Sep 30

“Wow, I just barely passed the test. Next time I will study harder!”

“Barely” means “almost not”. I passed the test, but if I had missed one more question I would have failed. “He survived, but when they found him he was barely alive.” “I barely ate anything at breakfast, so I’m really hungry for lunch.”



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Sep 29

Here’s a picture of a dandelion. No, wait, something is strange… This isn’t a real dandelion! It’s actually a fountain in Quebec, Canada, that looks like a dandelion.


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Sep 27

“Dad is making dinner. He says it will be ready in an hour. In the meantime, let’s take the dog for a walk.”

“Bob is coming over today, but he won’t get here until 7:00. In the meantime, I’ll start studying for next week’s test.”

“Meantime” is the time before something you’re waiting for. We might feel impatient, but there is nothing we can do to speed it up. So it’s a good idea to make use the time instead of just waiting and stressing out.




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Sep 26

“Police say they will ________ the name of the victim until the family has been notified.”

Fill in the blank.
A. declare
B. announce
C. withhold
D. display



Do more TOEIC practice here!

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Sep 25

Similar to horses, cows are also called by different words. A baby cow is a calf. A male cow is not actually a cow; he is a bull. A female cow is just a cow, although if she is young she can be called a heifer.


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Sep 24

“I’m sure the senator will vote for our bill. We have information he wouldn’t want to be made public, and we have the power to support his own pet issues. We hold all the cards.”

“Holding all the cards” means having a great advantage. In some card games, having more cards (or the right cards) gives you a big advantage. If you hold all the cards, it should be easy to win.



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Sep 22

It’s starting to feel like fall. In fall the leaves change color. One prominent leaf in Japan is the gingko leaf. Have you seen any gingko trees turning yellow yet this year?


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Sep 20

“It’s a good thing we remembered to close the windows! It started raining while we were out.”

We say “it’s a good thing” when we are glad something happened because it led to positive consequences or avoided negative consequences. You could just say “I’m glad we remembered to close the windows” as well.


いい結果に繋がったもしくは悪いことを避けることができてよかったと思うときに「it’s a good thing」を使います。「I’m glad」と似ていて、どちらでも使えます。

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Sep 19

“This is a jointed venture between two companies, so we have to cooperate.”

Find the mistake.
A. jointed
B. venture
C. companies
D. cooperate


「合弁企業」は英語で「joint venture」です。「Joint」には色々な意味がありますが、ここでは形容詞として使われ、「共有の」という意味になります。この場合、動詞ではないので「ed」をつける必要はありません。答えはAです。

Do more TOEIC practice here!

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Sep 18

Nowadays, most people have never ridden a horse, but for most of history many people relied on horses. Even today, we have many words for different kinds of horses. Here are just a few. A female horse is a mare, and a male horse is a stallion. A baby horse is a foal, but if it’s a girl a young horse is a filly and if it’s a boy it’s a colt.


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