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"Play" "Do" and "Go"

Remember that we use play for games (like chess or PS3) and for sports that use a ball. 
“I play baseball every Sunday afternoon.”  “Will you play tennis tomorrow after work?” "I like to play poker online."

BUT We don’t use play for sports that don’t use a ball. We use the verb do. "I do Kendo after school on Wednesdays." (not I play Kendo...)

AND we don't use play with sports or activities that end with ing. We use the verb go.
"This weekend I plan to go snowboarding." (not I play snowboarding...) "My friends and I love to go bowling." "I'm bored... Lets go shopping!"

What do you like to play? What sports do you do? Do you ever go swimming?

"Go over" Phrasal verb

In English phrasal verbs are very common in conversation. A verb that we may know can have a different meaning if it is followed by another word, usually a preposition. (in, on, up for example) "Look out" is a common phrasal verb. We know "look" means to actively see, but if you add "out" to make the phrasal verb "Look out" the meaning becomes "Be careful, (something) is dangerous"
"The baseball was flying directly at my friend's head so I yelled 'Look out!' and luckily he moved just in time."

Today lets look at the phrasal verb go over.

Go over has a few meanings and it is often used in the past tense. Many phrasal verbs can be used in the past, (went) present (go) and continuous (going) tense so be careful to use the verb in the correct form.

The first meaning is to examine something or review something.
"I want to go over my notes before the big test tomorrow. Bob is going over his notes right now." = review my notes, reviewing my notes.
"I went over the used car very carefully before I bought it." = I examined the car to make sure it was in good condition.

Another meaning is to repeat or explain again.
"Can you go over the instructions for me again? I want to make sure I understand ." = can you explain again?
"The coach wanted everyone to be clear on the game plan, so he went over it 3 times in practice." = the coach repeated the plan 3 times to make sure we all understood.

Lets go over this again! You must CATCH THE BALL!!!

If you want to do some English review, please go over my blog entries!

"End up" Phrasal verb

"End up" is a phrasal verb that can be confusing for some, so lets look at it today.

End up means: become eventually, happen in the end. Lets look at some examples.

"We thought about many places to go on our vacation, but we ended up staying in Tokyo during our holidays." We considered many places to visit but eventually, finally we stayed in Tokyo. In the end we didn't go anywhere.

"I try not to eat a lot of chocolate and candy. I don't want to end up fat like a sumo wrestler!" I will become like a sumo wrestler if I am not careful with my diet! In the end, I don't want become fat.

End up can be used for both negative and positive situations. The meaning is only that whatever happened is the final result.

"I tried on 3 pairs of shoes, but I ended up buying the brown ones." This is not positive or negative, only the final action. I bought the brown shoes.

Google Translate

Any new words in my Blogs? Not sure of the meaning? Try Google's translate, it's free!!!

Cut and paste any word to check the meaning in your own language. I often use it in my own study for new Japanese words. Try these!




"It's looks..." "It looks like..."

We use these phrases when we use any of our senses (see, touch, taste, smell etc.) to describe something.

When we use an adjective we do not add “like.”
“This soba tastes delicious!” (Not …tastes like delicious.)
“That roller coaster looks scary!” (Not …looks like scary.)

The first examples uses adjectives to describe nouns, delicious soba and a scary roller coaster. We use "like" if we are making a comparison to something else, another noun. Noun is like noun. Here are a few examples:

“This soba tastes like spaghetti.” We are comparing soba to spaghetti, both nouns, so we use "like."
“That roller coaster looks like a space ship.” The same for roller coaster and a space ship.

Writing this blog is fun! It is like going to Disney Sea! (well, not exactly...)
Try and make a few of your own examples!

"Most" and "Almost"

A common mistake I hear from my students is confusing almost and most.

"Almost Japanese people like sushi." INCORRECT Almost isn't the correct word choice here.

Almost is an adverb that means nearly, close but. Here are some examples:

"I almost missed my train this morning." I nearly missed my train, I was close to missing my train but I didn't miss it.

"My coffee spilled this morning and it almost went on my new white shirt." The coffee nearly spilled on my shirt, it was close, but it didn't spill on my shirt.

Because ALMOST is an adverb, it will be used with a verb. "almost missed" "almost went"

Most is an adjective that means the largest amount, quantity or number. Here are some examples:

"7-11 has the most convenience stores in Tokyo." 7-11 has the largest number of stores, it has more than any other store.

"I went to Kyoto for 3 days on a business trip but I didn't see any temples. I was busy working most of the time." I spent 3 days in Kyoto, but for the largest amount of that time I was working. I had little free time to go sightseeing.

Because MOST is an adjective, it will be used with a noun. "most stores" "most of the time"

Remember our first example sentence? It should be:
"Most Japanese people like sushi!" CORRECT! The largest number of people!

I like sushi too! How about you?


Today let's look at the word convince and some ways to use it.

"Convince" is a verb that means to persuade someone to do something or to cause someone to believe that something is true. Look at the following examples:

"At first I didn't want to practice yoga but my wife told me that it is good exercise and that it can reduce stress so I should try it. She convinced me that it was a good idea so I went to a class." My wife didn't just tell me to try yoga but she gave me reasons why I should try. Those reasons made me change my mind, it got me to believe that trying yoga is a good idea. She convinced me. I was convinced.

"My coworker thinks that if our company opens a new office in Hong Kong it will be good for business. Renting office space is very expensive in Hong Kong and we don't have any staff who can speak Chinese so our boss is not convinced that it's a good idea." In this example my coworker has an idea but my boss has reasons not to like it. My boss is not convinced that the idea is good. Saying "I'm not convinced." is common in English conversation also.

"You told me that you are good friends with George Clooney but I have never even seen a picture of you together. I am not convinced by your story." I don't believe that your story is true.

I am convinced that if you keep reading my blog your English will improve!

Hi boss. I think I deserve a raise.

What little I had…

Let’s look at the meaning of the expression “what little I had…” using some examples with an explanation.

“I spent what little money I had on a new car.”
This expression is most often used when talking about money so we will start with this simple example. When we say “what little money I had” we are saying that I used all the money that I had, everything is gone. There is none left. I have a new car, but now I also have no money. Because we add "little "after "what" it gives us the feeling that all the money I had was not very much. It was a small amount of money. When you talk about all you have, we usually imagine a large amount because it is everything. What little money I had gives us the feeling that even though you used everything, it still wasn't very much.

Here are some more examples using different objects.

“What few pairs of shoes I have can fit on only 1 shelf in my closet.”
All the shoes I have can fit in a small space. Even though it is everything, it isn't many.

“I use what little free time I have after work to study English.”
I don’t have much free time after work but I use it all to study English. Really? I am very proud of you!!!

Try to write a few of your own examples :)

Relative Pronouns

Please don't worry too much about the title "Relative Pronouns." This is just a name for a group of words that have a certain function or job in English. Relative pronouns are used to relate one thing to another to give more information about the person or thing being spoken about. 

The most important thing is to know how to use these words, and if we look at some example sentences this will help to understand new grammar. 

who - persons
The man who helped me at the train station was very kind.
Here we are relating "the man" (person) to "helping me."
which - things-
 We're working on a project which should be very profitable.
Here we are relating "the project" (thing) to "earning a profit."
where - places
They visited the village where they grew up.
Here we are relating "the village" (place) to "growing up."
when - times
He used to play tennis when he was a child.
Here we are relating "childhood" (time) to "playing tennis."
that - both persons and things 
Our teacher explained the reasons that led him to choosing the profession.
Here we are relating "reasons" (thing) to "making a choice."
whose - possessive 
- John is the manger whose actions saved the company.
Here we are relating "John's actions" (possessive) to "saving the company."


English 808 for the World!

Learn 50 common English phrasal verbs! + Lots of real examples!

📚 Learn  50 common English phrasal verbs  What is a phrasal verb? ~ In English, a phrasal verb is a combination (mixture) of ...

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