Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Hi everybody,

As the sun sets on 2013, Jack and I would like to thank all of our students and blog readers for their support over the past year. We would also like to wish you a happy and healthy 2014.

See you at E-Style,


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Someone (who looks) like 〜

Hi everyone,

Last time, I wrote about my students' answers to the following question:
     What kind of person do you want to marry? (どんな人と結婚したいのですか。)
Among the answers we studied was the following:
     Someone who likes music. (音楽が好きな人。)
This pattern is very useful because the verb "likes" can be followed by any noun (名詞), even a proper noun (固有名詞). For example:
     Someone who likes Hugh Jackman. (ヒュー・ジャックマンが好きな人。)

Feel free to use the "Someone who likes 〜" pattern when talking about people's preferences (好み), but please be careful. For there are other patterns using "like" which have different meanings.

One similar pattern is: Someone like Hugh Jackman. (ヒュー・ジャックマンみたいな人。)
Another is: Someone who looks like Hugh Jackman. (ヒュー・ジャックマンに似ている人。)

"Someone like 〜" is often (but not always) talking about personality (性格) rather than looks (外見). "Someone who looks like 〜" is always referring to one's appearance (外見).

Take care,


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Someone who 〜

Hi English-conversation students,

For the past few weeks in my beginners classes, I have asked the following question:
     What kind of person do you want to marry? (どんな人と結婚したいのですか。)
Here are some of the most popular answers using adjectives (形容詞):
     I want to marry someone who is rich (お金持ちの人).
     I want to marry someone good-looking (ルックスの良い人).
     Someone who is kind (親切な人).
     Someone funny (面白い[ユーモアがある]人).
Please notice that when using an adjective, you can shorten your answer to just two words (Someone _____.).

Of course, there are other ways to answer the same question. Changing the verb from "is" to "can" is very useful. In this case, "can" is followed by the dictionary-form of a verb (動詞の辞書形). For example:
     Someone who can cook (料理ができる人).
     Someone who can play tennis (テニスができる人).

Changing the verb to "likes" followed by a noun (名詞) is another good way to answer the same question:
     Someone who likes music (音楽が好きな人).
     Someone who likes movies (映画が好きな人).

Good luck,


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Disagreeing Dos and Don'ts

Hi everyone,

In recent posts, I've been writing about how to agree (同意する) with someone by saying "Me too" or "Me neither." Today, I want to explain what to say when you disagree (同意しない) with somebody.

For example, if a friend were to say "I like baseball" and you do too, then you could simply say "Me too" or "So do I." However, if you have a different opinion (違う意見を持っている) and don't like baseball, then you would say "I don't (like baseball)."

If that same friend then said "I don't like soccer" and you don't either, then you could respond with "Me neither" or "Neither do I." However, if you do like soccer, then you would say "I do. (I like soccer.)"

Are you confused? Just remember to change the verb from positive (肯定的) to negative (否定的) or vice versa (逆の場合も同じ) when you have a different opinion to the person with whom you are speaking.

Good luck,


Monday, 30 September 2013

Me neither = 私も = I don't either = 私も = Neither do I

Hi everybody,

In my last entry, I wrote about how to say 「私も」 in English in the affirmative (肯定的). This time, I want to teach how to say it when responding to a negative (否定的) statement. For example:

(A) I don't like natto.
(B) Me neither. / I don't either. / Neither do I.

Just like "Me too" in the affirmative, "Me neither" can be used anytime that A's comment is negative and B has the same opinion as A (BはAと同じ意見です). Since this is very convenient (便利), "Me neither" is often used by native speakers. Please remember that "don't" and "neither" are both negative. Therefore (だから), they cannot be used together in a sentence because the result would be a double negative (二重否定).

Like "I do too" and "So do I" in the affirmative, when the verb is in the past tense (過去形) in a negative statement, the responses "I don't either" and "Neither do I" must also be in the past tense. Maybe the following example is true for some of you:

(A) I didn't like natto when I was a child.
(B) Me neither. / I didn't either. / Neither did I.

Also like last entry's affirmative examples, sometimes the verb in B's response must be changed to match the verb in A's sentence. One common example is when "can" is used in the negative:

(A) I can't stand (我慢できない) the smell of natto.
(B) Me neither. / I can't either. / Neither can I.

As I told my elementary-level students, the best way to master 「私も」in English is through practice. I hope that this final example becomes true for all of you: 

(A) I can say 「私も」in English.
(B) Me too. / I can too. / So can I.

See you at E-Style,


Monday, 16 September 2013

Me too = 私も = I do too = 私も = So do I

Hi everyone,

Recently (最近) in my elementary-level classes, we have been studying how to say 「私も」 in English. Most students can use the phrase "Me too," but many don't know that there are other ways to say this in English. For example:

(A) I like English.
(B) Me too. / I do too. / So do I.

In this case, A's comment is affirmative (肯定的) and B has the same opinion as A (BはAと同じ意見です). Since A's sentence uses the verb "like," the responses "I do too" and "So do I" are fine. However, if the verb is in the past tense (過去形), then the responses "I do too" and "So do I" must be in the past tense also. For example:

(A) I liked English in junior high school.
(B) Me too. / I did too. / So did I.

Sometimes the verb in B's response must be changed to match the verb in A's sentence. One common example is when "can" is used:

(A) I can speak English.
(B) Me too. / I can too. / So can I.

Please notice (気付いて下さい) that in all of the examples, "Me too" can be used. Maybe that explains why it's so popular with students!

See you at E-Style,


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Chibi's ワン-Point English: Abyssinia, Chibiチャン (April 1, 1998〜May 22, 2013)

Hi everyone,

I am sorry that it has been such a long time since I've given you advice. The truth is that I was diagnosed with cancer (がんと診断された) earlier this year and died yesterday morning. I was 15 years old. According to the vet (獣医さんによると), I was 93 in human years. I have asked Alan to write this final blog entry for me. In it I want to teach you some words and phrases related to death.
  • Chibi died on May 22nd. (ちびチャンは5月22日に死にました。) 
  • Chibi passed away on May 22nd. (ちびチャンは5月22日に亡くなりました。)
  • His family held a wake for him last night. (昨夜、家族が彼の通夜を行いました。)
  • His funeral was held today. (彼の葬式は今日行われました。)
  • He was cremated. (彼は火葬されました。)
When someone passes away, we often say 「(心より)お悔やみ申し上げます。」in Japanese. In English, we use the phrase "Please accept my (heartfelt) condolences."

It was a pleasure teaching you English for the past several years. Take care and good luck with your future studies. I have to go now, my brother Maru-chan is calling me . . .

From Heaven with Love,