英語のヒント vol. XV: 日本人がよくやるミス 9 - "Let's play"

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Apr 3, 2014 20:36 ミス mistakes 英語のヒント hint
Heeeeeeeeeeeellllllllloooooooooooo my peeps!

What a beautiful day. It's a great day to be alive.

Oh yeah.. English Hint-o time ^^

So, you just met someone and get a good feeling about them and want to spend more time with them. A common Japanese expression for this is: 「一緒に遊ぼう」 or something related to the verb 「遊び」. If you look this up in the dictionary, it might tell you something like "Let's play" or "Play together" or something like that.

HOWEVER, this is NOT what you mean. Probably.

The phrase "Let's play" is usually used in two very different contexts: 1) Among kids, 2) Flirtatious/sexual.

1) "To play," here, means to play a game or just have fun with no real purpose. So you can jump rope, or play with toys or run around or something, but among kids it basically means "let's have fun doing... something!"

2) Among native English speaking adults, "Let's play" usually means "let's do something sexual." Foreplay and flirtation are usually very subtle things, so saying "let's kiss" or "let's have sex" so openly is often not good for the... mating process. Like the first situation, "play" can mean anything, so when you say "let's play" to someone, maybe they're thinking "ooo... sounds fun... I wonder what he/she wants to do with me." You do not have a clear idea and that is exciting. The intent is usually to arouse or allure the other person.

OK, so I'm guessing you TOTALLY didn't mean 1 or 2 when you said this before! So what should you say when you want to spend some time with someone (non-sexually)?

a) "Let's hang out sometime" - this is by far the most casual, common expression to mean "let's do something together sometime"

b) "Let's chill sometime" - this is a bit more slangy, and a bit more casual, but "chill" is often used among young people

c) "Let's get together soon" - not slangy at all, can use anywhere.

However, many people say this to people they just met to be nice. That is, they don't really mean it and it's just something people say. So, if you are more serious about wanting to see someone more, you should say something like: "We should hang out some time. Are you free next week?" That is, add a time range and then they'll know you're serious.

Happy English-ing!

(Note: "English-ing" is not a real verb ;))

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