When I was giving a TOEIC practice test to one of my students I was surprised to hear a conversation about lawnmowers among the listening exercises. Then I wondered if it was a common TOEIC word. So far I have found the word in every TOEIC vocabulary book and list I have seen. This got me thinking about why it is included. Then I realized that cutting grass
and grass itself is an important part of English culture.
This made me remember the hundreds of hours I have spent in my life mowing the yard of every house I have ever lived in since I was about 12 years old. I have lived in 8 different houses so far in my lifetime and I have had the “pleasure” of cutting grass around each one of them!
So there you have it! Grass and lawnmowers are a cultural phenomenon in English speaking countries. I even have some grass at my current house. You can some pictures of it in this video of a BBQ party at my house in 2009. Grass certainly is important so it might be good to study about lawnmowers, lawns, grass-court tennis, football and golf. You see! Grass plays an important role in English culture. Enjoy the video! 2009 Smith’s Schools of English Okamoto, Tsukaguchi and Kawanishi Joint BBQ Party.
A: Hey Bill, can I borrow your lawnmower? Mine seems to be on its last legs! I can’t get it started.
B: No problem Jim. Just make sure to refill the gas and sharpen the blade if you run over any rocks.
A: You bet Bill! I’ll have her back by sundown. (Note: Men often refer to their cars and machines with engines as if they are females. That’s why I used “her” in the last sentence.)
Al Bartle (Owner and Head Coach of Smith’s School of English in Kobe-Okamoto)
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