Good morning! So here’s a wrap up of the habits discussion, finally!
Every week on Sunday at 2pm, Monday at 3pm, and Tuesday at 8pm we have a one-hour group discussion on a different topic. These classes are open to any and all students, but the Sunday and Monday classes are recommended for intermediate and advanced students. The Tuesday class is for high beginner to intermediate. 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 the scheduled days, 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! We are still looking for students interested in a Friday night and Saturday afternoon class.
So here’s what came up during the lesson!
Evade vs. Avoid vs. Get out of
I often hear English learners overuse the words evade and avoid as a substitute for 逃げる. However, those words are considerably stiff and formal and are uncommon in English. We have another phrasal verb we use much more often for everyday situations: get out of. I’d like to use this blog to talk about the differences between the terms:
Evade: evade does mean to escape or avoid, but specifically by being very clever or by deceitful (for example, by telling a big lie). It does not mean escape or avoid by refusing or by accident. For example, a criminal suspect is running away from the police. He finally finds a clever place to hide. As a result, the police can’t find him. In this case, he successfully managed to evade the police. As another example, a husband comes home from work. His wife asks him to clean the dishes. He says he’s tired and complains, so she does it. In this case, he didn’t do anything clever and he didn’t lie, so he didn’t evade washing the dishes.
Avoid: Avoid does not mean escape. If you escape, something has already happened or you are already in the middle of the situation. However, if you avoid something, it means you stay away from it or you do something to prevent it from happening (so it hasn’t happened yet!). For example, we should brush our teeth regularly to avoid cavities. Another example: You should avoid that part of town, it’s dangerous.
Get Out of: this is a phrasal verb that most English learners are not aware of, but is quite helpful. It means to avoid or escape a duty or responsibility. It could be something you promised to do or something you said you would do, or something you are supposed to do. So we might say “Sorry, I want to go drinking with you, but I promised my wife I’d stay home and I can’t get out of it.” Or we might say “I need a good excuse to get out of going to work on Saturday.”
Now you try! Which expression do you think is best in the following sentences?
1. She was too embarrassed to answer the question, so she ___ it.
2. He actually used to put insects in his food to ___ paying the bill.
3. Unfortunately they go to school together, so even though they really don’t want to see each other, they can’t ___ each other.
4. She often used humor to ___ talking about serious topics.
5. Very often simply not responding is a good way to ___ trouble.
6. I totally forgot my wife’s birthday… I don’t know how I’m going to ___ this one.
Lose vs. get/be lost
This is another common one that I hear English speakers confuse. In English “lose” and “be/get lost” are VERY different.
Lose means fail to win or be without something (and unable to find it).
Be/Get lost means not know where oneself is.
- The Hanshin tigers lost the match.
- I lost my car keys, help me find them.
- Excuse me, I‘m lost. Can you help me find the subway station?
- I was trying to find the hotel but I got lost and now, I don’t know where I am.
So when you can’t find a place or when you don’t know where you are, use the expression “I am lost” instead of “I lost.” 🙂
Steal vs. Rob
Another very difficult difference is steal and rob, but the difference is actually quite simple. People are robbed, but things are stolen. That means the sentence patterns is as follows:
- That man robbed me last night.
- He stole my wallet.
And in the passive form:
- I was robbed at the store.
- My wallet was stolen.
That’s all for this week! Please check us out again next week when we discuss privacy!