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Today’s Word: vulnerable

Today’s Word: vulnerable

February 26, 2017 =========

☆  vulnerable  傷つきやすい

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When you say that someone is vulnerable, it means that you think they are weak and without protection, so they can be easily hurt physically or emotionally. We often talk about the fact that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable members. For example, for the elderly, in Australia, even though it gets hot in summer, many elderly people don’t want to spend money on air conditioning, so they are vulnerable to heatstroke.

Of course, it’s easy to see how children are more vulnerable emotionally and physically than adults, because of their size and emotional development, but I also found this interesting fact: WHO (World HealthRead more about Today’s Word: vulnerable[…]

Today’s Word: lonely

Today’s Word: lonely

February 25, 2017 =========

☆  lonely  寂しい

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I’m sure you’ve heard of the word lonely before, but what about “lonesome”? If you like music, you may know the song, “Are you lonesome tonight?” sung by a few different artists, but for me the most famous one is Elvis Presley. I was wondering if there was a difference between “lonely” and “lonesome”. What do you think?

Interestingly, my dictionary says purely that “lonely” is used more in British English, and “lonesome” is used mostly in American English. However, online grammar pages say that someone who is “lonesome” has hope that they will find company, however, a “lonely” person does not have this hope because theyRead more about Today’s Word: lonely[…]

Today’s Word: assertive

Today’s Word: assertive

February 24, 2017 =========

☆  assertive  独断的な

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Often when we call someone assertive there is a negative nuance (especially if the person we are talking about is a woman.) However, I think that being assertive is actually a good trait. All it really means is that you state your needs and opinions clearly, so that people take notice. That seems like a sensible thing to do, don’t you think?

Being assertive, however, is seen as being a negative trait: people think you are being too confident, too pushy, too aggressive, most people try not to be assertive, which probably leads to misunderstandings and feeling bad about a situation because you didn’t say what youRead more about Today’s Word: assertive[…]

Today’s Word: easy-going

Today’s Word: easy-going

February 23, 2017 =========

☆  easy-going  のんきな

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A good way to remember a new word is to create some kind connection or funny idea that connects the two words. As soon as I saw this word, I thought of a “donkey” … the word sounds the same as the Japanese, and donkeys are quite easy-going creatures – although apparently, they are more easy-going and relaxed if you have two donkeys instead of one.

So, that is how I would remember this word if I were learning the Japanese word, for example, “a nonki donkey.” An easy-going donkey… You could use this to help you remember the English word, I guess, but it doesn’t mentionRead more about Today’s Word: easy-going[…]

Today’s Word: cynical

Today’s Word: cynical

February 22, 2017 =========

☆  cynical   皮肉な

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If you describe someone as cynical, it means that you think they believe that people always act selfishly. It is common to hear someone describe another person as having a cynical view of the world, for example. I think feeling cynical is quite a common feeling in Western culture. People feel cynical about things like:

University or college education – they cost a lot of money, and these days there is no guarantee of a job after graduation.
Elections – it seems like the person that should win the election never does.
Religion – most people feel like religion is actually just a tool for violence

Those are the mainRead more about Today’s Word: cynical[…]

Today’s Word: emotional

Today’s Word: emotional

February 21, 2017 =========

☆  emotional  感情的な

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Last weekend I watched a Netflix documentary, “Finding Traction.” It was about a female American long distance runner who wanted to beat the male time record on the Vermont Long Trail, which is 273 miles long!!! The male record is 4 days 12 hours!! Of running! With only a little sleep! Crazy! As you can imagine anyone attempting that would be a little emotional! Nikki Kimball ended up completing the 273 miles in 5 days and 7 hours. A new record for women. 

In the documentary, there is a short scene where Nikki Kimball comes in to meet her crew helping her with the run, and sheRead more about Today’s Word: emotional[…]

Today’s Word: productive

Today’s Word: productive

February 20, 2017 =========

☆  productive  生産的な

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Someone or something that is productive produces a lot or does a lot for the amount of resources (time, money, labor, materials etc.) that it used. At work, OJT (on-the-job-training) can make people more productive. Computers and Smartphones are supposed to make us more productive, I guess, but do they?! What do you think?

One of my favorites apps to be more productive is the Pomodoro Technique. It is basically a timer that is set to time 25 minutes of work, followed by a 5-minute break. Repeat this four times, and then take a longer break. Have you ever heard of or tried this technique?

Do you haveRead more about Today’s Word: productive[…]

Today’s Word: agonize

Today’s Word: agonize

February 19, 2017 =========

☆  agonize  苦しむ

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If you agonize over something, you feel very anxious about it and spend a long time thinking about it. Other words with similar meanings are: suffer, be distressed, struggle, or worry. You could use any of those words instead, however, usually when you agonize about a situation, there is a choice that needs to be decided. For example:

Shiho is worried about what high school to go to.
Shiho is agonizing over whether she should go to High School A or High School B.

He was worrying about whether to do the training course (or not).
He was agonizing over whether to do the training course or not.

Are you agonizingRead more about Today’s Word: agonize[…]

Today’s Word: complain

Today’s Word: complain

February 18, 2017 =========

☆  complain  グチをこぼす

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Earlier in the month, I told you about my youngest son complaining about brushing his teeth every day. Well, today is Saturday, and he has even more things to complain about! Since I’d love my kids to be able to speak Japanese I send them to Japanese school on Saturday mornings for three hours…

Oh my goodness! He sure does complain every Saturday morning!!! “Why do I have to go to school Every. Single. Day??” he asks me. And so of course, I say, you don’t have to go Every. Single. Day! On Sunday, you play soccer… ha ha! Of course, he doesn’t like my joke!

Do youRead more about Today’s Word: complain[…]

Today’s Word: indulge

Today’s Word: indulge

February 17, 2017 =========

☆  indulge  甘やかす

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When you indulge someone, you let them have what they want, even if it is not good for them. You’ll hear this word used a lot to describe parents (or grandparents) indulging their kids. Basically, it means they are spoiling them. Either they are buying them things they want without thinking about whether they actually need it. Or they are doing things for them that they should be doing for themselves.

For example, a teenager that lives at home should be doing their own washing. Or a child starting school should be tying their own shoelaces. Or if a child always gets the latest video game orRead more about Today’s Word: indulge[…]

Today’s Word: barter

Today’s Word: barter

February 16, 2017 =========

☆  barter  手放す

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Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time? Or that you are doing things that you don’t enjoy doing, and wish you had enough time to do the things you really want to do? A life coach in the US called Martha Beck, has a great solution for this. She calls it the “Three B’s” which stands for Bag It, Barter It, or Better it.

Bag It – This means that you just stop doing that thing you don’t want to do. In other words, toss it in the “garbage bag”.

Barter It – What if you have to do it, and can’t bag it? WellRead more about Today’s Word: barter[…]

Today’s Word: ignore

Today’s Word: ignore

February 15, 2017 =========

☆  ignore  見て見ぬ振りをする

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If you ignore someone or something, you pay no attention to that person or thing. In most cases, it means that you have noticed the thing, but chosen to disregard it. Another way to say this is to say that you “turn a blind eye to” it, in other words, we pretend that we didn’t see or know about something or someone. Here are some examples:

She felt like her husband always ignored her.
He ignored the doctor’s advice and continued smoking.
The teacher ignored the bullying.

For the last one, if you wanted the nuance that you were annoyed with the teacher, then you could use the verb phraseRead more about Today’s Word: ignore[…]

Today’s Word: panic

Today’s Word: panic

February 14, 2017 =========

☆  panic  慌てる

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

When I first lived in Japan, the Valentine’s Day “giri-choco” obligation to buy chocolates for coworkers was so strange to me. However, after a few years living in Tokyo and seeing my female coworkers buy chocolates for male coworkers that they were not dating, I got used to the idea.

And then after a few more years, I would actually panic on Valentine’s Day because I had forgotten to buy my chocolates for workmates! Of course, whenever anyone asked me where my chocolates were, I relaxed, didn’t panic, and just replied, “I’m not Japanese, so I don’t have to buy giri-choco!” 🙂

Do you like theRead more about Today’s Word: panic[…]

Today’s Word: alleviate

Today’s Word: alleviate

February 13, 2017 =========

☆  alleviate  和らげる

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Today’s word is a formal word, meaning that you alleviate pain or suffering, by doing something to make it less intense or severe. For example:

These days, there are many ways to alleviate back pain.
The government is discussing the problem of alleviating poverty.
My sunglasses are not helping to alleviate the glare from the sun today!
She rang her family every day to alleviate her guilty conscience.

If you’re not sure that you want to use “alleviate” you can also use any of these words: ease, lessen, lighten, reduce, or relieve.

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: resilience

Today’s Word: resilience

February 12, 2017 =========

☆  resilience  回復力

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Resilience is noun referring to the ability to be strong and recover easily and quickly from unpleasant or damaging events. So, obviously, resilience is going to be a key word for me in 2017!!

The quote for this week is quite important in regards to resilience. It is by Hans Selye, an Austrian scientist who was one of the first to discover that there was good and bad stress. He says, “It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” I agree, and think that people who show a lot of resilience are people who are able to control their reactions to stressRead more about Today’s Word: resilience[…]

Today’s Word: misery

Today’s Word: misery

February 11, 2017 =========

☆  misery  悲惨さ

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Misery means “great unhappiness” … which is a little strange, as “great” seems like a positive word, right? J However, in this case of course, it means “big” or “huge”… A lot of people said that 2016 was filled with misery for them – so many famous musicians and actors died, and of course, then was all the misery from wars, refugees and the political situations around the world.

So, I entered 2017 thinking the worst was over, and the misery was done with and finished in 2016… well, it seems I was wrong! Since the beginning of this year, my mother has been in hospital. MyRead more about Today’s Word: misery[…]

Today’s Word: shame

Today’s Word: shame

February 10, 2017    =========

☆  shame  恥ずかしさ

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When I was teaching in Japan, often students would get confused between “shame” and “ashamed”. Firstly, shame is a noun (and the verb, too) and ashamed is an adjective. However, both of words are used to talk about guilt or humiliation due to doing something wrong or embarrassing.

And, of course, you can guess when most students wanted to use this word, right? Yes, that’s right, when they were talking about their English ability! They’d say things like, “I feel shame because of my poor English.” Or “I’m ashamed of my bad English.”

And, of course, I always say back, don’t feel shame about your English! NobodyRead more about Today’s Word: shame[…]

Today’s Word: opinion

Today’s Word: opinion

February 9, 2017   =========

☆  opinion  意見

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Recently, with all the world political news going on, a lot of people get confused about the difference between an opinion and a fact. An opinion is a belief or view, or thought about something. Whereas a fact is anything that is done or happens and can be proved. Here are some examples to show the difference:

Today is Thursday. (Fact)
Today is Thursday, and Mark always sleeps in on Thursdays, so that is why he is late for work. (Opinion about why Mark is late to work today.)

My son had a temperature of 39 degrees this morning. (Fact)
My son had a temperature of 39 degrees thisRead more about Today’s Word: opinion[…]

Today’s Word: conduct

Today’s Word: conduct

February 8, 2017      =========

☆  conduct  行い

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Someone’s conduct is the way they behave in a particular situation. Other words that have a similar meaning: behavior, attitude, demeanor, and manner.

We often judge people by their conduct, especially if they are acting differently to what we consider normal. I am reading an interesting book right now, “A gift to my children” by Jim Rogers (the Japanese version is also available on Amazon) and in it he talks briefly about stereotypes. A lot of the time, a stereotype comes from seeing the conduct of a group of people, but what Jim Rogers says is that is a big “difference between knowing a type andRead more about Today’s Word: conduct[…]

Today’s Word: temper

Today’s Word: temper

February 7, 2017 =========

☆  temper  気分

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Your “temper” is your mood, or your state of mind. If you are in a good temper, you feel cheerful. If you are in a bad temper, you feel angry and impatient. Interestingly, most of the time you will hear people use “temper” when they are talking about a negative mood, and “mood” when they are talking about a good or positive mood. Here are some examples:

He was in a really bad temper last night!
You’re in a good mood today. (Or You’re in a good temper today.)
My mum was in such a bad temper she burned the dinner.
My son was in a good temper/mood afterRead more about Today’s Word: temper[…]

Today’s Word: reaction

Today’s Word: reaction

February 6, 2017 =========

☆  reaction  反応

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Your reaction to something is what you say, feel, or do because of that thing. It is your response to the thing that happened. For example, this week’s useful phrase is “What was her reaction?” This question could be used when someone has told someone some big news and you want to know what happened. In the example below, “X” could be something like a new job, new girlfriend, getting married, moving to another city, etc.

You: What was her reaction (when you told her about X)?
B: Actually, she handled it pretty well. (She didn’t get angry or upset.)
or
B: Badly! She was really angry about it.
or
B: Great!Read more about Today’s Word: reaction[…]

Today’s Word: replenish

Today’s Word: replenish

February 5, 2017 =========

☆  replenish  鼓舞する

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Replenish is a formal word, meaning to make something full or complete again. If you are not sure whether you should use this formal word, other words you can use instead are: refill, fill, reload, replace, restore, top up.

For example, although you could say, “He replenished his glass with water” it is more common to say, “He refilled his glass with water.” However, if you are talking about your energy level, replenish is a common word to use, “I need a good night sleep to replenish my energy!”

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: insist

Today’s Word: insist

February 4, 2017 =========

☆  insist  主張する

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If you insist that something that something should be done, you say it should be done firmly and refuse to give in, even if people are against what you are saying. Here are some example sentences:

My family insisted that I should not quit my job.
She insisted on coming with me to the meeting.
I didn’t want to go to the party, but my friends insisted.

My youngest son hates it when I insist that he brush his teeth twice a day. It is a battle every morning and night, but I keep on insisting that he do it! Hopefully one day, he’ll accept that he needs to doRead more about Today’s Word: insist[…]

Today’s Word: recuperate

Today’s Word: recuperate

February 3, 2017        =========

☆   recuperate  立ち直る

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When you recuperate, you recover your health or strength after you have been ill or injured. Although it is generally used when talking about an illness or injury, you can also take time off to recuperate if you have been really busy. I think Japan is a great place to recuperate – onsens and short trips to a ryokan is the perfect way to recuperate!

What do you do when you need to recuperate? If I were in Japan, I’d go to an onsen for the day or overnight if possible. Now that I’m living in Australia, I usually go for a walk on the beachRead more about Today’s Word: recuperate[…]

Today’s Word: justify

Today’s Word: justify

February 2, 2017      =========

☆   justify  正当化する

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When you justify your decision or action, it means that you try to show or prove that it was a reasonable or necessary decision or action. This week’s useful phrase is “You don’t need to justify yourself.” You would say this to someone who was trying to explain why they did something that they think you might disagree with.

My kids try to justify themselves all the time. For example, if the older brother hits his younger brother, he will always justify it by saying, “But he hit me first!!” I always try to say that you cannot justify violence, you should walk away, or useRead more about Today’s Word: justify[…]

Today’s Word: cope

Today’s Word: cope

February 1, 2017     =========

☆   cope  対処する

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Hello! Welcome to February!

Last month, I read a book that was filled with ways for kids to cope with stress. There were ideas for coping by doing something physical – such as going for a walk, or doing pushups, or squeezing a stress ball. There were ideas for coping by distracting yourself, for example, writing a story or doing something creative such as painting, or even watching funny videos on YouTube. And finally, there were ideas for coping by actually processing the feelings you have; by writing in a journal, writing a letter, or drawing a manga about the situation.

The book also suggested making aRead more about Today’s Word: cope[…]

Today’s Word: miss

Today’s Word: miss

January 31, 2017 =========

☆  miss  失敗する

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There are many, many different ways to use the word, miss. Let’s look at the most common ones.

If you miss a chance or opportunity, you fail to take advantage of it.
If you miss the meaning or importance of something, you fail to understand or appreciate it.
If you miss something, you fail to notice it.
In sport, if you miss a shot, you fail to get the ball in the goal or the net, or fail to hit the ball with the bat.
If you miss a train or bus, you fail to catch it because you arrive too late.
If you miss a meeting or a party or otherRead more about Today’s Word: miss[…]

Today’s Word: aim

Today’s Word: aim

January 30, 2017 =========

☆  aim  狙う

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Today is the first day of the school year for (most of) Australia. My kids will start their new year, with a new teacher today. Does that seem strange to you? We’ve just finished our six weeks of summer holidays! And the new school year starts after summer, so they will change grades and classrooms today.

This morning I was aiming to get them up early and to school on time, they didn’t get up early but we did get to school on time. Now for the rest of the day, I am aiming to finish ALL of January’s work that I couldn’t get finished because IRead more about Today’s Word: aim[…]

Today’s Word: passion

Today’s Word: passion

January 29, 2017 =========

☆  passion  熱中

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One of this week’s useful phrases is “What is your passion?” … how do you feel about this question? Would you feel comfortable asking someone this question at a party? How about if you were at a business seminar or workshop?

I really like this question, and think it is a great question to ask rather than the usual, “What’s your job?” However, it might be a little too strong or forward to ask this to a complete stranger. So, depending on the situation, you could definitely ask someone what their passion is – and I think it would be a great ice breaker and way toRead more about Today’s Word: passion[…]

Today’s Word: scheme

Today’s Word: scheme

January 28, 2017 =========

☆  scheme  行動計画

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A scheme is someone’s plan for achieving something. It could also be called a plan, a proposal, a strategy, a system, or even a tactic. Interestingly, this word sometimes has a negative nuance. For example, you might hear people talking about a “get-rich-quick scheme” or about tourists being vulnerable to scams and schemes by criminals while on vacation.

My advice then, is to use “plan” rather than “scheme” when you are talking about how you plan to reach your goals… unless of course you *are* talking about a get-rich-quick scheme! Then of course, feel free to use the word scheme. Ha ha 🙂

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: approach

Today’s Word: approach

January 27, 2017 =========

☆  approach  方法

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As you know, one approach I like for learning new English words is using Mind Maps. Generally, the words for each month are connected to the topic of the month, so you could actually try using one Mind Map for the whole month. However, you might find that there are some words that don’t fit, so a better approach is to create a few Mind Maps with related words, rather than trying to fit the whole month.

What is your favorite approach, or method, for learning new words? Have you tried Mind Maps? How about writing out sentences in your Eigo Techo using the word of theRead more about Today’s Word: approach[…]

Today’s Word: clarity

Today’s Word: clarity

January 26, 2017 =========

☆  clarity  明確さ

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When something has clarity, it is well explained and easy to understand. So, a book or an idea, or a plan to reach a goal might have clarity if they are well explained, and the difficult parts are easy to understand. One thing that helps me get clarity about my ideas and goals is asking good questions. Also, before I start setting goals for the new year, I have a kind of “closing ceremony” for the previous year! Just like the Olympics. 🙂

By reviewing 2016 and having a closing ceremony, where I ask myself some good questions, I can get clarity about the year just finished,Read more about Today’s Word: clarity[…]

Today’s Word: zeal

Today’s Word: zeal

January 25, 2017 =========

☆  zeal  熱意

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Zeal is great enthusiasm, especially in connection with work, religion, or politics. So, I guess for most people in Japan, a feeling of zeal would be related to their work and perhaps politics, rather than religion, right?

For me, I have a zeal for books. I just love reading and I love books. However, as much zeal as I feel for books, I am so grateful for my Kindle and my local library! Without them, my zeal and passion for books and reading would mean that my house was FULL of books.

What do you pursue with great zeal and enthusiasm?  

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: tactic

Today’s Word: tactic

January 24, 2017 =========

☆  tactic  方策

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A tactic is a method that will help you achieve what you want. A tactic could also be called a policy, a method, an approach, a plan, a scheme, or a strategy.

You might sometimes hear about “delaying tactics” and these are things that someone does deliberately to try to delay something starting. For example, in a simple personal situation, my youngest son hates to brush his teeth, so he always uses delaying tactics such as saying he is hungry or thirsty, so needs to eat or drink first. Or he says he is not ready for some other reason, such as still watching TV, still doingRead more about Today’s Word: tactic[…]

Today’s Word: limit

Today’s Word: limit

January 23, 2017 =========

☆  limit  限界

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Limit can be used as both a noun, and a verb. Like in this month’s topic, Go Beyond Your Limits, where it is used as a noun. In many quotes, it is also used as a noun. Do you know any? Here are some of my favorites:

There are no limits. Bruce Lee (This week’s quote.)
Once we accept or limits, we go beyond them. Albert Einstein (Last week’s quote)
You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get. Michael Phelps
And, I’m not sure who said this quote originally, but “The only limit is the one you set yourself.” is also a powerfulRead more about Today’s Word: limit[…]

Today’s Word: create

Today’s Word: create

January 22, 2017 =========

☆  create  創造する

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To create something means to cause it to happen or exist. When you create something, you produce it. The opposite of destroy. When you create something completely new, we often say that you invent it, which is the word for when you create something new.

Although I often find that I waste a lot of time on Facebook and surfing the Internet, I do love the way we now have access to all the amazing things that people around the world have been creating. There are so many creative people all over the world, and the Internet gives them a way to share what they are creatingRead more about Today’s Word: create[…]

Today’s Word: undertake

Today’s Word: undertake

January 21, 2017 =========

☆  undertake  着手する

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Here are the two main ways to use undertake:

When you undertake a task or job, you start doing it and accept responsibility for it. For example;
He undertook the difficult task of monitoring the online sales for the company.
She didn’t want to undertake any action, as she was not clear what she ought to do next.

The second way, is that if you undertake to do something, you promise that you will do it. For example;
She undertook to edit the book herself.
He undertook to exercise more in the future.

There is a third meaning, but this is probably not one you will need to use! To undertake a funeralRead more about Today’s Word: undertake[…]

Today’s Word: reassess

Today’s Word: reassess

January 20, 2017 =========

☆  reassess  再評価する

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The other useful phrase this week is, “You might want to reassess the situation.” When you reassess something, you think about it and decide whether you need to change your opinion about it. This could mean that you change your opinion from positive to negative or from negative to positive, regarding the situation.

So, “You might want to reassess the situation.” could have a positive or a negative nuance. A funny example for me, is that my oldest son and I are trying to run all of the “parkrun” (weekly free 5km running races) locations in our state, South Australia. When we decided this goal, I thoughtRead more about Today’s Word: reassess[…]

Today’s Word: sabotage

Today’s Word: sabotage

January 19, 2017 =========

☆  sabotage  ダメにする

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This week’s useful phrase includes this one: I hope I don’t sabotage my diet! This is a really common thing for people (OK, mostly women, I guess!) to say. When you sabotage something, you do something to deliberately stop it from being a success. So, if you say you are sabotaging your diet, what you mean is that you have probably eating healthy food and exercising, but suddenly you are eating cake or drinking too much alcohol.

Sabotage is a common verb to use when talking about goals. So, the example above is a weight loss goal. However, if you have a goal to live abroad forRead more about Today’s Word: sabotage[…]

Today’s Word: quell

Today’s Word: quell

January 18, 2017 =========

☆  quell  (不安などを)おさえる

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When you quell something, you stop it. This word is usually used when talking about feelings. For example, you can quell an unpleasant feeling such as fear or anger, and this means that you stop yourself (or others) from having that feeling. So, a parent might quell a child’s fear of the dark by talking sweetly to them and letting them have a night light on in their room.

Or if you have an opportunity to speak English, but feel nervous about it then you could quell your fears of speaking English by practicing in advance. Or preparing a few key sentences to say at first soRead more about Today’s Word: quell[…]

Today’s Word: persist

Today’s Word: persist

January 17, 2017 =========

☆  persist  やり抜く

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Persist means to continue, to carry on, to persevere. Last year I wrote an article about persisting and persevering. Strangely though, I spelled the word, “persevere” wrong Every Single Time!! How crazy is that! I kept trying to put in an extra “r” so I was spelling it “perseRvere” each time. The problem is that it sounds like there is an “r” in there, so I was spelling it how it sounded.

This little lesson taught me that I was good at persisting! I really did persist until I had finished that article, even though it was difficult and annoying! It also reminded me of the ideaRead more about Today’s Word: persist[…]

Today’s Word: accept

Today’s Word: accept

January 16, 2017 =========

☆  accept  引き受ける

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There are a couple of ways to use “accept” so let’s have a look at those today.

If you accept something that you have been offered, then you agree to take it. For example, “He accepted the job offer and starts on Monday.”

With advice and suggestions: If you accept someone’s advice or suggestion, you decide to do what they suggest. For example, “I hope my boss accepts my proposal.”

With situations and people: If you accept a difficult situation, you recognize that it cannot be changed. For example, “She shouldn’t accept his terrible behavior!” However, we don’t say that we cannot accept a person, when we want toRead more about Today’s Word: accept[…]

Today’s Word: potential

Today’s Word: potential

January 15, 2017 =========

☆  potential  可能性

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Have you seen the movie, Eddie the Eagle? It is based on the true story of an Englishman who wanted from a very young age to be an Olympian. He didn’t care what sport, he just wanted to be an athlete and go to the Olympics. The problem was that he basically had not skill or potential in any kind of sport!

The movie is about how he tries all kinds of sport and has no potential at any of them, but he chose to be a ski jumper, because Britain had no regulations about qualifying for that sport and there were no other ski jumpers inRead more about Today’s Word: potential[…]

Today’s Word: momentum

Today’s Word: momentum

January 14, 2017 =========

☆  momentum  勢い

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If something gains momentum, it keeps developing or happening more quickly. Sometimes we talk about something gaining momentum, and use the saying, “full steam ahead” meaning that you are moving forward with a lot of energy, enthusiasm and momentum. When you give an engine “full steam” it will go at maximum power.

So, how are you going with your English study so far in 2017? Is it full steam ahead for you? Have you gained a lot of momentum over the past two weeks? Or have you lost a bit of momentum since the New Year? My mom is doing great and will be out of hospitalRead more about Today’s Word: momentum[…]

Today’s Word: headway

Today’s Word: headway

January 13, 2017 =========

☆  headway  進歩

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Oooh, Friday the 13th! Does Friday the 13th have any superstitions attached to it in Japan? In Western culture, it is considered by many to be an unlucky day, but no one is really sure why!

So, today’s word, headway, is used in the sense of “make headway” which basically means to “make progress”. Here are some example sentences:

He is disappointed that they haven’t made any headway in the case.
The police are making headway in their investigation.
Our company’s new product has been making rapid headway in the electronics world.

How about you, have you been making steady headway towards your 2017 goals?

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: exhilaration

Today’s Word: exhilaration

January 12, 2017 =========

☆  exhilaration  ワクワクした気持ち

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Exhilaration is a strong feeling of excitement and happiness. What kinds of things give you a feeling of exhilaration? My list would look like this:

Jet coaster / roller coasters
Bodyboarding at the surf beach
Japanese matsuri festivals during Obon season – I just love the music and the dancing, they really bring me a sense of excitement and happiness – and exhilaration.
Swimming underwater – although, I’m not sure if this is exhilaration, or lack of oxygen. Ha ha 😉

What is your list of things that you feel exhilaration at?

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: aptitude

Today’s Word: aptitude

January 11, 2017 =========

☆  aptitude  才能

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Speaking of foresight from yesterday, I wish I’d had the foresight to write these daily emails in advance! Oh well!

So, today’s word is aptitude, and it refers to someone’s ability to learn an activity quickly and do it well. Other words with a similar meaning are: gift, ability, intelligence, and talent. Do you know any others?

What do you have an aptitude for? I feel that I have an aptitude for photography, but I’ve only ever done it as a hobby. But, just recently one of my photographs was used in a Buzzfeed article, so I was pretty happy about that! Has anything ever happened to youRead more about Today’s Word: aptitude[…]

Today’s Word: foresight

Today’s Word: foresight

January 10, 2017    =========

☆  foresight  展望

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Someone’s foresight is their ability to see what is likely to happen in the future and to take appropriate action. So, I have some sad news, but it does relate to today’s word. Last year, my mother had an operation to fix her broken arm. She had the foresight to write out a plan about what she would want to happen to her if something went wrong.

She had the foresight to make a plan that said she didn’t want to have any artificial machines keeping her alive if she got sick. Unfortunately, yesterday she had a heart attack. Luckily, she was found and got toRead more about Today’s Word: foresight[…]

Today’s Word: mark

Today’s Word: mark

January 9, 2017   =========

☆  mark  目標

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When we talk about a “mark” we are aiming for, we mean our target, our goal, our objective, our purpose. It is more common to use this word in business, to describe the mark you are aiming for, whereas in your personal life you would more likely talk about goals.

This week’s quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and he has good advice on how to reach your mark or goal:

“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.”

This is so true, don’t you think? When we aim to hit our mark, we sometimes don’t reach it, however, if we aim above our mark, then evenRead more about Today’s Word: mark[…]

Today’s Word: grounded

Today’s Word: grounded

January 8, 2017      =========

☆  grounded  しっかりした

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Depending on the dictionary you use, you might not find this word in it. You’ll most likely find “ground” and see that “being grounded” means a ship that is stuck and has hit the bottom of the sea and cannot move, or a plane that is grounded, meaning that it is stuck on the runway, waiting to be allowed to take off.

In fact, a more common, everyday usage of this word is to describe someone who is sensible and has a good understanding of what is really important in life. So, do you know anyone you would describe as being grounded? How about you, wouldRead more about Today’s Word: grounded[…]