2月 27

feb27 04_allthumbsIn North America, there are some funny-sounding phrases used to describe someone who’s clumsy. When people are very clumsy at doing something with their hands, we might say that they are “all thumbs,” as if they only had thumbs and no other fingers to complete the activity. For example, “When Ellen first tried to learn how to knit, she was all thumbs.” Similarly, when people are very awkward with their hands or drop things, we might say they have “butter fingers,” as if their hands were coated with butter, and the object slipped through their fingers. These terms are usually used in a joking manner. They may describe another person, but are often used to describe yourself in a light, self-deprecating way when you are clumsy at something and want to avoid embarrassment. For example, “Sorry, guys, I can’t seem to catch the ball today. I’ve got butter fingers.”


北アメリカにはドジな人を指す面白い表現があります。手を使って何かすることがとてもドジな人は、「all thumbs」と言って、「指は全部親指」と言います。例えば、「エレンが編み物を習い始めたころはall thumbsだった。」同じように、手が不器用でよく物を落とす人は「butter fingers」と言います。手にバターが塗ってあって、それで物が滑り落ちてしまうというイメージです。これらの表現は、じゃれあっている時によく使われます。他人に対して使えますが、ドジをしたときに恥ずかしさを誤魔化すために軽く自分を卑下するときにも使います。たとえば、「ごめん、みんな、今日はキャッチできないみたい。Butter fingersなんだ。」

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2月 23

feb23The past tense tells us something that happened in the past. You can make most verbs past tense by adding –d or –ed at the end: “We danced at the party yesterday.” “I walked to the store.” There are many common exceptions: “I ate a sandwich.” “You bought a new car.”


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2月 20

President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February, to commemorate presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays were both in February. The holiday honors the achievements of George Washington, a general in the Revolutionary War, who played an important part in the founding of the country, and was a role model for future leaders as the first president of the United States. It also celebrates the accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln, the country’s 16th president, who helped preserve the Union and free slaves during the American Civil War. Like Memorial Day and Independence Day, President’s Day is considered a time of patriotism and an opportunity to remember those who defended or continue to defend the nation.


大統領の日は、ジョージ・ワシントンとエイブラハム・リンカーン大統領を記念するために2月第3月曜日に祝われます。アメリカ合衆国建国に大きな役割を担 い、未来のリーダーとしてのお手本となり、そして独立戦争で大将として軍を率いたジョージ・ワシントンの成果を称える日です。他に、アメリカ内戦で国を保 ち、奴隷を解放した、16代大統領エイブラハム・リンカーンの成果を祝います。戦没将兵追悼記念日と独立記念日と同じように愛国を感じ、国を守ってくれ た、あるいは今も守ってくれている人に感謝する日です。

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2月 16

The present progressive tense tells about something that has been happening and will continue to happen, for a little while at least. The letters –ing are attached to the end of the verb, and the word “be” goes in front of it. The “be” should match the subject: “I am swimming.” “You are watching a movie.” “He is playing tennis.”


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2月 13

It is common in many cultures to respond to a sneeze, often with a saying that is health-related. Germans say “Gesundheit” and Spanish speakers say, “Salud” (both refer to health). In English, people often respond with “Bless you” or “God bless you.” There are many legends surrounding this custom. One belief was that a sneeze could stop the heart, and saying “bless you” would encourage the person’s heart to continue beating. Another legend was that when you sneeze, it could throw the soul away from the body, or your body could be exposed to evil spirits, so saying “bless you” helped protect it from evil.

色々な文化の中でくしゃみに対する「返事」がありますが、それらは健康に関する言葉が多いです。ドイツ人は「Gesundheit」、スペイン語を話す人は「Salud」と言います。(両方「健康」という意味です。)英語では、「Bless you」や「God bless you」と言います。この習慣については、色々な言い伝えがあります。ひとつの意見としては、くしゃみで心臓がとまってしまうから「bless you」と言うことで鼓動が続くように、と考えられていた。もうひとつは、くしゃみをすると自分の体から魂が抜けだしてしまう、あるいは悪霊に晒されるかもしれない、なので「bless you」と言って邪悪なものから守っていたとも言われています。

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2月 09

Present tense is the simplest tense. “The dog chases the ball.” “I eat ice cream on Thursdays.” But we don’t use it in conversation to talk about what is happening right now. We usually use the present progressive: “I am writing this blog!” When we use the simple present tense in conversation, we talk about things that happen often or repeatedly: “I read this blog every week.” “He works at the bookstore.”


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2月 06

Many people confuse the words “lose” and “loose.” “Lose” (pronounced LOOZ) is a verb; it means to no longer have, to be deprived of by misfortune, or to not be able to find. “Loose” (pronounced LOOS) is an adjective that means not tight, not tied up or fastened, or able to move freely. So, a child might be able to wiggle a loose tooth, but if she isn’t careful about where she puts it, then she will lose it.


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