Hi Yumi! Hello everyone!
Lucky you going to Korea for a holiday – that sounds great. Some friends of mine worked as teachers in Korea for a few months and it sounds like a very interesting country. Also my boss’ wife is Korean and she recently taught me how to make ‘Kim bap’ which is very similar to Japanese sushi rolls – mmmm scrumptious. Actually, I made some for lunch last night and had it today. It’s one of my favourite things to have because it’s quite easy and tastes so healthy, if ya know what I mean. I make the rolls with egg and vegetables in the middle though, not fish. Yum! Ooh that reminds me - I promised some of our readers that I would post a vegetarian recipe here one day. I haven't forgotten! I just have to decide on one first...
Okay, let’s have a quick look at the answers to the homework and then I’ll see if I can answer your questions Yumi… you got 100% correct! Fantastic. Some of our readers did too so that’s great. Here are the answers just to be sure:
1. I was very impressed **by OR with** him.
2. It looked very familiar **to** me.
3. I am quite familiar **with** his work.
4. It varies **from** country to country.
5. It varies **between** countries.
6. I think you should speak **to OR with** him about it.
Just a couple of notes: for number 1, we can use either ‘by’ or ‘with’ but it changes the meaning slightly. If we use ‘by’ it means that the person is impressive in their own right. However, if we use ‘with’ it can suggest that the speaker has had something to do with the action which makes them impressed. For example, if the speaker had helped him to prepare for a performance and then the performance goes very well, they might say ‘I was very impressed with him’ whereas if they had nothing to do with the performance they would be more likely to use ‘by’. This is a very small difference though…
For number 6 (Jillany asked about this one) both ‘to’ and ‘with’ are correct. The only difference is that ‘with’ is more often used in American English and ‘to’ is more often used in UK English.
By the way, on the subject of US and UK English, Sanja asked an interesting question. She wants to know whether it is okay to use American English when taking the TOEFL test. Now I don’t know that much about this test, but the advice I always give my students is that they should choose either American or UK English and stick to it. As long as you use one type consistently then you should be okay. For example, if you spell colour ‘color’ but ‘favourite’ with the ‘u’ then that’s not so great. Having said that I would try and check on the TOEFL website to see if they mention it anywhere – you don’t want to lose marks!
Okay, now lets have a look at your questions, Yumi. First of all the question about ‘distribute’ from one of your older posts. Here is the sentence you used it in:
Have you heard of 'Maid Cafe'? There are quite a few coffee shops and the girls who wear the maid clothes will serve you. She is distributing(*2) the ads of the 'Maid Cafe'.
The way you’ve used it is fine, although I would say that it’s a little bit formal considering the tone of the rest of your piece of writing. It’s probably better to use a phrasal verb here… can all of you tell me which phrasal verb you think would be best? That’s your first task for today!
Next, you asked me about the sentences ‘Now I'm done for this week!’ or I’m done believing you from the Beyonce song. You mentioned that perhaps it was passive. Actually it isn’t passive, but it is correct. In fact, ‘done’ is used as an adjective here. We can swap it with ‘finished’ (also an adjective) and it will still have the same meaning (you might need to add the preposition ‘with’ in the second sentence). I think this construction of ‘to be done with something’ is originally US English but it’s used fairly commonly all over these days.
Finally, you asked me for some suggestions for some formal phrases for the dinner you are going to host for the Americans. Well first of all I should tell you (as I’m sure you know) that Americans tend to be more informal than formal. However, everyone likes to be treated like a king so a bit of formality can’t be a bad idea! Here are some ideas for some useful phrases – I hope this is the kind of thing you were thinking of – let me know if it isn’t:
We’re very pleased to have you here with us in Japan.
Would you like me to explain the menu to you?
Is there anything (else) I can get you?
Can I offer you some…?
What do you think of the view? :-)
I hope you have enjoyed your stay here.
We look forward to working with you again
All right, lets have a look at your other question, about the use of ‘even’, in my next post – Kay has also asked me about this.
For now, here is the vocabulary from this blog and the definitions from the last one.
Vocabulary definitions from the previous post…
Dreaded: (adj) used before something that makes you feel anxious or afraid – something you are not looking forward to
Residential: describing an area where people live, as opposed to ‘commercial’ which refers to an area where business takes place
Shady: how it is usually underneath trees, where the sun is partially blocked. Often cool.
Striking: unusual or interesting enough to be easily seen or noticed
Storey: a floor of a building – e.g. I live on the third storey
A flat: UK English for an apartment, a house on one floor of a building
To be keen on an idea: to like an idea, to think it is a good idea
Fab: short for ‘fabulous’, meaning fantastic, very very good
…and today’s words and phrases
To stick to something
To tend to be
To be treated like a king
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