English as a Second Language/Questions

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Question
1.What does it mean? He thinks he is too good for his friends.
how about this one?You are too good for this job.

2.What is the difference between these two sentences?
She looks as if she she is rich. She looks as if she was rich.
how about these ones?
you look as if you have had a shock.
you look as if you had a shock.

3.What answers can I give to this question?
May I help you?

4.Is it correct?May I possibly take your car?if it is correct what answers can I give to this question?
5. What does it mean?
And before you let the sun in, mind it wipes its shoes.
how about this one?
I must take my salts which are my nature's friend.

Answer
Hi Nina!

Sorry for the late reply but thank you for your patience!

1. When someone thinks he or she is "too good" for something or someone, that means that he or she feels superior to something or someone in some way.  In other words, the object (in your examples, "his friends" or "this job") are inferior to the subject's abilities, skills or status.

"He thinks he is too good for his friends" basically means he thinks he should have "better" friends, possibly cooler friends or smarter friends or friends with a higher social status.

"You are too good for this job" means that this job does not recognize your superior skills or you have good enough skills that you can/should get a better job.

2. Interesting question!  The first one (She looks as if she is rich) is called a "real" statement but the second one (she looks as if she was rich) is called an "unreal" statement.  That means that in the first sentence, the speaker is saying that she may actually be rich, but in the second sentence, she is stating very clearly that she is NOT rich (but looks that way).  The use of the past tense (was) indicates that the situation is not real or not possible or not true.

"She looks as if she is rich": I do not know for sure if she is rich, but she actually looks that way.

"She looks as if she was rich": I know she is not rich, but she looks that way.

3. This is a useful question, as it is commonly asked in stores in native English speaking countries.  It is a yes/no questions, so basically you can just say "Yes" or "No", but to elaborate:

A. Yes...(describe how you need help).  For example: "Yes, I'm looking for..." or "Yes, can you help me find...?" or "Yes, do you know...?"

B. You can add any of the following comments after no: "Thank you", "I'm fine", "I'm just looking".
Ex: No, I'm fine, I'm just looking.
Ex: No, thank you, I'm fine.
Ex: No, I'm just looking, I'm fine, thank you.

4. That doesn't seem correct to me!  In that context, "take" sounds like "steal"!  Maybe if the person is a valet, they just want to park your car, and if so, you could say "Yes, please." or "Yes, thank you", or you can provide a negative answer (no) as per #3B.

5.
"mind it wipes its shoes."  The first part is self-explanatory, but this part might be a bit difficult.  In this context, "mind" means "be careful about" or "be sure that" or "pay attention to".  For instance:
"Mind your manners": Pay attention to your manners
"Mind he doesn't smoke in the house": Be sure he doesn't smoke in the house
"Mind the steps": Be careful about the steps or Watch the steps

I'm afraid I don't know what "my nature's" means.  If you could provide a little more context maybe I can help you with the other sentence!

Take care, and I hope that helps!

English as a Second Language

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Brian Connelly

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I can answer pretty much any question a student might have about English; about grammar, vocabulary, meanings of words, phrases, expressions or idioms, pronunciation, etc. I can answer questions about how to learn or study English better, how to improve certain aspects of communication (listening, writing, speaking, etc), about why we have certain rules.

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I've been teaching English in Japan, mainly as a private (one-to-one) teacher, but also at companies such as Universal Studios or international airports. I have taught professional interpreters and translators and I have also taught students who dropped out of high school and never learned any English. Several years ago I acquired the CELTA and I have been running my own classroom for the past year.

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I currently have approximately 40 individual students with whom I work one on one. I have also worked with local manufacturing companies, colleges, local retailers, as well as Sharp, Universal Studios, Itami International Airport, Kobe International Airport

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