英会話・英語 アミック Wish


‘Wish’ is a verb which talks about unreal or imagined situations. Because of this, it has some unusual verb patterns:

A present wish
When we want to make a wish about a present situation, we use wish and a past simpleor continuous verb. 

  • I don’t have my umbrella. I wish I had my umbrella.
  • She doesn’t know the answer. I wish she knew the answer.
  • You’re at work, but you wish you were playing football, right?

A past wish
When we want to make a wish about a past action or situation, we use wish and the past perfect – had + past participle verb.

  • I’m so tired. I wish I had slept for another hour last night.
  • She knows she made a mistake. She wishes she hadn’t been so silly.
  • You were right. I shouldn’t have quit my job. I wish I had listened to you.

American Colloquialism Calamity – 英会話・英語 アミック

A few years ago, a survey went around American Facebook circles asking simply what part of the country you live in, what you call certain objects, and how you pronounce certain words. After finishing, you saw a map of how people answered the same questions in different parts of the country.

For some questions, the answers were nearly the identical across the board except for one small hotspot (e.g. only in a small part of Pennsylvania and New Jersey do they call a long sandwich with meat and lettuce a ‘hoagie’, whereas everywhere else it’s called a ‘sub’). For other questions, the answers varied wildly; here are a few of my favorites:

These illustrations are from designer Joshua Katz’s book, “Speaking American” and based on a pre-Facebook study done by Cambridge’s Bert Vaux et al. To take a similar version of the survey, check out The Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes (also being conducted by Vaux). 


Love vs. Lava: The Story of Harry R. Truman 英会話・英語 アミック

Mount St. Helens, a volcano in Washington, erupted  38 years ago on May 18, 1980. The eruption was so strong that it deposited ash in 11 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces. Sadly, 57 people lost their lives in the resulting landslides and lava flows.

Among the 57 people who perished was a man named Harry R. Truman.  During the 1930s, Harry opened a hotel at the foot of Mount St. Helens and ran it with his wife for over fifty years. Despite being made well-aware of the pending eruption, Harry was unwilling to evacuate to safety in the months preceding the volcanic explosion. He thought that geologists were being overly cautious and no actual harm would come to him if he stayed in his home at the base of the volcano. He loved Mount St. Helens and his home so much that he chose to stay despite the earthquakes that violently shook his home in the months preceding the eruption.

 Harry truly believed that the lava would avoid him and he could continue to live in the area with ease. Unfortunately, despite one more attempt to get Harry to leave his home, the volcano erupted, covering his home with layers of debris and ash. Harry became a local folk hero for his unwillingness to leave while the rest of the area was being evacuated. He is remembered today as a stubborn man with an undying love of the wilderness of  Mount St. Helens.


英会話・英語 アミック Must vs Have to

Must and have to

Both must and have to talk about obligations. Both are followed by an infinitive verb with no to.

Have to
Have to is used for obligations that others decide for us. These are often laws or rules and so cannot be changed.

  • We have to show our passes to enter the building.
  • You have to smoke outside. Smoking is not allowed inside.
  • She has to have a license before she drives.

We use must to talk about obligations we decide for ourselves or others.

  • You must be more organised.
  • must exercise more often.
  • We must clean the house today.

Memorial Day in America – 英会話・英語 アミック

This past Monday was Memorial Day in America. The national holiday always occurs on the last Monday of May and is in place to honor those U.S. military members that died while serving the country. Communities big and small mark the day by holding parades, special assemblies, and placing flags throughout local cemeteries. 

In addition to being a day of remembrance, the day has other cultural significance as well. Much of the country has the day off work, so a popular pastime is to get together with friends and family for outdoor picnics and BBQ. The long weekend is seen as the unofficial start to summer, so many also take the opportunity to travel to nearby beaches or lakes to enjoy water activities for the first time in months. Many community swimming pools also begin their seasons at this time. 

And for students, the day is a signpost that their school year is almost finished (if it hasn’t already!)


Toxe – Big Age 英会話・英語 アミック

So here’s Toxe from Sweden making me feel giddy, melancholic, introspective, outside, digital, in the flesh and very very something I can’t quite explain. She’s just that type of girl.


英会話・英語 アミック When I grow up…

When you were a child, what did you want to be?

When I was about seven or eight, my first dream was to become a butcher. Weird, huh!? After that, I wanted to become a primary school teacher, and then got into drawing and wanted to be an illustrator. My aspirations changed again, as a lot of children tend to do, which was to become an architect. Pretty set at that time, I took the necessary electives in secondary school to try and get closer to my so-called dream job. It wasn’t until the final year in high school I decided I wanted to become a humble artist. Fast forward to 2018 and here I am teaching.
I’m still in love with the idea of living in a self-designed home, on a farm, living off the land, in the country, painting, and making art. When I think about it, my dreams are still there, but life has taught me to take the scenic route to reach my goal.

Baseball dances! 英会話・英語 アミック

I’m not a very big fan of baseball, but I am a huge fan of Japanese baseball fans. I recently learned that many baseball teams in Japan have very devoted followers that learn dances and chants to support their team from the stands. 

Here is a video of Hiroshima Carp fans doing their “squat cheer”:



Their legs must be so sore after a great game!


And here’s the fans’ of the Orix Buffaloes doing their fun towel dance:


In America, baseball fans don’t really have an organized chant or routine to celebrate their team. However, college football fans are known to get pretty rowdy during games. 

Here’s the University of Arkansas Razorbacks “calling the pigs” during a game:


And of course the “Rammer Jammer” of the University of Alabama:


No matter where you are in the world, it seems that every sports team has their own way of celebrating! What does your favorite sports team’s fans do to show their support?


英会話・英語 アミック  chess vs shogi

Here are the significant differences between chess and shogi:

  1. In shogi, captured pieces become the property of the capturer and can re-enter play by being dropped onto almost any vacant square. In chess, captured pieces are out of the game. Thus, in shogi, piece exchanges complicate the play significantly while in chess they simplify it.
  2. The shogi board is 9×9; the chess board is 8×8.
  3. Shogi has five pieces with no counterpart in chess: the gold and silver generals, the lance, the promoted rook and the promoted bishop. Chess has one piece with no counterpart in shogi: the queen. The knight’s move in shogi is much more restrictive than in chess. Pieces in shogi generally have a much smaller range of movement than in chess (unless they are in hand).
  4. In shogi, all pieces except the gold general and the king can promote, but only to one kind of piece. Promotion is easier in shogi because the promotion zone is closer to the starting position of the pieces (especially pawns). In chess, only the pawn can promote, but it can promote to any other piece except the king.
  5. In shogi, pawns capture the same way they move. There is no initial two-space pawn move and hence no en-passant captures. In chess, pawns capture diagonally which means that opposing pawns can block each other.
  6. In shogi, you only have one rook and one bishop. Note that the bishop is not restricted to only one “color” square (squares in shogi aren’t colored, but never mind) because promoted bishops can also move one square orthogonally.
  7. There is no special castling move in shogi. The term “castle” is used in shogi to denote a defensive formation consisting of (usually) three generals which protect the king. There are many such castles (about 40 or so have names). 
  8. Draws are much rarer in shogi than in chess. Perpetual check is not allowed. Stalemate is a virtual impossibility, and is a loss for the stalematee.
  9. Since pieces are never out of play in shogi, chess-type endgames involving only a few pieces do not occur.
  10. Shogi games are generally longer than chess games (about 60-70 moves is typical).
  11. Shogi has a well-developed handicap system which is in general use; chess does not.


アミック・イングリッシュセンターは、1998年に愛媛県重信町(現東温市)で英会話スクールとして創業し、愛媛県松山市と東温市を中心に、これまで18年間誠実に英語を教えて参りました。最近のグローバル化に伴い、英会話スクールの必要性はますます増加しております。特に、スピーキング・リスニング・ライティング・リーディングの4技能をバランスよく持つ人材が必要とされており、英検など4技能対応型の試験への期待も高まっております。小学校の英語必修化や資格試験を重視する大学入試の大幅な変更もすぐそこに迫って来ている中、 アミック・イングリッシュセンターとしては、英検やTOEICの対策にも力を入れており、優秀な外国人及び日本人講師を積極的に採用しております。