Your English has no heart

in congressional

X The automated external defibrillator is set up in congressional in the this hospital.

Tim says:

There are three problems with the English on this sign.

If you say “The automated…”, we would assume it’s the only AED, or it’s a specific AED that has been mentioned before. But it hasn’t been mentioned before, so “an” is better.

Someone has translated 「設置」 as “set up in congressional” — it’s hard to be sure what that means! Americans might think it has something to do with their Congress (国会)! A better translation is “installed”.

Also, as you probably realized, there’s no reason to have “the” and “this” together. You only need one or the other. In this case, “this hospital” would be better, because it means 「当病院」; “the hospital” is simply 「その病院」.

O An automated external defibrillator is installed in this hospital.

Thank you to ミキコリさん for sending this photo!


Which one?

an escalator

X Please take an escalator to Imoarai-zaka

Tim says:

“An” escalator? This sign is right near an escalator! The sign is referring to a specific escalator, so it should use “the”!

Saying “take an escalator” implies that it’s up to you to decide which one to use. But there’s only one.

O Please take the escalator to Imoarai-zaka


It’s an simple mistake

Please push the button in a emergency (photo by Ayumi Tanaka)

X Please push the button in a emergency

Tim says:

Wow. That’s a pretty elementary mistake! “Emergency” begins with a vowel sound, so the indefinite article (不定冠詞) should be “an” rather than “a”.

By the way, please notice that I said “vowel sound”, not “vowel”. Some words are pronounced beginning with a vowel sound, even if the first letter is a consonant. For example, “an hour”.

O Please push the button in an emergency


Ayumi says:

最初に見たときには驚きました! だって、声を出して読んでみるとすぐわかりそうな、、、

in a emergencyってとっても言いにくいです。 「母音の前の不定冠詞は、aではなくanになる」って中学1年で習った記憶があります。

ところで、「母音字」ではなく「母音」であることに注意です。 スペリングだけを見ると「母音字」でなくても、音が母音であれば不定冠詞は “an”です。 たとえば、単語にMが1つだけ含まれるのであれば、

There is an M.

「エム」って母音から始まりますので。 とっても間違いやすいですので要注意!


田中亜由美は「TOEICテスト クロストレーニング PART 1・2」などの本は販売中!ブログはこちら.



An entrance is on the other side

X An entrance is on the other side


O The entrance is on the other side


 O Entrance on other side


Quiz No. 290




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