June 1st, 2023
-furious = VERY angry (sounds like “curious”)
My mother is the only person who makes me angry.
My sons often make me angry and drain my energy, but they are so cute and nice.
My mother complains and criticizes me./My mother is critical of me and my siblings. She is critical of anyone she doesn’t like.

I can’t stand people who criticize.
I can’t stand/I hate/really dislike people who…
On the other hand, I like people who are honest.
If someone doesn’t like something, I want him/her to tell me everything. 
Just tell me! Just be honest!
I want him/her to tell me the good and the bad.
pros and cons (good things and bad things)

Why does “pros and cons” sound strange to describe the tea? 

This tea has a nice aftertaste.

-envy and jealous
envy (verb)
jealous (adjective)

I envy you. 
I’m envious (of you).
I’m jealous (of you). – easiest one to use

I can’t help doing that. (aizuchi)
There are pros and cons to aizuchi. 

Oh, I see.
Oh, I understand.
Now I understand.

-criticize (vb.)
critical (adj.)
criticism (noun)

-My body is tired.
I’m physically tired.
I’m physically exhausted.

I’m mentally/emotionally tired.
I’m mentally/emotionally exhausted.

What did you do this week? How has your week been?
(From Monday until today OR in the last seven days)

I drank a special lemonade. It had many layers with different colors. As I was drinking it, the layers ended up mixing.

I don’t know how to make lemonade. 
Dilute the lemon syrup with water. 
The lemon syrup is diluted with water. 

Japanese recipes are very detailed, specific, and long. 
Japanese recipes are elaborate. American recipes are simple and direct.
elaborate (adjective) 
elaborate” = more than you need

elaborate (verb)
Can you elaborate? = Can you explain more? 
Can you give me more details? = Please tell me the small pieces of information. 

-potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams
(russet potatoes, red potatoes, yellow potatoes)

Cumi’s mashed potatoes
1. Peel and cut the potatoes.
2. Boil the potatoes.
3. Mash the potatoes.
4. Add a lot of butter and some plant milk.
5. Mix. If the potatoes are too dry, add more butter and/or plant milk (oat or almond milk).
6. Season to taste. (Garlic powder, salt, and pepper)

May 25th, 2023

-auto pilot (automatic pilot, pilot=person who flies the plane)
I was on auto pilot and went to the wrong bus stop. (I was not thinking about what I was doing. I just did what I normally do.)

-My son will study abroad at the end of August/the last week of August/in late August.
-at the beginning of August
in the first week of August
first of August = August 1st 

-The Japanese yen is weak, so the high cost is partly related to that.

-partly = not completely
Why are you studying English?
It’s partly because I want to try different foods and partly because I want to interact with the people there. I also want to go to art museums and see different types of architecture.

Why were those beans so delicious?
It’s partly because I used special beans and partly because I added extra sugar.

Why is this tea so delicious?
It’s partly because I used thick soy milk and partly because I used special tea leaves.

-If you didn’t teach it to me, I couldn’t get the meaning.

-While my son is abroad, I will also travel.
As my son goes abroad (sounds unnatural) 

NEXT WEEK: as vs. while

-I want to go, but I can’t. (about the future)
I want to go, but I won’t.
I want to go, but I shouldn’t. 
I wanted to go, but I couldn’t. (about the past)

-could and would can both be hypothetical
If I had a million dollars, I could buy ten houses. (買えます)
If I had a million dollars, I would buy ten houses. (買います)

-Could you tell me how to get to the station?
Would you tell me how to get to the station?

-Was soundproof insulation put in between the offices?
Soundproof insulation was put in between the offices.
The food was eaten.
Was the food eaten?
Was the game cancelled?
The game was cancelled.

-I need to practice listening to English.

I used a thick soy milk. 
I used special soy milk. It is thick soy milk.

I might as well go abroad at the same time because I won’t have to take care of him. 

I asked Nao and she is happy to join/join me.
Join ____
Join me/us
Please join the party.
Please join the dinner.

-fried egg (sunny side up/overeasy) 
This means the egg was fried in a pan.
fried and deep fried

-I ate so much pizza yesterday.
(This could mean 4 slices of pizza.)
I ate two pizzas yesterday. (two whole pizzas)

slice of pizza/piece of pizza
slice of pie/piece of pie
slice of cake/piece of cake
slice of bread/piece of bread
I ate two slices of bread.
I ate so much bread. (could mean four slices or a whole loaf)

I had one scoop/cup of ice cream.
I had some ice cream.

I drank two cups of coffee.
I drank some coffee.

sheets of paper (not papers)
I ate three pieces of/types of meat.

-It shocked me. (verb)
It was a shock. (noun)
It was shocking. (adjective)

It was such a shock.
It was so shocking.

May 18th, 2023

-He hangs out with his friends.
Yesterday he hung out with his friends.

-Japanese only have a little bit of free time. (negative)
Japanese have a little bit of free time. (could sound positive)

-My son started his job two years ago.
My son has had this job for two years.

He manages two restaurants. He is the only full-time worker.
He is always very stressed./He always has a lot of stress.

That’s why my husband runs his own company.
They have to transfer to another location/city. 
They have to make a decision.

He might be working so hard that he is becoming depressed. 
Because he is working so hard, he might become depressed.

I will work hard as long as I can.

-紅茶 = koucha/kōcha = black tea

-Why would you say something like that?
Why would you say that?
*We use these when we think the person should not have said that. It’s usually used when the other person says something mean, rude, etc.
emotional OR hypothetical 

NEXT WEEK: explanation of “would”

-Why did you say that?

-Why are you talking like that?
Why are you talking that way? 

-He was in a situation where people were doing drugs.
He was in a situation in which people were doing drugs.

The office I’m using at the moment is very small. 
The office which I’m using at the moment is very small.
I’m using a small office. = I’m using it. (Which)
The office where I’m working is very small. = I’m working there. (Where)

The school I’m buying is very expensive.
The school which I’m buying is very expensive.
The school where I’m studying is very expensive. 

The house she’s selling is very big.
The house which she’s selling is very big.
The house where I’m living is very big.

-raspberries sounds like “razz berries”

tart, sour, acidic
tart = a little bit sour
acidic = Oranges are sweet and acidic.
Lemons are sour and acidic.
Vinegar is sour and acidic.

My husband puts black beans on rice. He likes that way of eating, but I don’t like it.

-deviled eggs
-cranberry cookies with dried cranberries

May 11th, 2023

-I had my hair dyed. OR I had my hair colored.
-I don’t like that hair salon very much. 
I don’t want to go, but I want to go.

-I want to go to the fourth floor. – “Four, please.”

-I found it in the countryside.

-I was in the park./I was at the park. (Both are okay.)

-I bought one.
I bought many.

-Apples aren’t in season, but I found some.
The apple season starts in September, and we can get many different types of apples for the next six months.
We can get many apples until March. 
The last month is March.
-Apples are seasonal because there are specific seasons when they taste the best.
Apples are not in season right now.
Apples are not seasonal. = Apples are delicious all year round. 

-He’s worried about drugs. His friend was in a situation where people were doing drugs. 
He wants to study abroad. / He wants to do study abroad. 
(X He wants to go to study abroad.)
He wants to go and study abroad.
He wants to study at home.
He wants to study everywhere.

He likes America the best. (most natural)
America is the country he likes best.
The country he likes best is America.

-medical marijuana

-They planted thirty lemon trees in their field because they have so much land.
-They also planted vegetables. 
They planted flowers.
I don’t want to, but I want to. (about planting vegetables)
Watering is such a hassle. It’s a lot of work. It’s too much work.


I’m going to have a baked potato for lunch. 
I’ve never eaten it, but it looks so delicious. 

I used lettuce for my sandwich. 
I used three heads of lettuce for this dinner. (X I used three lettuces.)


At first I didn’t like it, but now I’m used to it.
At first I didn’t like it, but now I do.

Have you tried “fruit tomatoes”?
They’re sweeter than other tomatoes. 
Farmers are trying to grow sweeter tomatoes. 
My husband’s family grew tomatoes. 
Traditional tomatoes are not sweet. So they wanted to add sugar.
Farmers have many ideas for how to make foods delicious. 

Are you interested in … ?

The vegetables in the supermarket aren’t very fresh. 

I’m not very domestic. (cooking, cleaning, creating a nice home)

Countable and uncountable nouns

April 26th, 2023
-Are you going to go anywhere next week?
-My mom used to participate in the festival. She does a traditional dance. She wears a mask and dances. It always rains during this festival. 

-Cumi will check: Here you are, there you are, here you go, there you go

-on Google, type in “how to pronounce”
practice during and doing

during (time period)
during dinner
during summer vacation
-What do you talk about during dinner?|
We talk about what happened that day/during the day. (X for the day)
-What are you doing during Golden Week?
My second son is transferring from Kurume to Kokura.
I will help my son move during Golden Week. 
-What are you doing for summer vacation? What are you doing during summer vacation?

-all day = I studied English all day.
X What happened all day = sounds strange

Whenever/When I have time, I listen to music. (X don’t use  always with “whenever”or “when” phrases)

-review from last week
I haven’t taught/I haven’t been taught
Scared a dog
I scared a dog. I was scared by a dog.

loved a cat
I have loved a cat. I have been loved by a cat. 
Have you been loved by your cat?

What kind of…
What kind of food will you eat during Golden Week?
I am going to eat meat because we are going to Yamaguchi prefecture to have a barbecue with friends.
What else will you do during the barbecue? 

have a barbecue (X do a barbecue)
have a party (X do a party)
have fun (X do fun)
have a good time/trip

married couple = X family
Our friends who are a married couple
Sayuri lives with her husband. (X Sayuri lives with her family.)
Sayuri has three sons. She has a big family.
My friends who are husband and wife
We will go to our friends’ house. They’re married.
My friends Eddy and Jamie have two children.

-They are starting another company. It will be an agricultural company.
(They are starting another agricultural company. = They will have two agricultural companies.)

-suburbs X countryside 

They want to buy kitchen cabinets/cupboards.
What kind of kitchen cabinets do you like?
I like a natural wood style. (X taste)
Sayuri has good taste in kitchen cabinets.
She has good fashion sense.
She has good taste in clothes.
She has a casual taste in fashion./She wears casual clothes.
My husband has good taste in suits. He doesn’t have good taste in casual clothes.
I don’t care about what he wears. He can wear anything. 

If I’m in the same situation, I also say that.
I also don’t say that./I don’t say that either. (Same meaning)

me too vs me either/neither
Use me either/neither in response to a negative sentence
I like ice cream. – Me too.
I don’t like ice cream. – Me neither.
I hate ice cream. – Me too.
I don’t hate ice cream. – Me neither. 

If you don’t know which one to say, use “I feel the same way” or “I understand how you feel.”

April 19th, 2023
-I feel productive. 
-We had to go to the hospital more than ten times in one month.
-We often go to an eel restaurant for special occasions, like birthdays and celebrations.

I haven’t taught / I haven’t been taught
I haven’t eaten tiger. / I haven’t been eaten by a tiger.
I haven’t kissed an elephant. / I haven’t been kissed by an elephant.
I haven’t hugged an orangutan. / I haven’t been hugged by an orangutan.

-We shouldn’t be away from our families for a long time because our families need us.
-It’s not a good fit. ふさわしくない

What kind of pottery do you like? 
What kind of food do you like with coffee? I like to eat yōkan with coffee.
What kind of sauce do you like to eat/have with meat?
What kind of seasoning does he put on it?

We dip our steak in soy sauce and wasabi. 
It’s so delicious. You have to/should try it.

normally and usually have a similar meaning
What kind of food do you usually/normally have for dinner?

-I’ll try what you recommended/suggested.
(do not need to say ‘recently’)

-My brother got married in Hawaii.
I did, too.
Only relatives and a few friends.
We had the ceremony at a church and the reception at a hotel.
My dad passed away/died 15 years ago.
He was young when he died.
1997 – 15 years before (1982)
“ago” – sounds like you’re counting from the present time
15 years ago sounds like 2008 (2023-15)

People in Hawaii are easygoing, so I can be easygoing, too.

April 5th, 2023
-I haven’t been taught by a native speaker.
-Now I help my husband with his work.
-I’m interested in different cultures.
-When they have trouble, I need to help them.
-You can take the bus to my house.
-I can help them every time anytime.
-I can adjust to your schedule.
-We will make our schedule at the last meeting of the month.