good luck,


I ran out of gas!
I had a flat tire!
I didn't have enough money for cab fare!
My tux didn't come back from the cleaners!
An old friend came in from out of town!
Someone stole my car!
There was an earthquake!
A terrible flood!
It wasn't my fault! I swear to God!!!