Expressions and Idioms Glossary

Ok, here is the final glossary!

In this one, I’m going to compile all the useful expressions, idioms, collocations and other patterns that I used in my blog that I think will be helpful in conversations.

Again, I’ll update this glossary sometimes with new expressions, so please check it out again once in awhile!

A certain amount of

ある数量

– A specific but unknown amount

“You can only bring a certain amount of money, but I don’t know how much exactly.”

As you wish

かしこまりました

– Indicates that the speaker will comply with the listener’s wishes/commands (very formal, archaic)

“Waiter!  Could you take these plates please?”

As you wish.”

Be beyond words

言語に尽せぬ

– Unable to be expressed by words

“The beauty of this ocean is beyond words.”

Be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth

富貴の家に生まれる

– Be born into affluent or fortunate circumstances, usually wealthy.

“He’s never worked a day in his life. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.”

Be consistently active

貫き通す

– Take the same or similar actions regularly

“You just need to be consistently active to stay healthy.”

Be driven by

必死になる

– feel pushed or extremely motivated

“He studies English because he‘s driven by a desire to live in America some day.”

Be familiar with

詳しい

– have good knowledge about

“I‘m not familiar with this area, can you show me around?”

Be going on

– Continue, happen

“Even after everybody went home, he went on working.”

“Person A: My neighbor always plays loud music until after midnight.
Person B: Really? How long has that been going on?”

Be (highly) regarded

激賞する

– be considered as someone respectable or admirable

“Celebrities are usually highly regarded in society.”

Be in the same boat

境遇・状況・状態を共になる

– be in the same or similar situation/circumstances.

“I’d like to lend you some money, but I’m in the same boat as you: I don’t have any money, either!”

Be open (with s/o):

隠し立てしない

– Candid, frank, receptive, free of prejudice

“It’s nice to be open with someone you love.”

Be particular (about N)

こだわりが強い、好みがやかましい

– fussy, difficult to please.

“She’s very particular about music:  She only listens to very famous J-pop singers.”

Be worth it

価値がある、やりがいがある

Having a quality or qualities that make it worthwhile

“Being a parent is tough, but it’s worth it.

By law

法律によって

– be true according to the law

“You are required to file taxes every year by law.”

Circle of friends

仲間

– One’s group of friends

“He has a very big circle of friends.”

Cut (#) part(s) from s/t

何か から[#つの]部分をカットする

– Remove a section of something from something

“I didn’t like the movie. They cut too many parts from the book.”

Deeply ingrained

深く染み込んだ

– Firmly established (usually in someone’s mind)

“He has a deeply ingrained work ethic, that’s why he’s such a hard worker.”

Develop into

徐々になる
– slowly/gradually become/change

“Because he didn’t go to the doctor to get treated, his cold developed into bronchitis.”

End up

最後に。。。になる

Become ___ in the end.

“He put all his money on the number 23, but ended up losing it.”

Even if

としても

– indicates that a possible situation would not prevent something from being true or happening

Even if you can’t speak English now, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn.”

Extrinsic motivation

外発的動機づけ

– Being motivated by external factors

“Money is an example of extrinsic motivation.”

Get along with

仲良しする、円滑な関係がある

Maintain a harmonious relationship with

“I don’t love my father in law, but we get along.”

Get s/o to do s/t

誰かに説得して何かをしてもらう

– Find a way to persuade or force someone to do something

“He always finds a way to get other people to do his work for him.”

Give s/o space

距離を置く

– Allow a period of time apart

“I don’t want to talk to you right now, please give me some space.”

Glass ceiling(s)

女性がリーダーシップの地位に対するのを防ぐ労働人口で態度の天井

– A discriminatory barrier that prevents women from rising to higher positions, especially in a corporation.

“The only reason she hasn’t become a manager yet is because of this company’s glass ceiling.”

Have mixed feelings (about N)

名詞についての 複雑な心境 [です]。

– have both positive and negative feelings

Moving to Tokyo would give me a good opportunity to get a great job, but really crowded and noisy, so I have mixed feelings about it.

How ADJ is N

名詞はどのぐらい形容詞?

“How old is this house?”

Human rights

人権

– something that people deserve to have or be able to do

“The freedom of speech is one of the most important human rights.”

I guess…

やっぱり。。

Hmm. The map said the restaurant was here, but I don’t see it. I guess this is the wrong place.

I would have to say…

– 私が言うとしたら。。

– I normally don’t say this, but I feel compelled to say…

“I like Tokyo and Osaka, but I’d have to say Osaka is better.”

Ignorance is bliss

知らぬが仏

People are happiest when they don’t know something.

“Look at that small child, so happy. I guess it’s true: ignorance is bliss.”

In general

一般に

– about or affecting the majority

“Japanese food, in general, is healthy.”

In summary

手短に言えば

– indicating that the speaker is saying or explaining something briefly or shortly

In summary, our company is doing well.”

In the world

世界中

“Tokyo is the biggest city in the world.”

Intrinsic motivation

内因性動機付け

– Being motivated by internal factors

“Too many rewards can reduce intrinsic motivation.”

It’s okay to V-O

…をしても大丈夫です

“I don’t know if it’s okay to smoke in here.”

Look like

…のように見える

– Look similar to

You look like a Buddhist monk with your haircut.

Lose motivation

やる気がなくなる

“After the divorce, I lost motivation to keep working at a job I didn’t like.”

Majority vote

多数決

– a vote which more than half of the voters cast.

“In order to pass this bill, we need a majority vote.”

Make ___ different from/than ___

見分ける、弁別する、識別する

– Distinguish ___  from ___

“The food and hospitality make Osaka different than Tokyo.”

Make a gesture

手まね・身ぶりする

– Gesture

“I don’t understand this gesture that you are making.”

Move up (in N)

名詞に進出する

– Improve one’s standings or rank

“I heard he has his own company now! He’s really moving up in the world.”

Mutual friends

共通の友達

– A group of three or more friends who all know each other.

“We had mutual friends in college so we hung out a lot together.”

No matter Q/W-S-V-O

たとえ疑問詞~でも

– It doesn’t matter Q/W S-V-O.

No matter what I say to her, she won’t listen.”

Not… any more

もう。。「では」ない

– Something that was true before but is not true now and will not be true in the future.

“When I was a kid, I collected baseball cards, but I don’t collect them any more.”

Not to mention

言うまでもなく

– in addition to

Old/New friends

旧友・新しい友達

– A friend who you have known a long/short time.

“He’s a very old friend of mine from elementary school.”

“Let’s go to this party and make some new friends!”

Once a(n) N, always a(n) N

一度名詞になるとずっと名詞でいなければならない

– If someone becomes a(n) N once, they will always be a(n) N.

“I wouldn’t go out with him.  You know what they say: once a cheater, always a cheater.”

Out of N

名刺の中で

– Among

Out of the four seasons in Japan, spring is my favorite.”

Pros and cons

賛否両論

– The good points and bad points

Before taking this job, you need to weigh the pros and cons.

Put s/o (up) to s/t

取りかからせる

– Urge or force to an action

“I didn’t want to do it, but my friend put me up to it.”

Safety net

安定策

– Guaranteed financial security

“I hope you have a safety net in case your business venture doesn’t succeed.”

See a difference

違いが分かる

– to recognize, notice, realize or understand that something is different

“Did you cut your hair? Sorry, I don’t see a difference…”

Senior citizen

高齢者

– An older person.

“Many movie theaters offer discounts for senior citizens.”

Stay the same

そのままである

– Remain in the same way, state or situation

“They say the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

The point of ___ is

〇の主眼点

The purpose trying to be reached

The point of the story is (that) it’s important to be honest.”

There are all kinds of people in this world

さまざまな人がいます。

Can you believe that guy?  He was so rude.  Well, I guess there really are all kinds of people in this world.

Vote against

反対して投票をする

– express one’s disapproval through election

“I didn’t like that presidential candidate, so I voted against him.”

Vote for

賛成して投票をする

– express one’s approval through election

“I liked that presidential candidate, so I voted for him.”

(The) Welfare system

福祉制度

“Many people say Sweden has the best welfare system in the world.”

What do you think of…?

…のことをどう思いますか?

What did you think of that movie?  Was it good?

What is about N is ADJ?

名詞のどこが形容詞

English is hard?  What is so hard about it?

What is ADJ (about N) is

何が形容詞かというと名詞である。

– Explaining why or how something is ADJ.

What is great about marriage is the companionship.”

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