2008年07月29日

The best hamburger in the world





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The BEST hamburger in the WORLD!!
General Lesson

Do you know where the best hamburgers in the world come from? Watch my video below to find out!  







Watch the video below.
(下のビデオを見てください。)ボリュームUP, Please わーい(嬉しい顔)


>









Useful Language



  • They say that the best..(hamburgers).. are in..(America).. but they are wrong.

  • It's made of ..(rice and traditional Japanese beef)

  • It's ..(spicy)







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Activity: Now it is YOUR turn! Tell us about where you think the best hamburgers in the world come from here:
http://askjohnenglish.com/learn/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=51

Write a description of the hamburger or make a video about it!
posted by John at 22:24 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(3) | TrackBack(0) | はじめに

2008年07月16日

Listen Carefully and Speak Well!

Learning Pronunciation

When you learn pronunciation, it is important that you listen carefully!

If you cannot HEAR the sound correctly, you will not be able to SAY it correctly!

Watch this video to see what I mean! It is from the movie 'Pink Panther'



Question: How do you practice pronunciation?
posted by John at 22:25 | シドニー | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 発音

2008年07月14日

What would you do?

A Riddle For you!

Do you know what a riddle is?

A riddle is a question that seems easy, but has a trick to answering it! To answer, you must think carefully about the words in the question, otherwise you will get it wrong!

Here is an example riddle:

 

You walk into a dark room.... In the room there is a candle, a fireplace and an oil lamp. You have only 1 match. There is no electricity, and you cannot see anything.

What would you light first?

Put your answer here: http://askjohnenglish.com/learn/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=14#p226

You will see many other fun riddles here too: http://askjohnenglish.com/learn/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=14

タグ:riddle english
posted by John at 18:59 | シドニー | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | はじめに

2008年06月30日

How to learn English vocabulary

Today, let's look at learning English vocabulary.

 Q: What is the best way to learn vocabulary?  

 A: The best way to learn vocabulary is to use it! That means you need to READ, WRITE, LISTEN and TALK!!

You will find that if you do this with NATIVE English material, you will find a lot of USEFUL words to learn. I think this way is much better than learning from a vocabulary book.

I know in my experience, when I learned a new word by EXPERIENCING it, I would REMEMBER it!

By experiencing it, I mean: 
  1. meeting the word in a real language situation
  2. not knowing what it means
  3. finding out the meaning (maybe with a dictionary or from a friend)
  4. then using the word.

If you are always READING, WRITING, LISTENING and SPEAKING English as much as possible, your vocabulary will grow and grow and GROW!

 Q: But where can I use English? I have no English speaking friends!

 A:  Easy! - take a look at the new Ask John English  site! It is free to join!

In the site you can: chat to other people in the

And the exciting news - soon a new voice chat will be available! Meet and chat with others in English for free!

Finally there is a way to practise conversation on the Internet!

Hope to meet you in the new site soon!
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Question: How do you learn vocabulary? Share your advice in the forum here: http://askjohnenglish.com/learn/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=35

posted by John at 21:28 | シドニー | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年06月18日

Kidding, joking or teasing?

General English Lesson

Just kidding! Or am I teasing?

 Q: I would like to know about the words, 'kidding', 'teasing' and 'joking'. They are the same in meaning, right? Which one is the most polite?
             

 A:  These words are all very similar, BUT they can also be different. let's take a look: 

NEW VOCABULARY (新しい単語):

  • kidding - To make fun of; mock playfully.
  • joking - Something said or done to make you laugh, such as a funny story.
  • teasing - To make fun of; mock playfully.
  1. To joke means to laugh at something funny.   
  2. To mock (tease or kid), means to laugh at someone. Sometimes this can be friendly and sometimes not.
  3. Which one is more polite? All of them can be rude or polite! It depends on how you use them! In a friendly way or a not friendly way! look at the examples below to see what I mean.

 Examples 例:
1. A child is playing at school. The other children laugh at him and call him 'fat' and 'stupid'. The child starts to cry and says to the teacher: "They are teasing me!" -  This is an example of unfriendly teasing.
2. A wife walks into the house very dirty after fixing the car. The husband looks at her and laughs "Don't you look beautiful!" She then smiles and says, "Don't tease me!" - This is an example of friendly teasing. In fact it is a way for the husband to flirt with her! ('flirt' means to tease someone you are attracted to, so that they will notice you!)

3. Two friends are at a party. Bob is late, so he says, "Sorry I'm late!"
The other friend, Michael, says, "Well the party is over now!"
Bob looks surprised, so Michael says, "I am just kidding! The party is still going! Come inside!" - This is an example of friendly kidding.

I hope this helps! Now! Let's take a look at 'joke' The best way to explain is to share a joke!

Here is a comedy sketch called "The Killer Joke"

Watch the video below. You will see a story about a person who writes a very funny joke!
(下のビデオを見てください。)ボリュームUP, Please わーい(嬉しい顔)

Click here to read the script for this video

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Activity:

Do you know any good jokes?


Share your joke here: http://www.askjohnenglish.com/learn/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=27

(I have put one there for you to see, so take a look!)

Question: Did you tease other children when you were at school? Were you teased?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 22:35 | シドニー ☁ | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年06月16日

Verb Tense Practise!

General English Lesson

Tense Practice

Read the paragraph below and fill in the gaps. make sure you use the correct tense!

Word List:
  • kills 
  • attacked
  • was cleaning
  • cleaning
  • capitalises

        


Tiger 1. keeper at zoo in Kyoto 

Cage 2. goes terribly wrong after 150-kg Siberian man-eater 3. on fatal mistake. 

A 150-kg tiger 4. and killed its keeper Saturday while he 5. its cage at a zoo in Kyoto, Japan.

 
Show Answer

Source: The Japan Times


Now, read the full article. (下の*****てください)

Open Article





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posted by John at 17:48 | シドニー ☁ | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年06月12日

Actually, literally, basically, naturally

Intermediate English LessonActually, literally, basically and naturally.

 Q:  How do you use these words properly (in proper meaning with proper context) in conversation or for writing:
                actually, literally, basically and naturally.

             

A: Let's take a look!

NEW VOCABULARY (新しい単語):

  • actually  - in fact
  • literally - the direct truth with no exaggeration
  • basically - at a basic level
  • naturally - Without a doubt
  • exaggeration - to make something bigger than it really is 
    EXAMPLE: ONE person was angry with me today, but I say "Everyone was angry with me today."

           

 Examples 例:
Actually

Actually means the same as 'in fact'

1. He told me he was doing his homework, but actually he was watching television!

He told me he was doing his homework, but in fact he was watching television!

2. I didn't expect her to clean the house, but when I came home I found that she had actually done it!
I didn't expect her to clean the house, but when I came home I found that she had in fact done it!


Literally

Literally means to tell the direct truth with no exaggeration.
1. Bob was so angry that he literally kicked Michael out of the house.
This sentence uses 'literally' to show that the phrase 'kicked Michael out of the house' is what actually happened. 'Kicked him out' can be an idiom that means to 'ask someone to leave'. But in this sentence Bob really did kick (with his foot!) Michael out of the house! So we can say he 'literally kicked him out!'
2. It took me literally weeks to write that letter!
This sentence uses 'literally' to show that it really took many weeks to write the letter. 'It took me weeks' is a phrase that is sometimes used to mean 'a really long time'. It is an exaggeration. In this sentence the word 'literally' makes it clear that it really did take weeks to write the letter - not just a long period of time.


Basically

Basically means to say something at a basic or simple level. Like giving a summary.
1. Mary told Bob that she ended their relationship because she basically didn't love him anymore.
There are many reasons why Mary ended the relationship with Bob. He is smelly, lazy, selfish, rude.... but rather than tell Bob the long list of problems, she gives a summary - that she 'basically' doesn't love him anymore.
2. The teacher said that basically I need to rewrite my whole essay!
Again, there are many problems with the essay - grammar, spelling, the content ... but the student gives a summary of the situation by saying 'basically I need to rewrite the whole essay'.


Naturally

Naturally means to say something without a doubt.
1. The new restaurant sold water at $10 a glass. Naturally, it was not a very popular menu item!
We would expect people not to buy such an expensive glass of water! So we can use the word 'naturally'.
2. When I was on holiday in Sydney I visited the animal park, where I held a cute koala, naturally.
Holding a koala is something that most people want to do at animal parks in Australia. It is expected, so we can use the word 'naturally'.


Actually, there are some other slight variations on the meanings of these words, but this is basically a good start of the main usage!

Naturally, you will want to practice using these words, so do the activity below! It should only take you literally 5 minutes or so!
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Activity: Write 4 sentences using the words: 'actually', 'basically', 'naturally' and 'literally'. I will give you feedback!
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 17:08 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年06月10日

Which sentenceis a paraphrase?

Intermediate English Lesson

Paraphrasing - Which one is correct?

           
 Yesterday we talked about paraphrasing. You can read about it here: PARAPHRASING LESSON

Which one is the paraphrased sentence?

(hint - it is the sentence that has the SAME MEANING!)
         

SENTENCE
Global warming is thriving outside my air conditioned apartment, which is churning out a mass of carbon emissions to keep me cool.
A) The pollution from my air conditioner is one of the causes of air pollution and adds to the problem of global warming.
B) My air conditioner pollutes the warm air of my apartment, making it too cold and full of global carbon emissions. 


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Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 19:31 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(8) | TrackBack(0) | はじめに

2008年06月09日

How to Paraphrase

Intermediate English Lesson

Paraphrasing - What is it? How to do it!

           
 Are you able to paraphrase effectively?

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is when you use different words, to say the same meaning.
         

 Example:

Look at these two sentences:

A: The government says it has no choice but to progressively allow the price of fuel to increase.
B: According to the government, there is no way to stop the rise in the price of petrol.
They both have the same meaning, but they use different words:

The government says = According to the government

it has no choice but to progressively allow = there is no way to stop

the price of fuel to increase = rise in the price of petrol

ACTIVITY:
Please rewrite this sentence keeping the same meaning but using different words (an easy one this time!)

"Many people in Japan buy food at the supermarket everyday."

Put your answer here: http://askjohnenglish.com/learn/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=26

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Question: Why is paraphrasing an important skill to learn? Can you use it to improve your speaking skills? How?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 09:46 | シドニー 🌁 | Comment(13) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年06月02日

How old do you start school?

General English Lesson

School in Australia.

 Q: Can you tell me about education in Australia?

    オーストラリアの教育について教えてください。

 A: Sure! もちろん!

The first 7 years of school in Australia is called 'Primary School'. Children usually start at the age of 6 years old.

オーストラリアの学校の初めの7年間はプライマリースクールと言われています。通常6歳から学校に行くことになります。

The first class they enter is kindergarten. This is followed by grades 1- 6. The school day for Primary School students usually starts at 9 am and finishes around 3.00 - 4pm. Students study all kinds of subjects, including foreign  language.

一番最初はキンダーガーデンと呼ばれるクラスに入ります。その後、1年生から6年生と言う風に続いていきます。プライマリースクールはの一日の時間割は9時から始まって3時か4時で終了します。子供達は色々な科目を外国語を含めた色々な科目を勉強します。

The most popular languages are Indonesian, Chinese and Japanese.

特に人気のある言語は、インドネシア語、中国語、そして日本語です。

At the age of around 12, children enter High School. High School is also for 6 years. We do not use the word 'grade' in High School. We say 'year'  - year 7, year 8, Year 9, year 10, year 11 and year 12. 

12歳位になると今度はハイスクールに入学します。ハイスクールも6年間です。私たちは、ハイスクールではGradeという単語は使いません。Yearという単語を使って学年をあらわします。
例えば、Year 7, Year 8, Year 9......


Years 11 and 12 are the most challenging for students, as at the end of year 12 all students must take an exam - the Higher School Certificate (or HSC).

Year 11とYear12は学生にとってとても忙しい時期になります。Year 12の最後に、全ての生徒は、the Higher School Certificate もしくはHSCと呼ばれるテストを受けなくてはいけないからです。

Students must study very hard for this exam and it is a very stressful time for most teenagers!

学生はその試験に向けて一生懸命勉強しなくてはいけません。ティーンエイジャーにとっては一番ストレスがたまる時期です。


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Question: How about school in your country? Tell me about it!
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 22:53 | シドニー ☔ | Comment(4) | TrackBack(0) | オーストラリアでの生活

2008年06月01日

Pronunciation Practice

General English Lesson

Pronunciation Practice.  発音の練習

 
             

 A: Let's look at a great song, to practice our pronunciation!  
     発音の練習に、この歌を使ってみましょう。
         

I love this song! It is from the Miyazaki animated movie 'Tales of Earth sea'. The song is called 'Teru no uta', or in English "Teru's song'.

First, let's listen to it in the orginal language - Japanese.  

私はこの歌が大好きです。これは、宮崎駿監督の映画「ゲド戦記」で使われた歌です。
この歌は「テルの歌」、英語では「Teru's Song」と言われています。
まずは、オリジナルの言語である日本語から聞いてみましょう。

Read the English subtitles as you listen! 
聞くときに、英語の訳を読みましょう。

               

Watch the video below.
(下のビデオを見てください。)ボリュームUP, Pleaseわーい(嬉しい顔)



      Now, listen to the song in
English:
      今度は英語で歌を聞いてみましょう。

Watch the video below.
(下のビデオを見てください。)ボリュームUP, Please わーい(嬉しい顔)


          Now, you have a try! 今度はあなたが練習をしてみてください。

            Use the recorder below to record yourself! Can you sing any lines of the song?  下にあるレコーダーを使って自分自身の発音を録音してみましょう。うまく歌詞を歌えましたか?
    
            (Note
: The recordings from this page will NOT be saved or heard by anyone, except you! So have a try!)
    このページで録音したものは、録音をした人しか聞くことができません。ですから、ぜひトライしてみてください。

Click on 'OPEN VOICE RECORDER' below, to record yourself singing!
(下のレコーディングを聞いてみてください)ボリュームUP, Please わーい(嬉しい顔)

Open Recording Tool 


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Activity: There are some other great songs that my friends have recommended to listen to here: http://askjohnenglish.com/learn/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=12

Have a listen and add your favourite song.

If it is a song YOU can sing in English, that is even better!!

posted by John at 19:16 | シドニー ☁ | Comment(14) | TrackBack(0) | 発音

2008年05月30日

Please help me improve my English!

General English Lesson

The NEW Ask John English Discussion Forum is now OPEN!.             

: Great news!! After a lot of hard work, the NEW Ask John English Discussion Forum is now open!

Yes I have been working very hard lately!

Why?

I want to build a place that you can come to and not only learn English, but also that you can USE English!

I get MANY emails from people asking me:

"I really want to improve my English, but I don't know what to do! In my country there are no chances to speak or use English! Please help!"     

So I am doing my best to help - and the new Ask John English Discussion Forum is the first of my many plans to help you!   

 NOTES:
  1. The web address for the new forum is: http://askjohnenglish.com/learn/course/view.php?id=5
  2. All members from the old forum have been moved to this new forum. (You should have been notified by email already!)
  3. The new forum has MANY new features! One exciting one is you can listen to and create VOICE messages!! How cool! 

Homework Activity:

1) Join the new forum.

2) go to the topic: INTRODUCE YOURSELF!

3) Write a short paragraph about yourself.
    You could include:
  •         The country you are from OR
  •         your hobbies OR
  •         why you want to learn English OR
  •         The countries you have visited before OR
  •  anything you want!
4) Read what other people have written! There are some interesting and friendly people to meet!

See you in the new forum soon!
ƒuƒƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: What do you think is the most important thing to do, to improve your English?

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 07:43 | シドニー | Comment(9) | TrackBack(0) | はじめに

2008年05月27日

Make an order, Place an order, or just Order?

General English Lesson

Today, let's talk about shopping on the Internet.

Q:  I want to purchase some items from a website. I decided to write them an email to ask how to "place the order" or how to "make the order"

I don't know that which sentence is correct,

"place the order" or "make the order" or something else?
             

A: Shopping on the Internet is quite popular these days! Even I buy and sell things on the Internet! This week I sold my old TV on ebay!

Back to your question, BOTH are correct! Look at the examples below. Watch closely how I use my articles (a, an, the).
        

 Examples 例:
  • I want to make an order for 12 boxes of chocolate
  • I want to place an order for 12 boxes of chocolate.
  • I want to order 12 boxes of chocolate.

or past tense:
  • I made an order for 12 boxes of chocolate on May 1. Why haven't they been delivered yet?
  • placed an order for 12 boxes of chocolate last week. When will they be delivered?
  • ordered 12 boxes of chocolate on Monday. They should be here tomorrow! I can't wait!

I hope that helps!

Talking about shopping on the Internet, take a look at this great program that teaches pronunciation!
Improve YOUR Pronunciation Today!
It looks realy good! Maybe I'll tell you more about it next time!

HAPPY SHOPPING EVERYONE!


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Question: Do you buy or sell things on the Internet? Why or why not?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!


Soon: More on pronunciation and critical thinking!
次週は:

posted by John at 19:26 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(8) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年05月14日

My attention is hooked!

I'm hooked!

 Q: When someone 'hooks' or 'is hooking your attention'...what does it mean? 

 A: Another great idiom!

A 'hook' is something we use when we go fishing. Look at the picture:

hook.jpg<- A hook.



When a fish is 'hooked', it cannot escape!

The phrase 'hook my attention' means you have my full attention and I do not want to focus on something different. My attention is all yours!

EXAMPLE 1: The beautiful girl walking down the street hooked his attention. (The beautiful girl walking down the street was so beautiful that he just kept looking at her. He could not look away!)

We can also use 'hooked on' when we are talking about something we really like.

EXAMPLE 2: I am hooked on jazz music. (I love jazz music)

It can also be used to mean 'addicted'.

EXAMPLE 3: He is hooked on drugs. (He is addicted to drugs)
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Question: What are you hooked on? What hooks your attention?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 21:59 | シドニー | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年05月05日

I am under the weather...

I am under the weather...

Sorry I haven't been writting lately! I have a lot of messages in Mixi and on this blog to catch up on.

I have been a bit under the weather.

But don't worry! I hope to be back on top of things soon!!

Question: What does: 'under the weather' and 'on top of things' mean?

Put your answer in the comments!!
posted by John at 17:51 | シドニー | Comment(5) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年04月28日

Misery likes company

General English Lesson

Misery likes company

sawakoicon.JPG Q: What does 'Misery likes company' mean?

johnicon.JPG A: Nice idiom!

'Misery likes company' means that when someone is miserable (unhappy) they like to make everyone else unhappy as well! 

For some people this is very true! When they are unhappy, they don't want anyone else to be happy! They try to make everyone feel down.

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Question: What do you do to make yourself feel happy when you are sad?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 20:53 | シドニー | Comment(7) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年04月23日

Did you use critical thinking when you read about the dangers of rice?

Upper English Lesson

Is Eating Rice Really Bad For Your Health?               

A few days ago I told you some rice facts:        

Rice Facts:
Fact 1: All people who became sick in Japan in 2007 had eaten rice.
Fact 2: People killed in car crashes in China in 2002 had eaten rice sometime in the week before the crash.
Fact 3: Everyone who is bald in Japan has eaten rice at least once in their life.
and the big one - 
FACT 4: ALL people who ate rice in China, Japan, Korea and Australia in 1850 are now dead.

CONCLUSION: Eating rice is bad for you! It makes you bald, sick, crash cars and it kills you!

Many of you told me that you eat rice everyday and that it is not bad for you.

Now, my 4 facts are all true! BUT, my conclusion is WRONG!

QUESTION: Why did I write such a silly message?

ANSWER: I want to teach you about 'critical thinking'.

Critical thinking is when you think for yourself about what you read, watch and listen to. After thinking, you decide if it is correct or not

When you read my article on eating rice, did you believe me?

No! You read it, then you thought about it, then you decided I was wrong!

QUESTION: How did you decide I was wrong?

ANSWER: Easy! You were able to see my conclusion was wrong, because you know about rice!

But, what if I told you some facts (true facts like these) on a topic you don't know about or you don't know much about, would you be able to decide if my conclusion is right or wrong?
  • Would you think about it?
  • Would you study about it and then decide?
  • Would you just believe me?
What I am showing you here, happens everyday, all day!

People are always telling you 'facts' that support the wrong 'conclusion'! It happens:
  • on TV news
  • in newspapers
  • in schools
  • in books
  • with friends

A lot of the time!!

Over the next week or so, let's practise critical thinking!

I will show you some videos and news articles, which I want you to think about critically.

So come back soon, and put your thinking cap on!

"Put your thinking cap on" is an idiom that means "You need to think carefully"

TIP: Don't believe everything you read, see or hear!
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Question: Do you believe everything you see in the news on TV? Why or why not?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 18:24 | シドニー ☔ | Comment(4) | TrackBack(0) | はじめに

2008年04月21日

Can you use 'besides'?

Intermediate English Lesson

How do you use 'besides'?

sawakoicon.JPG Q:  In a previous lesson you talked about 'besides'.
                I thought 'besides' means 'and'
                Eg. I have two brothers besides Tom.
                私はトム以外に2人兄がいる。
                Does 'besides' mean 'and'?

johnicon.JPG A: 'Besides' can be used as a preposition or as an adverb. Let's look in the dictionary:

Besides: Preposition:
  1. other than, except
  2. In addition to
Adverb (Conjunctive)
  1. as well also, moreover, furthermore

Using 'besides' to mean 'in addition to, as well as'  

Example 1: I have two brothers 'besides' Tom. 

                In this sentence, the word 'besides' is a preposition before the noun 'Tom'. 
                Therefore:          I have two brothers 'besides' Tom. =  
                                            I have two brothers 'other than / except / not including / in addition to' Tom.

Example 2: 'Besides' tea, I usually drink water. 

                In this sentence, the word 'besides' is a conjunctive adverb, linking the two things I drink: 'tea' and 'water'. 
                Therefore:  'Besides' tea, I usually drink water. =  'In addition to / As well as' tea, I usually drink water.

 Example 3: 'Besides' washing the car, I have to do my homework this weekend. 
                In this sentence, the word 'besides' is a conjunctive adverb, linking the two things I have to do: 'wash the car' and 'homework'. 
                Therefore:  'Besides' washing the car, I have to do my homework this weekend. =  'In addition to / As well as' washing the car, I have to do my homework this weekend.

    QUESTION: How do I use 'besides' to mean 'except'?

                    Look at these examples. They all use 'besides' to mean 'except':

Example 1: It rained everday last week, besides Wednesday. 
Example 2: Everyone in my class likes me, besides Peter. 

Example 3: Besides Australia, there are no countries in the world that have wild kangaroos. 

    What can you see in these sentences?

    Yes! That is right! They all use 'every' and 'no' words! - everyday, everyone and no
    So when you use 'all, every, no, none' words in your sentence, then 'besides' means 'except'

ƒuƒ�ƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Activity: Write two sentences. 
  1. Use besides to mean 'In addition to'. 
  2. Use besides to mean 'except'

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!


Tomorrow: More on the dangers of eating rice!

posted by John at 20:29 | シドニー ☁ | Comment(7) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年04月17日

Eating Rice Will Kill You!

Upper English Lesson

Eating Rice is Bad For Your Health.                

Did you know eating rice is bad for you! In fact, according to these statistics, eating rice will kill you. Take a look:

Rice Facts:
Fact 1: All people who became sick in Japan in 2007 had eaten rice.
Fact 2: People killed in car crashes in China in 2002 had eaten rice sometime in the week before the crash.
Fact 3: Everyone who is bald in Japan has eaten rice at least once in their life.
and the big one - 
FACT 4: ALL people who ate rice in China, Japan, Korea and Australia in 1850 are now dead.

CONCLUSION: Eating rice is bad for you! It makes you bald, sick, crash cars and it kills you!
ƒuƒ�ƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: What do you think? Do you know anyone whose health has been damaged by eating rice?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 05:57 | シドニー ☁ | Comment(6) | TrackBack(0) | はじめに

2008年04月15日

A frog in the spinach!

Intermediate English Lesson

Adverbs and adjectives!             

johnicon.JPG : Today, let's look at an interesting article from the newspaper. See if you can fill in the missing words (adverbs and adjectives) using the words in the box below! 
         

Tree frog found alive in packet of spinach

A 1. _________ tree frog 2. _________ avoided becoming lunch to an 3. _________  shopper after finding its way into a packet of spinach.
The woman was unpacking her groceries when she spotted the Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog and  4. _________  freed it from its 5. _________  prison.
Show Answer
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

NEW VOCABULARY (新しい単語):

  • quickly
  • plastic
  • narrowly  
  • unsuspecting 
  • green

Read the full article below.

Open Article



ƒuƒ�ƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: Did you get it correct? Have you ever found anything strange in your food?

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 22:16 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(4) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

2008年04月11日

Except? Except for?

General English Lesson

Except? Except for?

 Q: I have a question about the diffierence between except and except for. I have consulted dictionaries, but I still haven't got the difference. Please help me!!

johnicon.JPG A: The word 'except' is similar in meaning to 'but not', 'not including' or 'besides'.

 Example 例:
  • It rained everyday except Wednesday.
  • It rained everyday, but not Wednesday.
  • It rained everyday, not including Wednesday.
  • It rained everyday besides Wednesday.
 
Now, 'except' and 'except for' can be tricky! Sometimes they are used the SAME WAY. Other times they are used DIFFERENTLY. Let's take a look.

When you can use both.
If you use words that mean 'all', 'any' or 'none' before you use 'except'. 
 Examples 例:
  • Almost everyone went to the party, except for me. 
  • Almost everyone went to the party, except me.
  • He ate the whole pizza except for one small piece, which he kept for his girlfriend.
  • He ate the whole pizza except one small piece, which he kept for his girlfriend.

When to use 'except for' only.
In other sentences use 'except for' - especially before nouns.

 Example 例:
  • The class was late, except for the youngest boy. (noun phrase- the youngest boy)
  • The dinner was delicious, except for the dessert.  (noun - the dessert)

When to use 'except' only.
Before verbs, prepositions and conjunctions.

 Example 例:
  • She is always angry except when she meets Masahito. (conjunction - when)
  • He did nothing except drink beer all night. (verb - drink)
  • He likes all kinds of sports except playing basketball.  (verb - playing)
  • He is always late except on Mondays. (preposition - on)

Practice Time! Try the quiz below!

 Quiz:


ƒuƒƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: Did you find the quiz useful?

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 03:37 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(11) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年04月09日

Does English have a future tense?

Advanced English LessonIs there a future tense in English, or just modality?

 Q:  Is there such thing as Future Tense? Most textbooks include future tense, but my colleague says that there is no such thing as future since it is just a MODAL. He says that there are only 2 tenses, the present and past. What can you say about this?
             

johnicon.JPG A: Interesting question!

As far as many linguists are concerned, there are only 2 tenses - past and present. This is because there is no future verb form. You can see in the example below that although there is a verb form that shows past and present, there is no verb form that shows future. Rather, future is created by adding 'will' to the present form of the verb.

 Example 例:
pastpresentfuture
ranrun(will) run
swamswim(will) swim
watchedwatch(will) watch

However, outside linguistic circles there is definitely a future tense.

Most people would see tense as a way of expressing:

  • PAST - what DID(or did not) happen, 
  • PRESENT - what IS (or is not happening) and 
  • FUTURE - what WILL (or will not happen). 

So all 3 tenses are referring to something that is definite in one of the three timeframes (past, present, future). By 'definite' I mean it did happen - or it did not.

Modality is used to express uncertainty and opinion. It might, could or should happen.

 Example 例:
pastpresentfuture
could have rancould be runningcould run
should have swamshould be swimmingshould swim
might have watchedmight be watchingmight watch

Conclusion:

When it comes to language teaching and learning there is a future tense. In fact, I often refer to more than just these three (past, present, future) tenses when I teach!

ƒuƒ�ƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Activity: Do you know what the other tenses are called? Can you give an example for each? Have a try!
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 04:19 | シドニー ☁ | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年04月05日

Can you answer a question...?

A Question.... 英語と日本語?英語だけ?

Have you noticed that Ask John English is changing?

I am now working hard to improve this blog and make it a GREAT place for you to come and LEARN and USE English.

But a question....

Do you think it is better for my blog to be in English AND Japanese, or English only?

I am thinking of putting a button on the page so that readers can choose to see English only, or English with Japanese.

What do you think?


Please help me to make my blog better! I want this to be a place for YOU!


Please put your opinion in the comments!
posted by John at 18:11 | シドニー | Comment(8) | TrackBack(0) | はじめに

2008年04月04日

花粉症!! Please help!

AHHHHCHOOOO! My Friend's Question!

sawakoicon.JPG Q: Today,I went to hospital because I have 花粉症. How do you say 花粉症 in English?
             

johnicon.JPG A: You have 花粉症? Oh dear! Me too! In English 花粉症 is 'hayfever'.

I am alergic to grass and tree pollen, so I always get hayfever in spring!

 Points To Remember:


  1. I am alergic to... pollen/grass/fish/milk
  2. I have hayfever.
  3. I get hayfever in spring.

        Hope you are ok now and that your week is happy!
ƒuƒ�ƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: How about you? What are you allergic to?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!


posted by John at 15:41 | シドニー | Comment(3) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年04月01日

You CAN do it!!

A Story of Success!

johnicon.JPG A: Recently I asked for my friends to offer some advice on getting working holiday jobs in Australia. One of my friends gave some very useful ideas and advice. Here it is:

Q1.  Have you been on a working holiday?

A: Yes!
I was a working holiday maker when I first came to Sydney, Australia!
Long time ago though.....hehehe

 

Q2. How did you get a job?

A: Rang so many Australian companies in the travel industry and asked for job interviews(Full time /Part time /Casual, even Job experience! anything!).
Luckly I got a job at one one travel agent that was a subsidiary of Ansett Airlines which no longer exists in Australia...sob sob.
They asked me to stay and raised my wage ! 

I never wanted to see myself working at a Japanese Restaurant!


Q3. Did you use a resume and reference letters?

A: No, but I had a great reference from ex-boss at the Sydney travel agent!
I still keep in touch with him!


Q4. What is your advice for people looking for a job on a working holiday?

A: Don't be afraid!
Be nice to anybody who you meet (You never know that chances are everywhere!)
Try harder!
Trust yourself!

がんばれ〜!

What awesome advice!! Thank you!!
ƒuƒƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: On a working holiday, what should you wear to a job interview? 

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 16:42 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年03月31日

But my boss can't speak English! help!

Working Holidays and reference letters.

My friend asks:

 Q: I would like to go on a working holiday and do a job I have never done before. Is a reference letter useful? I have no experience in the area I want to work. Also my boss cannot write English. What should I do?


A: Thank you for your question!

Yes having reference letters is very helpful. Even if it is a new kind of work that you have never done before, job reference letters will tell about what you are like as a worker.

  For example, a job reference letter may mention that you:
  • work hard
  • work well with other people in a team
  • are not late to work
  • are creative
  • are honest
  • have good ideas

and more..!

You see, a reference letter tells about what you did in your past job, but also tells what kind of worker you are. So if you can, it is better to get a reference letter from your boss.

You are right about the language problem. If your boss cannot write English, it may be a problem. If you know your boss well, maybe he could write one in Japanese, then you could write it in English and ask him to sign it.

If you are going on a working holiday, then reference letters may not be so important, as most people on working holidays work in restaurants or other similar kinds of work. Remember: They are still useful though!! they could help you to get the kind of job you want on a working holiday

I hope this helps!


ƒuƒƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: Have you been on a working holiday? How did you get a job? Did you use a resume and reference letters? Let's all give some advice for my friend!
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 04:50 | シドニー | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年03月20日

Getting a job - Letter of Recommendation

Letter of Recommendation.

 Q: I have applied for a job, and they have asked me to provide 'letters of recommendation'. What does this mean?

仕事に応募したんですが、Letters of Reccommendationを提出するように言われました。これは何ですか?

 A: In most Western companies, you must have 'letters of recommendation' or 'references' from your past employer (your old boss).
西欧のほとんどの会社では、過去の雇用者からの推薦状とかレファレンスというのが必要になります。

Usually it is a letter, where your past employer explains:
これらは手紙で、過去の雇用者があなたについて人物紹介をしている内容のものです。

  • what you did in that company (the duties you performed) and 
  • その会社で何をしていたかや(会社での責務)
 
  • the personal qualities you may have (such as your attitude to work, how professional or hard working you are)
  • あなたの仕事振りなどです。(仕事に対する姿勢など)
 

Here is an example letter of recommendation I found on the internet, to show you what I mean:
推薦状の例を見てみましょう。これは、インターネットで見つけた一例です。

 Example Letter:

To whom it may concern:

I would like to recommend <Your full name> as a candidate for a position with your organisation. In her position as Staff Assistant, <your name> was employed in our office from 2002 - 2006. <your name> did an excellent job in this position and was an asset to our organization during her tenure with the office. She has excellent written and verbal communication skills, is extremely organized, can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done.

During her tenure with <company name>, <your name> was responsible for supervising the department office assistants. These assistants, under <your name>'s management, were responsible for many of the office's basic administrative and clerical functions.

<your name> effectively scheduled and managed several assistants to maintain efficient office operations.

<your name> was always willing to offer her assistance and had an excellent rapport with the many constituents served by our office including clients, employers, and other professional organizations. She would be an asset to any employer and I recommend her for any endeavor she chooses to pursue.

Yours truly,

<your employer's name>

source: http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/referenceletters/a/empreference.htm

Please note that this letter is an example! Do not copy it and use it for your reference! 
この手紙はただの例ですから、その部分は理解してくださいね。
これをあなたのレファレンスに間違ってもコピーして使うような事がないように。

You need to talk to your past employer and ask them to write such a letter for you.
こういった手紙は過去の雇用者にお願いをして書いてもらう必要があります。

If they do not know how, this example letter could be used as a model, and then changed to suit your details!
もしも、雇用者がどのように手紙を書けばいいのかが分からない場合は、この例をモデルとしてあなたに合うように変えて書いてもらえば良いと思います。

Good luck with the job!
仕事を探している人は、頑張ってくださいね。



ƒuƒƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: Do you have any letters of reference? If not, start getting them when you change your job! Just ask you boss when you leave!
質問:レファレンスのレターを持っていますか・もしも、持っていないならば、次に仕事を変える時には、いただいておいたほうがいいかもしれません。仕事を辞める時に、上司の方にお願いしましょう。

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!


Next week: Let's start to learn clear English pronunciation!
次週は:

posted by John at 17:08 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | ビジネス英語

2008年03月17日

Cooking using the sun!

Cooking using the sun!

Here is what I had for dinner last week! I cooked in using the sun!
これは先週のディナーの様子です。
太陽を使って料理しました!
是非、見てください。

Take a look:





Question: Do you have any ideas on how we can save the environment?
posted by John at 19:19 | シドニー ☀ | Comment(5) | TrackBack(0) | オーストラリアでの生活

2008年03月12日

I can't use English in Australia much.

Using English in Australia

Today, a question from one of my friends:
今日は、友達の一人からの質問です。

 Q: I have a question. 質問があります。

I don't know what I should do to improve my english. 英語力を伸ばすためにどうしたらいいかが分かりません。

 I have been in Australia for 2 years but I don't understand what people say. 私はオーストラリアに2年ほど住んでいるのですが、人が何を言っているのかが良く分かりません。

I'm living with Japanese friends, so I speak Japanese at home. 私は日本人の友人と住んでいるので、家では日本語を使っています。

I only use English at school and when I meet my friends, but all my friends are also from the laguage school (Korean, Thai and Indian).英語は学校で友達と話すときくらいしか使いません。また、私の友達は英語学校からの友達なので、韓国人やタイ人、インド人になります。

Do you have any suggestions? 何かいい案はありませんか?

           A:

This is a very common question! これは一番多い質問です。

Many people find it difficult to make local friends when they live in a different country - including me! 多くの人が、他の国に住むとローカルの友達を見るけるのに苦労するようです。僕もそうでした。

I have found the best way is to do something fun, that you enjoy with local people. 一番いい方法は、あなたも一緒に楽しむことができて、一緒にできる人を見つける方法だと思います。

This could be a sport or a hobby. それは、スポーツだったり、もしくは趣味だったり。

In China, I learned Kung-fu and also dancing (I am a terrible dancer though!)中国にいたとき、僕はカンフーとダンスを習いに行きました。(ダンスはあんまり上手ではありませんが。)

In Japan I took classes in Kyudo, Karate and even traditional ink painting!  日本にいたときは、弓道、空手、絵画などのクラスに行きました。

When I took these classes, I understood NO Japanese! これらのクラスを取っていたとき、日本語は全然分かりませんでした。

It was a great way to learn! それはとっても良い勉強になりました。
I also got to meet real everyday Japanese people - not just people who were my students! そして、そこで僕は本当の友人に出会いました。 - 僕の生徒ではなくてね。

I recommend you find something you enjoy, or something new that you have never tried, and then join a club or give it a try.
あなたが楽しめる何かを見つける、もしくは今まで一度もトライした事がない事をやってみる、もしくはクラブなどに入ってみることしてみたらいいと思います。

I also think going to church is great.
それから、教会に行くのもいいかもしれません。

Usually the people there are friendly, and it is a safe place to be.
そこに行く人多くの人は、フレンドリーですし、友達を見つける場所としては安全な場所です。

Most churches also offer free English classes in Australia.
オーストラリアでは多くの教会が無料の英会話クラスを提供しています。

Take a look at the one near you!
家の近くの教会を探してみてください。

Take a look at these other ideas:
他のアイディアも見てみてくださいね。

 

  1. http://askjohn.seesaa.net/article/53392579.html
  2. http://askjohn.seesaa.net/article/55332126.html
  3. http://askjohn.seesaa.net/article/60975715.html
  4. http://askjohn.seesaa.net/article/63694792.html

I hope this helps.
Please let me know what you think!!
あなたのアイディアも是非教えてくださいね。

ƒuƒƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: Do you have any advice for my friend?
質問:

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 19:30 | シドニー | Comment(6) | TrackBack(0) | 皆からのQ &A

2008年03月11日

A holiday! ...or a weekend?

Is it a holiday? Or a weekend?

 : Every week, I like to sleep on my holiday.  
         毎週、休みは寝て過ごすのが好きです。

 : Wow! You get a holiday every week?
   うわ〜、毎週休みなの?

 : Yes. My holiday is on Sunday and sometimes also Saturday.
   はい、私の休みは日曜日と、時々土曜日が休みです。

 : I see! You mean 'weekend'. The word 'weekend' mean the days you usually have off from work every week. For most people this is Saturday and Sunday。
なるほど、それは「週末」のことですね。「Weekend」は一週間の中で働きに行かない日の事を言います。ほとんどの人は、土曜日と日曜日ですね。

 Example 例:

 : What did you do last weekend?
   週末、何をしましたか。

 : I went shopping with my friend. how about you?
  友達と買い物に出かけました。あなたは?

 : Not much. I watched a movie with a friend. 
   特に何も、友達と映画を見たくらいかな。

                    'Holiday' is different. It means a special day off from work that is not part of the weekend

For example, next week is Easter! Friday and Monday are 'holidays'! 
Holidayは違います。特別にお休みを取ることを言いますので、週末の休みは入りません。 例としては、来週はイースターなので金曜日と月曜日が休み(Holidays)になります。
                   

We can also call this a 'long weekend'. This is because Friday will be a holiday, followed by the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), followed by Monday, another holiday. That is 4 days off! A long weekend!

こういった場合は、Long Weekend と言います。それは金曜日はHolidayで休み、そして普通の週末の休みが続いて(土曜、日曜)、その続く月曜日がまたHolidayになるからです。4連休です。 A long weekend.

 Remember:

  • Weekend = Your regular WEEKLY days off (通常の週末の休み), usually Saturday and Sunday
  • Holiday = A special day off from work that is not part of the weekend. (特別に仕事を休んで取る休暇、週末は含まない。)
  • Long weekend = When a holiday is on a Friday or Monday (金曜日、月曜日などが週末の休みにくっついて3連休、4連休になる場合、日本で言う祝日の代休などでできた連休などがこれに当たります。), making the weekend 3 or 4 days long. 
   

ƒuƒƒOƒ‰ƒ“ƒLƒ“ƒO

Question: What did you do last weekend?
質問:先週末は何をしましたか?

Put your answer in the comments!
コメントにあなたの答えを書き込んでみてくださいね!

posted by John at 18:03 | シドニー | Comment(1) | TrackBack(0) | 英単語

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