Somebody was asking me about the difference between these two. We were talking about how people deal with cold weather.
× Cold weather becomes the demand for hot water bottles.
○ Cold weather increases the demand for hot water bottles.
○ Demand for hot water bottles becomes greater in cold weather.
○ Normally low demand becomes high demand in cold weather.
  • hot water bottle 湯たんぽ (definition from Weblio)
The key point to remember is that "increase" means a number is growing, while "become" can talk about any change. We can talk about "demand" as a number, so we can use "increase".
  • increase (数量・程度などが)ふえる,増加する (definition from Weblio)
  • become〈…に〉なる (definition from Weblio)
Another example we talked about was related to North Korea. We were discussing some possibilities, and these sentences came up:
× The crisis will increase more severe. <- a "crisis" is not a number
○ The crisis will become more severe.
○ A less-serious situation becomes a severe crisis.
○ The severity of the crisis will increase. <- "severity" can be ranked on a numeric scale
  • crisis 危機,決定的段階,重大局面 (definition from Weblio)
  • severe ひどい,猛烈な (definition from Weblio)
  • severity 重症度 (definition from Weblio)
I have been practicing making this five-spice tofu for a few weeks. It is becoming better each time I make it. The number of dishes that I can make is increasing, but I think I still can't become a restaurant owner. Not yet, anyway.



I was in Kunitachi the other day and noticed this sign. It says:
× 100% New Zealand Beef, The whole day with rice.
○ serving 100% New Zealand beef with rice, all day
The main problem here is the word order.

  • word order 語順 (definition from Eijiro)

If you follow a noun with a prepositional phrase, it sometimes can sound like the prepositional phrase is describing the noun.

  • prepositional phrase 前置詞句 (definition from Eijiro)

This restaurant's phrase is hard to understand. It sounds like there are days with rice and days without rice, which would mean:

  • On days with rice, we serve 100 percent New Zealand beef all day.

That means they aren't serving the New Zealand beef on the days without rice. I'm pretty sure that isn't what they mean, but I didn't go in to check. I'm a vegetarian, so my interest in the restaurant doesn't go beyond the sign.

  • one's interest doesn't go beyond [noun] ~にしか興味を示さない

The other thing to remember is that after the verb, a common order is to put time last, after manner and place, like:

  • I'm in my classroom on the sixth floor right now. <- place = sixth floor; time = now

If I look out the window, I can see the water on the street and umbrellas in people's hands. The smartphone on my desk is kind of dirty. The fingerprints on the screen are mine, and I don't really know how to avoid smudging the screen like that. My stomach is growling in my belly on this typical Wednesday evening, so I'd better finish up this post and go eat some dinner.


「rent, lend, borrow」の違い

The other day somebody came to class and realized she had forgotten her pen. She asked me:
× Can you borrow a pen?
○ Can I borrow a pen? Can you lend me a pen?
  • borrow 借りる
  • lend 貸す
"Borrow" and "lend" have a direction. The subject of "borrow" is receiving something. The subject of "lend" is giving something.

I was talking about a book with someone. It sounded like an interesting book. The person I was talking to sensed my interest in the book and said:
× I can rent it to you.
○ I can lend it to you.
  • rent 賃借[賃貸]する
If you rent something, it means you are a business person. You are earning money by allowing someone to use something that you own. I know that the pronunciation of these two is a little similar. You have to be really careful about "r" and "l".

One student has been collecting notes from class in her notebook. She always punches holes in her paper using the rings in her binder. I had been meaning to get a hole punch, but every time I go to the 100 yen shop or office supply store, I always seem to forget what I wanted to buy.
  • hole punch 穴あけ器 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
This week, though, my memory was working well, and I remembered to get the hole punch.

If you ever visit me at my classroom, I'd be happy to lend you a pen or my hole punch. I'll even lend you a sympathetic ear.
  • lend a sympathetic ear 親身になって耳を貸す、同情して話を聞く、じっくり話を聞く (definition from Eijiro on the Web)