Oh dear! It’s a shame all of our readers’ comments are mixed up with hundreds of spam messages… imagine turning on your computer and finding you have 1000 messages to go through – I get frustrated when I have four or five spam messages in my inbox! Hopefully it’ll be sorted soon. Keep writing in though!
As always I’ve enjoyed reading through your posts Yumi. The story about your (almost) English name is very funny. For a few summers I worked at a summer school in England and we had lots of students from Hong Kong. Two of the girls had chosen the English names Apple and Purple! I thought the names were quite cute but there’s no denying they are quite unusual, especially Purple! I’ll always remember them.
My name, Amy, is actually taken from the French verb ‘aimer’ which means ‘to love’. If you look up Amy in a name dictionary (do you have those in other countries?) it says the meaning is ‘beloved’, so that’s quite nice, isn’t it? It’s not such a common name. I’ve only met about three or four other Amys, although of course there are some famous ones like the singer Amy Winehouse.
I am also surprised to hear that it’s hotter in Tokyo than it is in Delhi. I’m sure it’s hotter than 28C at the moment. Maybe it feels hotter because it’s so muggy. I wish it would rain!
I’ve often heard that English language education in Japan focuses more on reading and writing than on speaking and listening. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things to improve in those areas, though. I’m sure students in Japan work harder than in England… how many alphabet characters do you have to learn all together?
Quite a lot of our readers have asked me questions about being vegetarian so I thought I’d talk about that a little bit today. I’ve been vegetarian since I was about 16. To tell you the truth, the main reason why I became vegetarian was because my best friend Jessica was and it seemed like a good idea at the time! These days the main reason I am vegetarian is that I don’t like the way animals are treated when they are raised for meat most of the time. However, some farms do treat their animals very well and sometimes I think about starting to eat meat again but only choosing to buy it from farms where the animals are free-range and organic. I don’t know if I ever will or not. I occasionally eat fish but try to buy fish which is locally caught and not endangered in any way. Other than fish, I try not to eat any animal products where the animal has died but this is quite difficult – I’ve read that in England postage stamps are made with gelatin on the back to make them sticky when you lick them. Gelatin is made from crushed up bones – eww!
Thomas asked me what happens when I go to someone’s house for dinner. This can be a bit awkward sometimes and I always try to remember to warn them before I go! Luckily in India being vegetarian is very normal so nobody thinks you are strange when you tell them. In fact, India is a vegetarian’s paradise! It’s one of the reasons I like living here so much. I was surprised when I moved here, though, because originally I thought there were more vegetarians than non-vegetarians in India. Like Paulraj says, this isn’t the case. Lots of people, especially the younger generations, are non-veg these days, although generally Hindus avoid eating beef and Muslims avoid pork.
More and more people are becoming vegetarian in the UK – it used to be quite difficult to find something to eat (other than a cheese sandwich!) if you were out and about for the day. Ed is also vegetarian and so is my mother which makes things a lot easier when we go and stay there! We are planning to raise Louie as a vegetarian as well although we do give him fish occasionally. Here he is enjoying a scrumptious vegetarian meal!
Before I go I just wanted to highlight a few things that you said in your last couple of blogs, Yumi, and see if you can find the small errors you have made for homework.
1*I asked friends how you think if my name were 'Yummy'.
2*I did not want to have the potato's name for myself!!!!!!!!
3*Have a nice day for everyone!:)
4*When I was 12 years
5*We learn much of grammar, reading and writing skills
6*Though I learnt alphabet in elementary school
7*I am very impressed to the comment from Yosuke san, who is the teacher in Junior high. (2 mistakes)
8*Usually I check some English websites, listen to English songs, sing them in Karaoke(:P), and writing Emails to my friends.
9*How do you use BBC website to learn English?
Now I’ll try and answer your (difficult!) questions…
From your ‘Fireworks, I finally made it!’ post:
1: Would anyone please let me know of the difference between 'think' and 'think of'? I thought 'think of' meant 'think deeper'. Not really sure though..
This is a tricky one! If you ‘think of’ something it really suggests the process of thinking. You can use it to mean ‘to remember’ (e.g. I was trying to think of your name’), or to show that you have been thinking about someone (e.g. ‘I’ll be thinking of you on your special day’).
2: Is 'lay' correct in this situation? ‘I lay down and slept in’ It is VERY popular again in Japanese school to answer the difference between 'lie', 'lay' and 'lain'.
Technically these are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd forms of the verb ‘to lie’ and yes, you have used it correctly here. I’ve got a feeling that there’s a difference in the usage of ‘lay’ between US and UK English but I can’t quite put my finger on it. ‘To lay’ is also a verb by itself, with the past tense ‘laid’. This is commonly used in the phrase ‘to lay the table’ meaning to put out all the plates, cutlery, etc (e.g. Please can you lay the table, dinner is nearly ready/I’ve already laid it!)
From your ‘English Education’ post;
1: Could you please teach me the difference of 'begin' and 'start'? I looked up the dictionary but they seem to have the same meanings. I would like to ask if these words have the formal or informal meanings.
Another difficult one! I think there is only a slight difference, which is that if you begin doing something it can suggest that the same thing happens quite often. E.g. I begin writing my blogs at 7pm every day. On the other hand, ‘start’ is more often used the first ever time you do something. For example, ‘I started playing piano when I was 6’. Oooh it’s a very small difference and I think you can use them fairly interchangeably. Do our readers have any other ideas?
Okay better go as I can hear Louie wanting some attention next door.
All the best,
Vocabulary from this blog (definitions, as usual, next time!)
To be sorted
There’s no denying
To not be the case
Out and about
To put your finger on something
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