Skip to Content

日本人がよく間違える英語 5選 ①




Let’s learn from mistakes!

1.He will back to Japan next month.
Understandability: high
This mistake shouldn’t cause much misunderstanding.

Here, “back” is being used as a verb, when in fact the context suggests it is an adverb. The intended meaning is “return” and therefore the correct utterance is “go back”.
“Back”, as a verb means “support” somebody.
“She wanted to become a doctor and her parents fully backed her in this endeavour.”
Correct answer: He will go back to Japan next month.

2. He needs to appeal his business in a better way.
Understandability: medium
This mistake may cause ambiguity in meaning, most likely due to the mismatch of meaning of the English verb “appeal” and one novel meaning of the Japanese verbal phrase アピールする as in “I’m hiring a marketing specialist to promote my business .” 「私のビジネスをアピールするためにマーケティングの専門家を雇っています。」

Here, the meaning of “アピールする” is Japanese-specific. In English, we would say more naturally “promote”.
Correct answer: He needs to promote his business in a better way.
In a future blog, we will look at the correct use of the English verb “appeal”.

3. I want to learn English from UK people.
Understandability: high
This mistake will not cause any misunderstanding.

Here, it is simply an error of collocation, wherein “UK + people” is an unnatural combination of words.

Correct answers:
• British people
• The British
• The Brits (a phrase mainly used by the rest of the Anglo-speaking world)
• Britons (more formal and used to place British people in a historic context)

4. I’m very familiar with my boss.
Understandability: medium
This mistake shouldn’t cause much misunderstanding, but might lead to embarrassment!

Here, the misplaced use is “to be familiar with somebody”.

In English, “to be familiar with somebody” has a more unpleasant meaning, often with a sexual connotation when considered inappropriate. A native speaker should glean your intended meaning, but not without imagining first the core meaning: your relationship with the boss is more than just a professional relationship!

Correct answers:
• I have a good working relationship with my boss.
• I get on (well) with my boss.

5. 9/11 was a terrible accident.
Understandability: high

Here, the mistake is the restricted use of “accident” in English.

In English, “an accident” requires the happening of an unfortunate situation in which damage occurs unintentionally.

The better choice of word would be “incident”.

“Incident” has much broader scope, including both intentional and unintentional undesirable events. So an accident can be described – especially initially – as an incident, but not all incidents can be called accidents.
Correct answer: 9/11 was a terrible incident.

PS Englishは、2001年イギリス・ロンドンで創立以来、在英日本人専門に英語を教えてきました。私達の強みは何と言っても、日本人専門であることと、対面またはオンラインで行うマンツーマン 英会話 レッスンです。

英語を上達するための最初のステップは、ピーター校長による無料英語力診断・コンサルテーションです。彼がPS Englishの紹介とあなたの英語力診断をして、あなたに最適なプランと先生をご紹介します。