adjective: patient

day 10

Today I’d like to start a new section for my blog: adjectives. Many people in Japan and Korea (and probably other countries also) use their electronic dictionaries to find the meanings of adjectives. THIS IS A BAD IDEA!!!! Adjectives are very nuanced and often they are used in ways in English that are different from the ways they are used in other languages. Therefore, you should ALWAYS use an English-English dictionary when trying to understand adjectives.

The adjective “patient” is a very good example of this. In English, it has two meanings:

1. to tolerate a situation you don’t like calmly (this is the same meaning as “gaman” in Japanese). For example:

Your father is getting old now and he forgets many things. You need to be more patient with him.

My sister is a great mother. She’s always patient with her kids even if they misbehave.

(Please note that  the word “patient” is followed by the preposition “with” in these cases.)

2. to be able to wait for something calmly. (Please note that this is the MAIN definition of this word in English.) For example:

The economy will get better. We just have to be patient.

I hate it when I have to wait for people who are late. I’m not patient at all in those situations.

The new Johnny Depp movie won’t come to Japan for another six weeks! I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

A: Where is the pizza? I ordered it over 40 minutes ago!

B: Just be patient. I’m sure it will be here soon.

So I hope everyone now understands the meaning of “patient”. I will go over other adjectives in future blogs as well but, as I said before, please use an English-English dictionary for them when you study on your own.

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