Monthly Archives: February 2016

Talking about Work in English

Hey everyone!


Another difficult topic is talking about work.  I often see English learners describe their work days using English that is a little unnatural.  So again, I’m going to make a quick chart with some examples of unnatural expressions I sometimes hear from my students and more natural ways to express them:


Non-native expressions Native expressions
My work My job


My office

My company

The office where I work

The company (that) I work for

In my work, I… At work, I…

My job is to…

I start my work

My work starts

I start working

I get to work

I started my work

My work started

I started working

I got to work

I finish my work

My work finishes

I get off work

I will be off work

I finished my work

My work finished

I got off work

I am off work*

I am busy on my work

My work is busy

I’m busy with work

I’m busy at work

Work is hectic

I will change my job I’m going to get a new job
I changed my job I got a new job


* This one can also mean “Be on vacation” or “be on a break” or “not be working now”.  For example:

  • “I’m off work from December 25th to January 3rd”
  • “I’m off work from 12pm to 1pm so let’s get lunch.”
  • “I’m off work now, you wanna go out?”


Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have any questions!


Talking about being sick

Hi guys!

It’s been forever since I posted on here, and since I’m super busy this is going to be a short, simple post, I’m afraid.

I wanted to talk about how we describe illnesses in English, because very often it’s quite different than in Japanese!

So I’m going to make a simple chart of common unnatural expressions I see Japanese people make and then the more natural expressions.  I hope this helps!

Unnatural Expressions

Natural Expressions

I (don’t) have (a) sick

I (don’t) have illness

I (don’t) have disease

I (not) sick

I’m (not) sick

I (don’t) feel sick


I feel bad I don’t feel good
I don’t feel bad I’m fine
I become illness

I become disease

I become sick

I get sick

I start feeling sick

I (don’t) sicked

I was(n’t) sicked

I was(n’t) illness

I was(n’t) disease

I was(n’t) sick

I felt sick

I didn’t feel sick

I got sick

I didn’t get sick

I am (not) a cold*

I am (not) having a cold

I catch a cold

I didn’t catch a cold

I am (not) suffering a cold

I have a cold

I don’t have a cold

I was(n’t) a cold

I caught a cold

I didn’t catch a cold

I suffered a cold

I didn’t suffer a cold

I was(n’t) suffering a cold

I had a cold

I didn’t have a cold

I got a cold

Are you cold?

Are you catch a cold?

Are you sick?

Do you have a cold?

  • Be careful with the word “cold”!
    • In Japanese, 風邪 refers to almost any ordinary illness. However, the word “cold” in English refers to a specific illness!  The symptoms 「症状」are:
      • Runny noses 「鼻水」
      • Stuffy noses「花が詰まること」
      • Sneezing 「くしゃみ」and
      • Coughing「せき」
    • If you have a fever「熱」, an upset stomach 「吐きげ」or other symptoms, that is not a cold!  That’s a fever or flu「インフルエンザ」.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any questions!