I was in the restroom at Haneda Airport last week when this sign caught my eye:
× Equipment to cleansing the buttocks with warm water.
A device to clean the buttocks with warm water.
  • buttock【名】尻、臀部{でんぶ}◆通例buttocks (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
The main mistake here is "to cleansing". Unless "to" is a preposition, don't use a v+ing after it.
○ I am looking forward to seeing you soon.
× I hope to seeing you soon.
○ I hope to see you soon.
The other thing I suggest changing is "equipment" to "a device". The first difference between these two is that "equipment" is uncountable, while "device" is countable. "Equipment" often feels like a set of tools, and it is also often large things. The toilet seat is not so big, and we don't think of it as a set. That's why I think "device" is better.

There is no device to clean up all of the English mistakes I see everywhere. The only thing that can be done is for people to study English more. I hope to help those people in class. Contact us if you want to avoid making mistakes like Inax has.



OK, who keeps letting people put up nonsense English in Yaechika? I found this one:
× Much the Autumn
○ ???
This one is hard to guess. I wonder what they meant?
  • Bountiful Autumn 
  • bountiful【形】〔物が〕豊富{ほうふ}な; 〔人が〕気前{きまえ}の良い; 〔人が〕慈悲深い、恩寵{おんちょう}の豊かな (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  • It's very much autumn now!
  • It's much like autumn.
  • Will you buy much this autumn?
Maybe they are making a pronunciation mistake!
Match the Autumn 秋に会う <- is this Japanese OK?
Don't say this though:
× I bought much at Yaechiku.
○ I bought a lot at Yaechiku.
Only use "much" for negative sentences and questions. In a positive sentence, you should use "lots" or "a lot".

I keep finding mistakes at Yaechika. I'm going to search at Kanda Station more. I feel like I might find a lot of mistakes there, too. Do you think I will have much success finding them there? I think it's going to be a bountiful autumn. Wish me luck!



I hadn't been to Yaechika in a while. I can always find English mistakes, there, and this time was no exception.
  • no exception《be ~》例外{れいがい}でない (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Just when you come down the stairs on the Yaesu Avenue northeast entrance, there's a new Tully's. They have a gorgeous new sign, which says:
× Non-Smorking 71 Seats; Smorking 28 Seats
○ 71 non-smoking seats, 28 smoking seats
What do you suppose "smorking" is? I looked it up, and the Urban Dictionary had this funny definition:
  • smork - someone who is so smitten, they are acting like a absolute dork. Slightly embarrassing, usually someone who is not an obviously smitten person, hence the lame name Smork. "You are acting like such a smork, you're definitely smorko over him" <- my note: "smork" is not common English. Don't expect many to know this.
  • smitten【形】〈英俗〉ぞっこんほれ込んだ (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  • dork【名】〈俗〉ばか、あほ、とんま、愚か者、のろま (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
So I suppose it's nice of Tully's to provide special seats for those who have fallen head over heels for someone.
  • ぞっこんほれ込みなさい。 Fall head over heels. (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
The sign also says:
× To Go Counter
to-go counter
When you use a phrase as an adjective, you should connect the words with a hyphen.

Because of that, I would also say:

× Meeting Space 6 seats
6-seat meeting space

Good luck everybody, smorks included. Even I can be a mistake-making dork sometimes.


too と very の違いは何です?

Here is one that often confuses Japanese students. What is the difference between too and very? This is one is very easy.

When the temperature outside is 34 degrees, it is very hot.

(You can still go out.  I see many office workers dressed in suits. Be sure to carry a bottle of water.)

When the thermometer reaches 50 degrees, it is too hot.
(It has passed a limit.  It might be dangerous to go out.)

Here is another example.
A 3LDK house in Hamadayama costs 80,000,000 yen. That is very expensive (But if you work hard, save a large part of your earnings and invest prudently in the stock market, you have a good chance of owning one.)

Some houses in the Pacific Heights area in San Francisco are in the neighborhood of 1,000,000,000 Yen. That is too expensive. (It is impossible for an average office worker to buy such a house.  It's over the limit for 99.7% of buyers.)

For emphasis, intonate too. For example, that is tooooooooo expensive.

Useful vocabulary
Be in the neighborhood of--
  1. ~の近くに、~の近所に、~の周りに、~の付近に
  1. およそ、~くらいの、約~◆【同】about
    ・My fee for this service would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $__. : 当サービスの料金は約_ドルとなります。
Over the limit-- 限度を超えて、法定許容アルコール量を超える