● Back Numbers 037〜040 

 "... not to say ..."の三回目です。なぜこの言い回しについての結論がなされています。

No. 037 What does "... not to say ..." mean? (Part 3)
      ----"... not to say ..."の本当の意味は(その3)

The "... not to say..." pattern is also commonly used in what may be called "different from expected" situations, or "surprising situations".

If I go to a museum, I would expect it to be educational ("expected"/"not surprising"). But I would probably not expect it to be fun ("different from expected"/"surprising"). However, after the museum visit, I could say:

The museum was educational, not to say fun.

This means, "Although I expected the museum visit to be educational, it was also fun (which I had not expected)".

Thus, by the same logic, after my visit to a theme park, I could say:

The theme park was fun, not to say educational.

It would obviously be a mistake to say:

× The theme park was educational, not to say fun.

This last sentence would not fit in with the "different from expected" situation.

So, to summarize, we use "... not to say..." in two kinds of situations:

1. In order to emphasize:

 pretty >> beautiful

2. In order to surprise:

 educational >> fun

● Words & Phrases ●
  • what may be calledはwhat is called(いわゆる)の控えめな言い方
  • surprising
  • expect ... to do
  • be fun
  • discriminate between A and B
  • by the same logic
  • fit in with
  • to summarize

(帝京大学教授 Christopher Barnard)


 前回までの"... not to say ..."の応用編ですが、ちょっと事情が異なるようです。これぞ「意味のパズル」の真骨頂というところでしょうか。

No. 038 What does "This/That is not to say ... (not) ..." mean?
      ---- "This/That is not to say ... (not) ..." はトリッキー!

In Columns 35, and 36, I discussed the meanings of "…not to say…", and mentioned that the model translations (「Bとは言わないまでもA」) in dictionaries are incorrect.

"She is pretty, not to say beautiful" means "she is certainly pretty, and you could even say that she is beautiful".

This sentence, however, has a very different meaning:

1. She is pretty. That is not to say that she is beautiful.

This means:

2. She is pretty, but you could not say that she is beautiful.
3. She is pretty, but I would not go so far as to say that she is beautiful.

It is this pattern that should be translated as「Bとは言わないまでもA」.

This expression occurs at the beginning of a sentence, and gives some sort of qualification, or contradiction, regarding the preceding sentence.

Let us look at some sentences, and the variety of ways in which these kinds of sentences can be translated into Japanese:

4. I can run a marathon. That is not to say that I want to run one.
5. There have been some terrible bombings. This is not to say that the terrorists are winning.
6. You passed the exam. But that is not to say that I am pleased with your grade.
7. Microsoft is terrible. But that is not to say that Apple is without bugs.
8. That is a very strange story. That is not to say you are telling a lie.
9. That is a very strange story. That is not to say you are you are not telling the truth.
10. This teaching method emphasizes communication. This is not to say that learning English grammar is not important.

This pattern is rather a tricky one, especially when there is a double negative, as in the last two sentences.

● Words & Phrases ●
  • some sort of
  • qualification
  • contradiction 
  • regarding
  • preceding
  • the variety of ways in which ...
  • be pleased with
  • grade
  • bug
  • emphasize
  • double negative

(帝京大学教授 Christopher Barnard)



No. 039 "The" or no "the"
      ---- 路線名と"the"

There is a certain railway line that I regularly take. Inside the train, there are announcements like these, by a native speaker of English:

We will soon be arriving at Shinjuku. Transfer for Keio Line, Marunouchi Line, subway line, and Yamanote Line.

Another line which I take has announcements like this:

We will soon be arriving at Shinjuku. Change for the Keio Line, the Marunouchi Line, the subway line, and the Yamanote Line.

The second of these is correct English, and the first incorrect English. I wonder why the speaker in the first example, does not use "the". I cannot help thinking that someone told this native speaker to cut out all the "thes". Perhaps this person thought that the announcement would be "easier to understand" if there were not articles.

But it is certainly very strange English, and rather uncomfortable for a native speaker of English to listen to.

Japanese people seem to have a lot of difficulty with articles. Just remember to put "the" in front of the name of the train line. Your English will improve immediately!

● Words & Phrases ●
  • certain
  • regularly
  • Transfer for=Change for 〜への乗り換え
  • the first (is) incorrect Englishと省略されている
  • cannot help -ing
  • rather
  • cut out
  • article
  • uncomfortable ... to listen to
  • have a lot of difficulty with
  • remember to do
  • immediately

(帝京大学教授 Christopher Barnard)



No. 040 Focussed learning (Part 1)
      ---- 文法とボキャブラリーを状況にリンクさせる焦点学習法(その1)

In almost any university English-language class in Japan it would be very rare if one found a student who, after finishing an exercise said, "I have finished". Perhaps 90% of students will say, "Finished". If students wanted to changed roles while practising a dialogue, it would be quite rare if one of them said, "Shall we change?". In almost all cases, they will say "Change".

These students have studied/learnt/being tested on "the present perfect" and "Shall I ...?" hundreds and hundreds of times.

It would be quite surprising to find a university student who could say large numbers (say, 130,500 -- or even 27,000) in English easily and smoothly. But obviously students do learn numbers at high school.

How is such a situation possible?

Within Japanese society, it is possible to make the excuse: "Oh well, we learn English at school, but do not do English Conversation." It is far more difficult to use this excuse outside Japan, since it does not really make any sense.

One easy way to come to be able to speak normal English, and say normal things in the English language, is to use the system of focussed learning. I will discuss this, and give examples of this, in the next two Columns.

● Words & Phrases ●
  • rare
  • change roles
  • test 〜 on ...
  • obviously
  • possible
  • I t is possible to do
  • make an excuse
    言い訳をする(ここは次にその内容が続くためthe excuseになっている)
  • not make any sense
    意味をなさない(=make no sense)

(帝京大学教授 Christopher Barnard)


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