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Today’s Word: recovery

Today’s Word: recovery

March 23, 2017 =========

☆  recovery  回復

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There are a few different ways to use recovery. Firstly, if someone is sick, but becomes well again, then they have made a recovery. For example, the doctor said the chance of recovery is very high.

When a country’s economy makes a recovery, it means that it improves. For example, the government thought that cutting interest rates would bring about an economic recovery, however, nothing has changed so far.

And one more way to use this word is to talk about the recovery of something, which means that you got it back after it was lost or stolen. For example, a reward is being offered for the recoveryRead more about Today’s Word: recovery[…]

Today’s Word: transformation

Today’s Word: transformation

March 22, 2017 =========

☆  transformation  変化

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A transformation is a change, an alteration, a metamorphosis. Here are some example of the word in use:

I’ve been making plans for the transformation of my attic into a study.
I can’t believe the transformation of the area, it looks great!
What an astonishing transformation!
In the last five years, he’s undergone a personal transformation.

I think the biggest transformation I have ever made in my life was going from a lawyer in Adelaide to an English teacher in Tokyo! That was a big transformation! How about you? Have you ever undergone a personal transformation? What did you change? Was it your weight? Your clothing style? Or maybe something bigger,Read more about Today’s Word: transformation[…]

Today’s Word: exasperation

Today’s Word: exasperation

March 21, 2017 =========

☆  exasperation 激怒

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Exasperation is a feeling of annoyance or frustration or anger. For example, “Mark clenched his fist in exasperation.” Or “I don’t know what she was angry about, but there was a hint of exasperation in her voice.” And, “There was a look of exasperation on his face.”

Usually when I Google ideas for these mini mails, I google song lyrics or books to check the content matches what I want to say. Today I googled images related to exasperation. The results were pretty funny! I got a whole page of search results of people’s faces, showing exasperation for one reason or another! If you have a moment,Read more about Today’s Word: exasperation[…]

Today’s Word: moment of truth

Today’s Word: moment of truth

March 20, 2017 =========

☆  moment of truth  決定的瞬間

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If you refer to a time or event as the “moment of truth” you mean that it is an important time when you must make a decision (sometimes quickly), and whatever you decide will have important consequences in the future.

For students in Japan, the moment of truth would come when they need to decide which high school they will go to, as this will most likely affect the university they can choose, right? Another time someone might face a not-so-important moment of truth, is if they are on a diet and someone offers them cake! To eat and break the diet or not toRead more about Today’s Word: moment of truth[…]

Today’s Word: complicated

Today’s Word: complicated

March 19, 2017 =========

☆  complicated  複雑な

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Something that is complicated has many parts or aspects, and so it is difficult to understand or deal with; it is complex.

Have you ever seen any of the New Zealand TV adverts for safe driving? They are very powerful, and often go viral around the world. One of the adverts from about 6 years ago, was about teenagers from the Maori culture, and drink driving. The main guy doesn’t want his friend to drive home because he has had too much to drink. When his friends ask him what is wrong, he says, “I’ve been internalizing a really complicated situation in my head.” Meaning that heRead more about Today’s Word: complicated[…]

Today’s Word: restrained

Today’s Word: restrained

March 18, 2017 =========

☆  restrained  地味な

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You can describe things or people as restrained.

When you talk about a person who is restrained, you mean that they are calm and unemotional. For example, “I don’t know why, but her greeting was a little restrained. She is usually much more friendly.”

When you talk about clothes or decorations in a house being restrained, you mean that you like them because they are simple and not too-bright. I’m not sure about in Japanese, but this is kind of a positive word, for example, “Her black suit was restrained and expensive.” In this case, the word is similar to tasteful and unpretentious. If you said it wasRead more about Today’s Word: restrained[…]

Today’s Word: steep

Today’s Word: steep

March 17, 2017 =========

☆  steep  (カーブなどが)急な

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Something that is steep rises at a sharp angle and is difficult to go up – so we talk about steep hills in the mountainside, or the steep roads of San Francisco. However, one of the most common uses of this word is in the idiom, a “steep learning curve”.

A steep learning curve means that something is difficult and takes a lot of effort to learn. This idiom comes from the idea that steep mountains are difficult to climb. The good thing about steep mountains is that the view at the top is fantastic, right? And that’s kind of the same for something with a steepRead more about Today’s Word: steep[…]

Today’s Word: rash

Today’s Word: rash

March 16, 2017 =========

☆  rash  無謀な

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If someone is rash or does rash things, they act without thinking carefully first, and therefore make mistakes or behave foolishly. This week’s useful phrase is “You shouldn’t really be so rash.” You could use this to talk to a child or teenager that you feel is acting impulsively without thinking. You could also say something like that to a coworker or subordinate if you felt that they were making hasty decisions without considering the consequences.

If you wanted to give advice to someone who is in a bad situation and feeling very emotional, you could say something like this, “Don’t do anything rash until you haveRead more about Today’s Word: rash[…]

Today’s Word: susceptible

Today’s Word: susceptible

March 15, 2017 =========

☆  susceptible   影響を受けやすい

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If you a susceptible person you are very easily influenced emotionally. We generally use “to” with this word, so if you are “susceptible to” something or someone, you are very likely to be influenced by them. For example:

Young people are the most susceptible to advertisements.
He was extremely susceptible to flattery.
She was so susceptible to the green-eyed monster! (i.e. susceptible to jealousy)
Sitting at a desk for work all day makes most people susceptible to back and shoulder pain.

Are you susceptible to anyone or anything right now?

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: impending

Today’s Word: impending

March 14, 2017 =========

☆  impending  切迫した

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Today’s word is a formal word to describe an event that is going to happen very soon. It is often used to describe negative events, such as having a bad dream and awaking with a feeling of “impending disaster.” In fact, people who suffer from depression or anxiety often have a sense of “impending doom” and so this is now a medical term!

However, it’s not all bad news! You could talk about the happy news such as an impending arrival of a friend from overseas, or the impending arrival of a baby that will be born soon. Or someone might be getting married soon, so youRead more about Today’s Word: impending[…]

Today’s Word: grueling

Today’s Word: grueling

March 13, 2017 =========

☆  grueling 厳しい

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A grueling activity is extremely difficult and tiring to do. For example, you might have a grueling schedule. Last year my kids had a grueling schedule actually. It was exhausting!! Monday after school they did school soccer. Tuesday, they did after-school study. Wednesday my older son had club soccer training. Thursday my younger son had club soccer training. Then Friday my older son had more club soccer training. As if that wasn’t grueling enough, on Saturday they had Japanese school, and on Sunday, they played in soccer matches.

My goodness! No wonder they were always so exhausted. This year, luckily our schedule is not quite so grueling,Read more about Today’s Word: grueling[…]

Today’s Word: clean slate

Today’s Word: clean slate

March 12, 2017 =========

☆  clean slate  白紙の状態

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If you start with a “clean slate”, you do not take account of previous mistakes or failures and make a fresh start. For example, if you have been negotiating a contract at work and the negotiations were not successful, you could say, “We intend to start the negotiations again next week, with a clean slate.”

A clean slate is an opportunity to start over without any prejudice to what has happened in the past. You might hear this word in the news reports about athletes. For example, a “bad boy” athlete, might get a clean slate when they change teams or change their attitude. They mightRead more about Today’s Word: clean slate[…]

Today’s Word: moment

Today’s Word: moment

March 11, 2017 =========

☆  moment  機会

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Usually we use “moment” to refer to a very short period of time, such as a few seconds. When you ask someone to help you, they might say, “Just a moment.” meaning they will help you in a few minutes.

However, it also has the meaning like today’s word, of being a moment in time when something happens. For example, the moment you decided to change jobs. Or the moment you met someone who would change your life. Or the moment when you had an Aha for a situation you are dealing with. So, in this case, moment can also be similar in meaning to chance orRead more about Today’s Word: moment[…]

Today’s Word: malice

Today’s Word: malice

March 10, 2017    =========

☆  malice  悪意

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Malice is similar in meaning to March 7th word, animosity. It is behavior that is intended to harm people or their reputations, or cause embarrassment or upset them. When we hurt or harm someone by accident, we will often say, “There was no malice on my part.” meaning that we didn’t intend to upset them.

Since we already have two words with similar meanings, why not make a Mind Map of these and other words that are similar? Here’s a list of some words you could put on the Mind Map:
malice
animosity
ill will
hate / hatred
spite
hostility
resentment

Do you know any others?

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: catastrophe

Today’s Word: catastrophe

March 9, 2017   =========

☆  catastrophe  大失敗

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A catastrophe is an unexpected event that causes great suffering or damage. It is usually used for things like wars and environmental catastrophes, however, when you want to emphasize that something is a real disaster for you, then you could call it a catastrophe.

Right now, though, you’ll most likely be hearing this word in political news. President Trump has said that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel letting in a million refugees into Germany was a catastrophe. What do you think? Can you think of anything else happening in the world right now that could be called a catastrophe?  

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: indication

Today’s Word: indication

March 8, 2017      =========

☆  indication  兆候

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An indication is a sign which suggests what people are thinking or feeling, or suggests what is going on. For example, in a formal situation, such as someone in a hospital, the doctor might say that a certain symptom is an indication of an infection. But you can also use it to describe signs of feelings and thoughts. For example:

All the indications suggested that my boss was going to approve my pay rise.
He gave no indication that he wanted to end the relationship.
She showed no indication of leaving the party early.
The homestay student didn’t display any indication of homesickness.

As you can see from the exampleRead more about Today’s Word: indication[…]

Today’s Word: animosity

Today’s Word: animosity

March 7, 2017 =========

☆  animosity 敵意

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Animosity is a strong feeling of dislike and anger. It is a strong word to use between people. You will most often hear it to describe the hostility or hatred between two countries, in news reports, for example: “There is a long history of animosity between the two nations.” Or “The Middle East countries feel a lot of animosity toward each other.”

However, you could also use it to describe a situation between people, such as in a terrible divorce. In fact, often when the divorce is not mutual, or if there are children involved, there is a lot of animosity between the ex-couple. If youRead more about Today’s Word: animosity[…]

Today’s Word: commotion

Today’s Word: commotion

March 6, 2017 =========

☆  commotion  混乱

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This is one of my favorite words! I just like the sound of it, and the meaning, too. A commotion is a lot of noise, confusion, and excitement. I often ask my two boys, “What is all the commotion?!” when they are outside yelling and screaming about something. Usually it is just because they scored a soccer goal or something – it’s never anything serious!

However, a commotion could be seen as something that is a noise of something serious. For example, a disturbance in the street, or drunk people travelling home on the train after karaoke making a lot of noise could be a commotion. Although,Read more about Today’s Word: commotion[…]

Today’s Word: falter

Today’s Word: falter

March 5, 2017 =========

☆  falter  ためらう

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If you falter, it means that you lose your confidence and stop doing something or you keep doing it but start making mistakes. For example,
“He never faltered in his resolution to get his job back after being unfairly dismissed.” In other words, he kept going and trying, he never hesitated or stumbled.
Or
“As she neared her ex-boyfriend’s apartment, her steps faltered.” In other words, as she got walked and got closer to her ex-boyfriend’s apartment, she began to feel nervous and unsteady, and it was hard to walk.

You can also say that your voice falters, which means that when you are speaking, you hesitate, or pause, orRead more about Today’s Word: falter[…]

Today’s Word: persevere

Today’s Word: persevere

March 4, 2017 =========

☆  persevere  耐え忍ぶ

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Do you remember back in January, when we learned the word “persist” I told you that I kept spelling “persevere” wrong? It is so frustrating, because I still spell it wrong! I still try to spell it as “perseRvere” when there is no need for that extra R!

So, I guess for me, that something I (still) need to persevere through is learning to spell this word! I have to keep trying and not give up, even though it’s difficult. Which is a perfect definition for persevere: keep trying and don’t give up, even though it’s difficult.

What are you persevering with at the moment? Is there anyRead more about Today’s Word: persevere[…]

Today’s Word: oppose

Today’s Word: oppose

March 3, 2017 =========

☆  oppose  反対する

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If you oppose someone or oppose their plans or ideas, you disagree with what they want to do and try to prevent them from doing it. Here are some example sentences:

Many parents oppose bilingual education in schools as they are worried that it will affect the level of education.
My boss always opposes anything I suggest at meetings; it’s very frustrating!
The new boss is so aggressive that no one dare oppose him.
I’m planning to oppose the changes.

Can you use oppose in a sentence?

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: negotiate

Today’s Word: negotiate

March 2, 2017      =========

☆  negotiate  交渉する

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When people negotiate, they talk about a problem or situation in order to solve the problem and find a solution that everyone is happy with. When I was studying law, we had to read many textbooks on negotiating and how to do it. They were soooo boring!! Don’t get me wrong, I think negotiating and being able to negotiate are very important, but textbooks on the topic are not interesting!

However, I did read one book on negotiating which was interesting. An old book, by Robert Ringer, called, Winning Through Intimidation. The title makes it sound awful, what kind of person writes a book about intimidatingRead more about Today’s Word: negotiate[…]

Today’s Word: inform

Today’s Word: inform

March 1, 2017     =========

☆  inform  通知する

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Welcome to March! This month’s topic is “Farewells and New Beginnings.” Although it farewells and endings are often sad, the good news is as Seneca says in this week’s quote, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The cycle of life, right? Beginnings, followed by endings, followed by beginnings and round it goes.

When you inform someone of something, you tell them about it. However, if you talking about what you did on the weekend, you wouldn’t inform someone about what you did, this word is too formal; you would just tell them what you did.

So, when you use “inform” it is generally becauseRead more about Today’s Word: inform[…]

Today’s Word: way

Today’s Word: way

February 28, 2017 =========

☆  way  道筋

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There are so many different ways to use the word “way”… oh! I just showed you one way to use it, by accident, just then! However, today’s meaning is more like this: path, route, journey, approach. For example, we set a goal, and then decide the path or way that we will that goal.

Sometimes, we talk about people going their “different ways” in this case, we mean that their lives are developing differently, and they have less contact with each other. For example, high school friends, if one decides to travel and one decides to get a corporate job, it’s likely that they’ll lose contact andRead more about Today’s Word: way[…]

Today’s Word: suggestion

Today’s Word: suggestion

February 27, 2017 =========

☆  suggestion  提案

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If you make a suggestion, you put forward an idea or plan for someone to think about. For example, if you wanted to offer advice to someone you could say, “Can I make a suggestion?” Or if you are at a meeting and you want to put forward your ideas, you could say, “I have lots of suggestions for the company’s future.”

If you took someone’s advice, then you could thank them, or let them know by saying something like this, “I followed your suggestion and started going for a walk at lunchtime.” Or when relating back information or advice you have received, you could say, “TheRead more about Today’s Word: suggestion[…]

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[…]