英会話ワンポイントレッスン30.トーク・アベニュー新宿 "The _______ after next; The _______ before last"

Many people know how to say tomorrow, next week, yesterday, and last week. These phrases indicate a time span of 1 unit (i.e. "day", "week", "month", "year") into the future or past. However, when you want to talk about two time units into the future or path (i.e. two months, two weeks, two days, etc.) we have a special grammar pattern to describe it. For example:
  • Next week I will be saying in Osaka, and the week after next, I will travel to Kobe.
  • Next month will be very busy for us, but the month after next we should have more time to discuss this.
  • I hope to have the business online by next year, and to be making profits by the year after next.

These are ways of talking about things to happen in the future. When you want to refer to the past, you can use the following, similar pattern. For example:
  • Last week was very cold, but the week before last was quite warm!
  • The year before last, I traveled to France to study French.
  • Does anyone remember the name of the man who called the day before last?

We do NOT say the noun twice, such as "The week after next week" or "The month before last month", though it is understood that way by the listener.

(Note that the above patterns can be used with most time units, including the hour after next, the minute before last, etc., though it is most commonly used with the units of "week", "day", "month", or "year".

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英会話ワンポイントレッスン29.トーク・アベニュー新宿 Using "Who" to Describe Someone Further

In more complex English sentences, often question words (i.e. who, what, where, when, why, how) are used to begin a descriptive clause. We do this to combine multiple ideas together into a single sentence, rather than using several short sentences. This allows for more fluid and descriptive speech, and is an essential part of understanding higher level English sentence patterns.

To describe people, the question word who is used.

For example, the following two short sentences:
  • I saw a man yesterday.
  • The man looked like my friend.

These sentences can be combined by using the word who as follows:
  • The man who I saw yesterday looked like my friend

Notice that the word who is placed immediately after the noun you wish to further describe, and that the statement after who is describing the noun further. Other examples:
  • I don't know the woman who keeps calling me.
  • The little boy who fell into the river last week is doing fine now
  • Tom doesn't like people who are not polite.


Such descriptive clauses can also be combined to describe multiple people in the statement. For example:
  • There was a man in the park who was interviewing people who were on vacation today.

In the above sentence, "was interviewing people" describes "a man in the park", and "were on vacation" describes "people".

Another example:
  • He is a kind man who helps children who have lost their families.

Native English speakers often include such descriptive clauses in their sentences, and understanding how such sentences are constructed and how to interpret the information is very important to improving your English skills. Good luck!

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英会話ワンポイントレッスン28. トーク・アベニュー新宿 "Go to" vs. "Go"

Go is often followed by the preposition to when we are talking about traveling in the direction of a location. To is a preposition that gives the direction of the verb. If the preposition to were to be drawn in picture form, it would be a strait arrow connecting our current location to where we will go.
  • Tomorrow I will go to New York to see my grandmother in Brooklyn.

  • Let's go to the supermarket and get some potatoes for dinner tonight.
In both of the above examples, we are going to a place, so we can say go to.

However, one exception to this is when our destination is home, and when it is without any articles (a, the) or possessive pronouns (my, his, John's). Whether the verb is go or come or return, if home is our destination, then we do not use the preposition to.
  • I need to go to home for a few hours at lunch to meet with my realtor.

  • Rob will return to home sometime next week.
but.....
  • I need to go to his home tonight and have dinner with his family

  • Rob will return to his home sometime next week.
Another time that we say go to is when we are telling that we are going somewhere for the purpose of doing something. However, in this case to is not a preposition but is part of grammar of the verb. For example...
  • She will go to buy a new computer.

  • I won't go to see the Broadway musical.
Finally, when we are talking about going to do an activity (such as go fishing, go shopping, go skiing, go sailing, etc.) we should not use the preposition to.
  • Tonight I will go to fishing at the lake.

  • Let's go to shopping in Shibuya tonight!
If you can remember and apply these rules to your own English speaking, you will sound much more fluent. Good luck and study hard!

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