Taking Pictures 加算名詞と不可算名詞の使い方

From Twitter
Taking Pictures: Much or Many & Lots/Usually or Usual
“Fill in” the spaces with the right words:

I take _ pictures whenever I travel; it’s a _ thing for me.

*once a while

Answers & Explanation
The answers are underlined:
I take many pictures whenever I travel; it’s a usual thing for me.

Many is used with countable things and persons and other animals.
Usual is used with things, too (usually is used with actions.)

Come to class at Shinjuku English Institute for more examples and a barrel of fun.

Getting It Right

From Twitter:

(1.) Can you __ this with me and make sure it’s good? I would like the
(2.) instructor to be impressed when he __ it.

* see
* look
* look over
* look for
* go over
* looks over
* inspect

Answers and Explanations:
1. go over means to review, proof or proof-read.
2. looks over (third-person-singular-present form, which is needed here) means to check, but from the position of a person who knows better, like an advisor, coach, instructor, a teacher, a boss or some other a superior.


A. You like Korea? Why?
1. B. I like Korea for _ food,
2. _ friendliness and
3. _ down-to-Earth nature of
4. _ people.

* a
* the
* some

Answers And Explanation:

  1. the food (of Korea)
  2. the friendliness (of Korea)
  3. the down-to-Earth nature (of Korea)
  4. the people (of Korea)
    The known nature of these things is why they take ‘the’ as an article to identify them as connected to Korea.

Castaway (“If Only”)

From Twitter:

A castaway* on a deserted island says:

“If I only had a lighter and a flare gun!”**

The suggested idea is (Choose):
a. He had only those things, but lost them.
b. He needs things–most of all those things, so then he could help himself with them.
c. He wishes he had just a lighter and flare gun.

*A castaway
is a person who has been cast (or “thrown”, but not by someone else) away, meaning “lost” in a forgotten, hard-to-locate or distant and “uncivilized” place–away from society, such as a island in the Pacific Ocean.

**A flare gun fires a non-destructive glowing projectile (a flare) into the sky; 1. it is used to send an emergency signal in order for the user to show others his location, so that s/he can be found and rescued. 2. In war time it is used to illuminate where the enemy is.

Answer: The answer is b.: He needs things–most of all those things (the flare gun and lighter), so then he could help himself with them.

Explanation: The answer isn’t a., because if only I had is a conditional clause expressing a wish for the present, not regret about the past. And the answer isn’t c., because who would wish for only some necessary items and not others–and what would be the point of saying this in the narrative (story)?

Calm down?

From Twitter
1/2) A danger in studying English by memorizing set expressions is in not knowing when to use them, making one look foolish or even insulting. Any English teacher in Asia can tell you we experience this often. One reason is students do not read books enough. Next, see 2/2. >
2/2) The other day a man on the train saw that I dropped a pen. He picked it up, handed it to me and said “Good morning.” I said “thank you” and returned the greeting. He then said, “Calm down.” He should’ve said:

a. What’s new?
b. Where are you from?
c. You’re welcome.
d. relax

Answers: Of course a, b, and c are fine (though a. is really for friends or people who know each other), with c being the most common and boring, but d is out (wrong or inappropriate). It doesn’t even make sense.

Explanation: “Calm down” is bizarre, but I suppose the old man meant, “relax”? Even that is a non-relevant answer. But living in another culture we have to understand peoples’ attempt to communicate.

Howya Doin?

From Twitter

Choose: (choices can be used twice)

A. Hey, how ya doin?
B. Great! I went __ and stayed __ Hakone __ the holiday.

a. in
b. to
c. for
d. during
e. at
f. from

The answers are b, a and d.

This may seem easy,
but you might be surprised to know
that many intermediate and advanced students
leave out important prepositions.
These words are not extra or superfluous in English.
They are necessary.

For answer #1, of course the only choice is to

For answer #2, the best choice is in
but this depends on the type of place Hakone is or on what the speaker means; it is possible to have ‘at’ in this space; for example, if Hakone is thought of as a business–such as a resort and not a geographical location on a map–but as a location on a map ‘in’ is necessary.

For #3, only during (meaning ‘in the time of’) is possible. Some people might say ‘in the holiday,’ but this is perhaps part of a local dialect and not widespread–so outside the practice of standard style; it also does not sound best.

Soy Sauce in Japan

From Twitter:

(Choose the better style.)

1. ___is different in my province of Japan.
a. The taste of the soy sauce
b. The soy sauce’s taste

2. ___ is where the fuel is kept in most airliners.
c. The wing of the plane
d. The plane’s wing


  1. a
  2. c

Explanation: Ownership or possession is the ability to “have” things, to “possess” them and to “keep” them; we usually show ownership in English by adding ‘s. Look:

Bob‘s skis
Lily’s tablet
the president’s stupid hair

the dude‘s bowling ball

the floor of the car
(a car can’t own a floor.)

the wing of the plane
(a plane can’t possess a wing.)

the roof of the house
(a house can’t keep a roof.)

Traditionally we do not give the power of ownership to things, inanimate (non-animated/non-moving) objects, non-lifeforms. So–to indicate that something is a part of something else or belongs with it or is part of it, we use the (or a) and of.

Climate of Mars

From Twitter:

U.S. astronauts will return to the moon in 2024. They will go to Mars in the 2030s. What do we know about Mars?

(Pick the best answer.)
Mars is a more hostile world, because it experienced catastrophic climate-__.
a. changed
b. change
c. crisis

The answer is b, change, because ‘climate’ is a hyphenated
(It has a hyphen: – ) noun acting as a modifier, an adjective, so the attached, next word–after the hyphenmust be the noun showing what Mars experienced.

C would work, too, but a crisis is experienced by people or other beings and as far as we know, no one lived on Mars when it lost its ocean and magnetosphere! But I guess the clues are in the sands of that frozen desert word! We shall find out when men and women go there in ten years!

Prepare for Christmas

From Twitter:

The Answers Are: prepares (a), preparing (c), prepared (a)

After ‘always’, a simple tense verb, we can have a past tense or a present tense verb. If we look at the end of the sentence, we see ‘we always have a wonderful time’, meaning this is the present, not the past–so we need a present tense verb after always–so the answer to the first option is ‘prepares’.

After ‘by’ we need a gerund, because by introduces nouns of process or conveyance and actual things; think of how we say ‘go by train’, ‘solve the problem by using calculus’, the cat reached the window by jumping.

After ‘is always’ we need an adjective form or a continuous verb form, because ‘is’, a linking verb, and ‘always’ as an adverb require a description or a habitual action, but the choices offer only one ‘ing’ option and it is needed elsewhere!