Back in September, I went to Naeba. Along the road, there were some beautiful cosmos. I stopped and snapped this photo.
  • snap photos of ~の写真{しゃしん}を撮る ) (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Last week, someone asked me:
× Is cosmos in America?
Are there cosmos in America?
When you are talking about the existence of an item or category of items, use "there".
  • existence 実在, 有無, 存亡, 存在, 存廃, 生命, 実存, 生存, 存立 (definitions from jmdict)
Use it with a "be" verb.

Wikipedia says that cosmos are native to the Americas, so yes, there are cosmos in America.
It also says there are 20 to 26 different species of cosmos.
× I wonder what kind there are in this photo?
◯ I wonder what kind these in the photo are?
Don't use "there" when you are talking about specific ones, like in the sentence above. Maybe these are cosmos bipinnatus, from looking at the photos in Wikipedia. After tomorrow's typhoon, there might not be any more cosmos left until the next time they are in season.


ecocoloという雑誌は英語の使い方に注意した方が良い+「go to」と「go on」の違い

Flipping through Ecocolo magazine at a convenience store, I came across this headline.
× Let's go to a small trip!
◯ Let's go on a short trip!
"Go to" is followed by your destination.
  • destination 目的地
"Go on" is followed by a travel-related activity, like "go on a hike", "go on a picnic", "go on a shopping spree", or "go on tour".
  • shopping spree 買い物をしまくること、買い物好き、買物熱、湯水のような金遣い (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
"Small" is used for the physical size of things. "Short" is used for time.

I'm planning to go on a short trip this month, and I might go to Malaysia early next year. Does anyone have any tips on Kuala Lumpur?



I was at Bic Camera the other day to pick up some things that I needed. When I was standing in line at the cash register, I noticed this display. If I understand correctly, it's for a stylish new toothbrush!
  •  So if I understand you correctly, ... では、君の言うことを私が正しく理解しているとすれば... (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Maybe the world needs stylish toothbrushes, though I'm fine with a 100 yen tooth brush. I think it's a mostly useless product. What's worse, the amazingly horrible name they've chosen is "Doltz".

As far as I can tell, it doesn't have any meaning in German, French, Spanish, or Russian. That basically leaves English. The "z" can be interpreted as a really casual way to express "s", like a plural noun. In English, a "dolt" is an "idiot", a "fool", a "stupid person". Here's the definition according to Eijiro on the Web:
  • dolt 【名】〈俗・軽蔑的〉ばか、間抜け
This is a mistake that really lacks a good excuse. Junk World has a good excuse; they're just a small second-hand retailer. Panasonic, though, is a big international company! I'm not sure if you are dolt if you buy one, but they've got to be dolts for not asking one of the native English speakers on their staff if this name was a good choice or not.



The sunset earlier this week was beautiful! Take a look at that!
  • × It's getting autumn, so the sunsets are getting more beautiful.
  • ◯ It's becoming autumn, so the sunsets are getting more beautiful.
It's true that "get" has the same meaning as "become", but it must be used with an adjective. It can't be used with a noun.
◯ Since it's becoming cooler, I feel it's more comfortable.
◯ Since it's getting cooler, I feel it's more comfortable.
"Cooler" is an adjective, so both of these are OK, just like "more beautiful" in the first example.

× As I get more comfortable, I am also getting a more productive worker. <- "worker" is a noun
◯ As I get more comfortable, I am also becoming a more productive worker.

I hope that I can bring you more blog posts this month than last month.



Someone was asking about the difference between "benefit" and "profit". There are always mistakes.
benefit 【名】(definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  1. 便益{べんえき}、恩恵{おんけい}、利益{りえき}[ため]になること
  2. 援助{えんじょ}、手助け{てだすけ}
  3. 〔金銭的{きんせん てき}〕利益{りえき}、利得{りとく}
  4. 〔社会福祉の〕給付金{きゅうふきん}、福祉手当{ふくし てあて}、扶助金{ふじょきん}◆通例benefits
  5. 慈善{じぜん}[募金{ぼきん
profit 【名】(definition from Eijiro on the Web)
    利益{りえき}、収益{しゅうえき}、利潤{りじゅん}、得 ・100,000 yen profit : 10万円の利益。
Consider the case of a company which has just begun producing a new product. The sales of the product are going very well, and the company management is very happy. That's because:
× The company got a lot of benefit from the new product. <- this is roughly true, but the real reason...
◯ The company made a big profit from the new product. <- ...is that they earned a lot of money!
"Benefit" is used for good things of any type.
  • You benefit a lot from studying English.
"Profit" is most commonly used to talk about the money earned by a company.
  • Profits of companies during the bubble were good, but some companies are having trouble making profits today.
Both of these words can also be used as verbs.

I wonder about the profits of JunkWorld, a computer reseller I saw on Nakano Broadway. I'm not sure if they profit from selling used computers, but they would definitely benefit from changing their name.

That's because "junk" is another word for "garbage". New computers are getting really cheap, so I don't know why anyone would be interested in buying junk. The definition below does include "second-hand goods", but the only second-hand goods that can be called "junk" are the ones that are basically garbage.
junk 【1名】(definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  1. くず、がらくた、廃品{はいひん}、中古品{ちゅうこひん}
  2. ジャンクメール
  3. salt junk
  4. 〈話〉ばかげた話、ナンセンス
    ・What a load of junk! : ばかなことばっかり言って!
I'm sure you would benefit by buying a new computer rather than a piece of junk from JunkWorld. Unfortunately, that will deprive them of their profits.
  • deprivation 奪う、取り上げる、剥奪{はくだつ}する◆【類】strip ; divest ; take away (defintion from Eijiro on the Web)



Two Sundays ago, I could relax really well.
~That's because I went to an onsen. <- "Onsen" is Japanese
◯ That's because I went to a hot spring. <- "hot spring" is English, and America even has some!
The hot spring was a new one in Musashi-koyama. It had two kinds of water, one of which was kind of beige. Someone told me:
× Kanto area hot spring have brown color.
◯ Hot springs in the Kanto area have brown water.
As for the best verb to use with hot springs, it's a bit hard because Americans don't have the habit of enjoying hot springs. We could say:
~I soaked in the hot spring. <- people will understand, but...
◯ I bathed in the hot spring. <- this is probably better.
There are some interesting facts about hot springs here:
Even more interesting is this page on the therapeutic uses of hot springs:
  • therapeutic 【形】治療法{ちりょうほう}の、治療(上){ちりょう(じょう)}の、療法{りょうほう}の、癒やす力のある、癒やし系の、心の健康{けんこう}に良い◆「心を癒やす」という意味と、精神医学的な「セラピー治療の」という意味の両方がある (definition from Eijiro on the Web)