Nov 29

“Do you eat French food often?” 「フランス料理はよく食べますか?」

“No, not often. I always eat at this French restaurant when I’m in town, but I don’t come here very often.” 「そんなに食べません。この町に来れば必ずこのフランス料理の店に来ますが、この町にはそう頻繁に来ません。」

Oftenにすることはする回数が高いことです。普段はusuallyと大佐ありませんがたまには例外があります。例えば、年に数回しか外食しませんが、外食する際にはほとんど同じレストランに行きます。外食するならそこに行く確率が高いのでusuallyと言えますが回数が低いからoftenと言いづらいです。

If you do something often, the number of times you do it is high. Most of the time, the meaning is similar to “usually.” But there are occasionally exceptions: if you eat out only a few times a year, and most of the time you choose the same restaurant, you can say you “usually” (because the probability of going there when you eat out is high) eat there but not “often” (because the number of times you go there is actually low).

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Nov 22

“Can I have some of the candy in this bowl?” 「このボールのお菓子は食べてもいい?」

“Sure, help yourself!” 「いいよ、どうぞ!」

“Help yourself to some fruit.” 「果物をどうぞご自由に」

「Help yourself」と言って何かを自由にとる・食べるように誘います。Help yourselfしたら、相手は皿に盛ってくれませんが、自分自身で取ります。好きなだけとってもいいです。食べ物以外でも使えるフレーズです:「このカビネットは事務用消耗品が入っているからペンやクリップが必要になったらご自由にどうぞ。」

We say “help yourself” to invite someone to take something. When you help yourself, you have to serve (yourself); your host doesn’t serve the food for you. You can take as much as you like. We can use this phrase with things other than food too: “This is the office supply cabinet. Help yourself if you need any pens or paperclips.”

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Nov 15

“Sorry, I’m busy tonight. Can I take a rain check?” 「ごめん、今夜は時間ないんだ。また今度にしていい?」

Rain checkを頼んだら、相手の誘いを断りながら近い未来には受けたいと伝えます。例えば、友達にカフェにいかないかと誘われたけれど、仕事があっていけません。今日は一緒にコーヒーが飲めないけど近い家に是非いきたいという意味でrain checkを頼みます。

If you ask for a rain check, you turn down an invitation or offer, but with the message that you would like to accept in the future. For example, a friend asks you to go with them to a café this afternoon, but you have to work. You ask for a rain check, meaning that you can’t have coffee with your friend today, but you would like to do it sometime soon.

表現の由来は1890年代のアメリカです。野球の試合が雨で中止になったとき、チケットを買った人にあとで払わずに試合が観えるようにrain checkを配りました。

The phrase comes from the 1890s USA. “Rain checks” would be given to people who had paid to see a baseball game that was rained out, so that they could see a game later without paying.

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Nov 08

毛虫は蛾や蝶になるミミズみたいな虫です。足がいっぱいついているミミズに見えますが、昆虫なので本物の足は六本だけです。口からまゆを作って蛾や蝶に変身する間に身を隠します。

Caterpillars are the worm-like bugs that turn into moths or butterflies. They may look like worms with lots of little legs, but as insects they only have six true legs. They spin cocoons from their mouths to cover them while they transform into moths or butterflies.

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Nov 08

“The dog sniffed his empty bowl.” 「犬が空っぽのボールをクンクン嗅いだ。」

Sniffとは何かに鼻を近づけて(もしくは何かを鼻に近づけて)音が出るほど強く息を吸うことです。匂いを嗅ぐのによく使う行動ですが他の理由でもします。例えば風邪をひいたときや鳴いているときです。会話で不賛成などを表すのに使うこともあります。

You can sniff something by putting your nose close to it (or putting it close to your nose) and breathe in hard enough to make a noise. You usually do this to smell something, but you can also sniff for other reasons, such as when you have a cold or when you are crying. Sometimes people even sniff just to show disapproval in conversation.

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