Group Discussion: Beauty, Looks and Physical Appearance

Hello and thank you for checking out the Start Gate English blog!

Every week on Monday at 3pm and Tuesday at 8pm we have a one-hour group discussion on a different topic. This class is open to any and all students, but recommended for intermediate and advanced. We have 2-4 students in each class. The teacher asks questions and discusses the answers with the students, and students can ask questions to each other (and the teacher, too!). You are welcome to bring a dictionary or ask the teacher if you need help. One lesson is 1500-2500 yen, depending on how many tickets you buy. If you are interested, please check out the website or contact me directly. If you are not available on Monday at 3pm or Tuesday at 8pm, but would like to join, please tell me your available days and times and I will be happy to set up another class for you!  Also, we will be opening a new class on Sunday afternoons, so be on the look out for that too!

After finishing this post I realized it’s REALLY long, so I’m going to break it into three parts.

First, here is the lexical set (a group of words and expressions necessary for the discussion):

Beauty Lexical Set
  • Advantage(s): 利益

– Something beneficial or favorable.

Ex: Being good-looking is an advantage in life.

  • Beauty: 美しさ

– An appearance or feeling that people like.

Ex: Some people find beauty in traditional Japanese temples.

  • Beholder(s): 見る人

– A person who looks at something.

Ex: Whether or not this painting is beautiful depends on the beholder.

  • Distinction: 区別

– Being different or dissimilar

Ex: I don’t know the distinctions between all the different Japanese teas.

  • Drawback(s): 不利益、欠点

– Something unfavorable or not beneficial.

Ex: One of the drawbacks to living in the city is all the noise.

  • Grace: 優雅、気品

– Effortless and refined movement, form or behavior.

Ex: The ballet dancer dances with grace.

  • Independence: 自立

– Ability to take care of oneself

Ex: It is important to teach children to be independent to prepare them for adult life.

  • Personality: 性格

– All the traits of a person.

Ex: Being attractive isn’t enough, you need to have a good personality, too.

  • Plastic Surgery: 形成外科

– Surgery to restore or repair body parts.

Ex: Do you think plastic surgery will make me look more beautiful?

  • Proverb(s): 諺

– A short and common or popular saying.

Ex: A very popular proverb in Japanese is 知らぬは仏.

  • Self-Esteem: 自尊

– Respect or pride in oneself.

Ex: It is hard to be happy if you don’t have any self-esteem.

  • Trait: 特性

– A feature or aspect of one’s personality or character.

Ex: Honesty is a very important character trait.

  • Affect: 及ばす、影響する

– Have an influence in changing

Ex: That movie affected me very deeply.

  • Date: 付き合う、デートする

– Go out with someone romantically

Ex: When did you start dating?

  • Define: 意味を説明する、定義する

– State the exact meaning of

Ex: Each person defines beauty differently.

  • Distinguish: はっきり区別する

– Know the difference or consider as different

Ex: Some people say they can’t distinguish Japanese people from Chinese people.

  • Enhance: 高める

– Make better or stronger. add improvements

Ex: I just enhanced my computer by putting in additional memory.

  • Spend: 過ごす

– Use, specifically time or money.

Ex: Some women spend hours putting make up on every day.

  • Think of: 考える、思い浮かべる

– Choose in one’s mind

Ex: Can you think of a good movie to watch tonight?

  • Attractive: 魅力的な

– Being pleasing, usually to the eye.

Ex: His wife is a very attractive woman.

  • Beautiful: 美しい

– Having qualities that people enjoy, usually to look at.

Ex: This sunset is so beautiful.

  • Broad: 「幅の」広い

– Covering a wide scope, general

Ex: The definition of “get” is very broad, so it’s hard to understand it sometimes.

  • Cosmetic: 美顔用の

– Improving the physical appearance of something

Ex: She’s considering getting cosmetic surgery to hide her wrinkles.

  • Handsome: ハンサム、カッコいい

– Pleasing or dignified in appearance.

Ex: You look so handsome when you wear a suit.

  • Immature: 未熟な

– Not fully grown or developed.

Ex: She’s 28, but sometimes she acts like an immature 16 year old.

  • Intelligent: 知性的な

– Having intelligence, smart

Ex: Einstein was one of the most intelligent men in history.

  • Physical: 身体の

– Relating to the body.

Ex: Height is a physical trait, kindness is a personality trait.

  • Popular: 人気な

– Liked or appreciated by a lot of people.

Ex: What are some popular songs in Japan?

  • Wealthy: 裕福な

– Having a lot of money.

Ex: When I grow up, I want to be wealthy.

  • How ADJ is N: 名詞はどのぐらい形容詞?


  1. How old are is this house? [It’s 50 years old.]
  2. How much is this? [It’s two dollars.]
  3. How long is the flight? [It’s about six hours.]

It’s better to V (than to V): 動詞よりも動詞したほうがいい


  1. It’s better to study English actively (than to study it passively).
  2. It’s better to wait here.
  3. It’s better to exercise a little bit every day than to exercise heavily only once a week.

The same way: 同じように

  1. I study English the same way (as you).
  2. I feel the same way.
  3. Please repeat that the same way I said it.

Tomorrow I will post the answers and on Sunday I will post some interesting challenges that came up during the conversation!  Hope to see you here again!


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