Advanced · Eikaiwa

上級英会話 レストラン2

Amazon opens Seattle grocery pickup sites to Prime membersThe Seattle Times

alpha test:
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Alpha Testing means that something is in the first stage of testing. This is usually used when talking about testing technology.

beta test: Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. Beta Testing is the second phase of testing.

bricks-and-mortar: A physical, real-world location instead of a website. Bricks and mortar are used to make buildings. (Also sometimes called “brick-and-mortar.”)

foray: A foray is a first attempt at something, especially in an area you do not normally work in.

purveyor: Someone who supplies or provides something, such as food.

Discussion Questions:
What is this article about?
Do you understand how AmazonFresh Pickup Works?
Is there anything in the article you don’t understand?
Was there anything in this article you thought was interesting?
What do you think about Amazon opening a grocery store?
Do you think this will have an effect on other grocery stores?
Do you think this will do well in America?
Do you think in the future Amazon might open a store like this in Japan? Why or why not?
If you had the chance, would you want to try using this service? Why or why not?
What are some concerns you think people might have about this service?
What other thoughts do you have about this article?

This is how AmazonFresh Pickup works:  You order your groceries through Amazon. You can order as few or as many items as you want. Schedule the time you want to pick up your order. When you go to the AmazonFresh Pickup location, an employee will have your order ready for you and will bring it out to your car. The purpose of this is to minimize the amount of time you spend grocery shopping so you have more time to focus on other things. If you pay for AmazonFresh ($15 a month), you can get your groceries faster. If you don’t have an AmazonFresh subscription, you have to wait at least two hours until you can pick up your groceries.

One thing that is interesting about Amazon is they are taking an approach that is the reverse of what we are used to. It used to be that most stores start with a physical location and then open a store online. Amazon started as an online store and have grown in popularity. Thanks to the increasing sales of inexpensive e-books (digital books that you can read on your phone or tablet), Amazon has been putting many bookstores out of business, but they recently opened a brick-and-mortar store that sells physical books instead of e-books.


Other Sources
If you would like to learn more about this topic, please take a look at these links.

AmazonFresh opens its grocery Pickup locations in Seattle – TechCrunch

Amazon’s drive-up grocery stores are now open to the public in Seattle – The Verge

Amazon’s cashier-free store reportedly breaks if more than 20 people are in it – The Verge

5 Reasons Why Amazon Is Experimenting With Physical Stores – Fortune

AmazonFresh Pickup – Amazon

Introducing AmazonFresh Pickup: Groceries delivered to your trunk – Amazon

Advanced · Eikaiwa

上級英会話 レッスン1

Idioms          級英会話          Intermediate English Conversation          Lesson 1

What are idioms?
A phrase or expression. It’s meaning is different from the meaning of the individual words.

ex: Raining cats and dogs.

Are cats and dogs falling from the sky?! Nope. It’s just raining a lot more than usual.

Why do we use idioms?
Idioms are used for many different reasons. They can be short ways of saying something, add emphasis, or be humorous. Idioms help make English fun and interesting, but they can also make things very frustrating for those learning English.

Do you know any idioms? Do you know what they mean?

Common English Idioms
Let’s look at 10 common English idioms, what they mean, and how we can use them.

1) Beat around the bush
When someone is being indirect or circling around what they want to say or ask.

In Japanese culture, if you want to ask someone for a big favor, do you directly ask them? Probably not, right? You might circle around, ask questions, and eventually get to the question you want to ask. Most likely you aren’t going to jump right out and ask the question. This is an example of beating around the bush.

When I asked my brother if he broke my camera, he kept beating around the bush and wouldn’t just say if he did or not.

2) Get to the point
This is often used with beat around the bush. “The point” is the purpose or main idea.

Stop beating around the bush and get to the point!

I have to go soon. Get to the point.

This can be used as a command, or you can use it to describe how someone spoke.

I like his speeches because he knows how to get to the point.

3) Sweep under the rug
There’s a problem, but instead of dealing with it, you ignore it or try to hide it. This is similar to when you tell your kid to clean their room, but they just push the mess under the bed. The mess is still there, it’s just hiding. This can be used for serious problems or trivial (not serious) problems.

He wants to sweep it under the rug, but that won’t make the problem go away.

I wish you would have told me what happened instead of just sweeping it under the rug.

4) Turn a blind eye
If you have a blind eye, it means you cannot see out of it. Turning a blind eye means you are turning an eye that cannot see to look at something. In other words, something is happening in front of your eyes, but you are not seeing it. To turn a blind eye means you are intentionally ignoring something. This can be something serious or something trivial.

Bullying is a problem in schools, but many people turn a blind eye to it.

The police often turn a blind eye when they see people texting and driving.

My dad turned a blind eye when he saw me steal a cookie.

5) Bury head in the sand
This idiom comes from the belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they see danger. (In truth, this isn’t the case, but we’re not focusing on ostrich behavior here, we’re focusing on idioms.) To bury your head in the sand means to avoid reality or to avoid a bad situation. This is typically used for more serious issues, not trivial ones.

I knew I was failing math, but I kept my head buried in the sand all quarter.

Don’t bury your head in the sand. Find out why your company is losing money and fix the problem.

6) Benefit of the doubt
This is a difficult one to understand. Even as a native speaker, it took me a long time to figure out what this meant. The benefit of the doubt is when you decide to accept or believe something, even when you have doubts about how true it is.

My coworker told me he was late because he was in a car crash. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is the third time he’s been late this week.

My friend said she was chased by bears in Alaska. I had a hard time believing that, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.

To read more about benefit of the doubt, take a look at this post on StackExchange.

7) Once in a blue moon
For something to happen very rarely. Only shows up a lot in sentences with this idiom to emphasize how little it happens.

I only go to karaoke once in a blue moon.

I bought a guitar, but I only play it once in a blue moon.

8) Living under a rock
When you don’t know what is happening outside your own life, especially with current events.

I’ve been living under a rock, so I don’t know how the Mariners are doing this season.

A: Did you hear about what Trump did yesterday?
B: No, I’ve been living under a rock.

9) Take with a grain/pinch of salt
This means to recognize that something may not be completely true or accurate. The idiom comes from the idea that food is easier to eat with a little salt.

He was pretty drunk, so take what he says with a grain of salt.

I know most people believe beer is bad for you, but I’ll take that with a grain of salt.

10) On the bright side
To ignore the bad parts and think about the good.

My friend was in a car accident. On the bright side, she wasn’t hurt, and she’s getting a new car.

I have to bike to work every day because I don’t have a car. But on the bright side, I’m getting exercise every day.