Organizational Adverbs

after all / finally / at last / in the end / eventually

Theses are all translated as “ついに” or “結局は” in Japanese, but the usage is actually different in English.

After all

1. After all means “in spite of what was said before” or “contrary to what was expected.” 


I really wanted to come, but I can’t come after all.
I expected to fail the exam, but I passed after all.

2. After all is also used to add information that shows that what you have just said is true. Maybe だって is close in Japanese.


I do like her; after all, she is my sister.
Mary has final approval of the guest list; after all, it’s her wedding.


1. introduces the last element in a series; it is used in a list. = lastly


We must increase productivity. We must reduce unemployment.
And finally, we must compete in world markets.

2. suggests- very strongly – the idea of impatience or inconvenience resulting from a long wait or delay. It also conveys the feeling of relief. やっと! って感じ


Takeshi has finally passed his exams!
You are finally home! I have been so worried!

At last

is the same as no. 2 -“finally” but it is a little more formal.


Takeshi has passed his exams at last!
You are home at last! I have been so worried!

In the end

suggests that something happens after a lot of changes or dilemmas (problems). There is little emotion involved. It is usually used in the past tense. 


We made eight different plans for our holiday, but in the end we went to New York again.


is used when something happens after a long time or after a lot of effort. 


The car didn’t want to start, but eventually I got it going.
If you practice English often, eventually you will become very skilled.



I. Choose the correct word for each sentence.

1. The traffic was terrible, but we got there ( eventually / finally ).
2. It will take a long time to master English, but ( eventually / finally ) you will be able to speak it like a native.
3. ( Eventually / Finally ), I would like to thank you for your hard work.
4. Firstly, you need to turn on your amplifier. Secondly, …Thirdly, .. And ( at last / lastly ), you need to turn it to the right.
5. I left in the middle of the movie. What happened after that? Did they get married
( in the end / lastly )?
6. You should not be so angry with her. ( After all / At last ), she is only a child.
7. We waited for 2 hours in snow. ( After all / At last ), the bus came!
8. First, I would like to talk about Tama University. Second, … Third,… And ( finally / in the end ), I would like to talk about my English Shower class.
9. Of course you are tired. ( After all / In the end ), you were up all night.
10. Keisuke has found a job ( at last / eventually ) !


II. Choose: after all / finally / at last / in the end / eventually

a) I failed my driving test many times, but ____________________ I passed it.
b) You deserve to pass the exam. ______________ , you studied so hard!
c) _______________ you have finished your homework! You were up all night trying to finish, weren’t you?
d) I was offered many jobs all over Japan, but __________________, I accepted a job in my home town, so I could live near my family.
e) I talked about my work history, my education, my experiences, and __________________, my goals for the future.
f) I said I was not going to go to London, but I ended up going _________________.
g) If you keep working as hard as you are now, _________________ you will probably get sick. Please watch your health.
h) I accidentally locked myself into the classroom. I waited for 2 hours, and _____________ the porter came to open the door. I was so relieved!
i) I understand that John is still mad at you. Don’t worry. Just give him some time. ________________ he will stop feeling angry and will talk with you.

Rejoinders and Follow-Up Questions

Rejoinders (an MP3 file from

A rejoinder is quick response to show that you are interested or paying attention. (あいづち)

A: (asks a question)
What kind of boss would you never like to work for?

B: (thinks and answers)
Ummm, that’s a good question. Let me see….. I guess I wouldn’t like to work for anyone who is too strict. I don’t want to feel like I’m still in school.

A: (gives a REJOINDER + a comment and a follow-up question)
I see. I guess I feel the same. What kind of boss is good then?

B: (answers, and possibly questions)
I’d like a boss who gives me some responsibility, and who is not so stressed. What about you? What kind of bosses do you like?


showing happiness:

That’s great!    Terrific!    Wonderful!   Fantastic!

showing sadness:

That’s too bad.    I’m sorry to hear that.    Oh, no.

showing interest:

I see.         That’s nice.        Oh, yeah?     Oh really?

showing surprise:

You’re kidding!        I can’t believe it!        Oh, really!           You’re pulling my leg!
Get out of town!        No way!                    You can’t be serious!    You’re not serious!


What ___ ?  Where ___ ? Why ___ ? When ___ ? Who ___ ? How ___ ?

Like what ___ ?  Like where ___ ? Like who ___ ?

What kind of ___ ?

How big/ far/ late/ long…? (How + adjective)

Look, See, or Watch?

1) Listen to the following file and try to fill in the blanks: Note: If you want to be able to see this page while you listen, try right-clicking the file (PC users) or command-clicking it (Mac users).


‘Look’, ‘see’ and ‘watch’ seem very _________, they all talk about different ways of using your _____. However, there are _____ very important differences. It ________  ___ how you _________ to look or watch and how _________ the looking is. When we say ‘see’ we are normally talking about things we can’t ________ – so for example, “I opened the curtains and saw some birds outside.” – I didn’t intend to see them, it just _________. However, when we use the verb ‘look’, we’re talking about seeing something with an intention. So, “this morning I ______  ___ the newspaper” – I intended to see the newspaper.

When we watch something, we intend to look at it but we’re also looking at it quite intensely, usually because it’s __________. So, for example, “I watched the bus go through the traffic lights.” “I watched the __________.” We want to see it, we’re looking at it intensely and it’s __________ moving.

When we use verbs of the _________, and this group, ‘look’, ‘see’ and ‘watch’ are verbs of ____________  __________, there’s usually a difference between intention and _____-intention, so, for example, “I heard the radio.” – I didn’t intend to, it just happened, or, “I listened to the radio” – I __________ it on to find my _______________ programme. Similarly, “I ________ the wind on my face.” – I didn’t intend to feel this, it just happened, or “I ______________ the fabric.” – I intended to feel the fabric.

It’s important when you find these verbs of the senses to ___________ them together and try to find the _________________ between them. Remember that when you look at words which _________ to be similar, it’s important to find out _____________________ the differences between them because basically you can’t really use them ________________________.

Remember, ‘see’ – you didn’t _____________ intend to, it ____________ happened; ‘look’ – you _________________ to do it; and ‘watch’ – you intended to do it and you were looking ______________________, usually because it was ______________.
From BBC News Learning English

2) Practice Cloze

General Guidelines:
SEE = no intention from subject
LOOK = intention from subject
WATCH = intention & intensity from the subject (normally, but not always, due to movement from object)

Chose between LOOK (at) SEE & WATCH to fill in the blanks. Remember to change verb tenses as necessary. Some phrases are idiomatic.

1.    Did you ______________ my wallet? I don’t know where I put it!
2.    Please ____________ my bag for me while I go to the bathroom.
3.    I ____________ Tim yesterday on my way to the supermarket. He looks great!
4.    My supervisor _______  __________________ my every move. I feel uncomfortable.
5.    We’re going out to _______________ a movie.
6.    Can you ________________ (over) the baby for a few minutes?
7.    I ______________ ___________________ my father in a long time.
8.    Can I have a _________________ at your essay?
9.    I opened the door and ____________________ that the dog had eaten my lunch, which I had stupidly left on the chair.
10.      I ____________ _________ her with admiration on a daily basis.
11.     Could you please __________ ________ __________________ at my document? I think there are some mistakes.
12.     ____________________ out for falling rocks!
13.     angry parent scolding child: “_____________ _________ me when I’m talking to you!”
14.         A: What are you doing tonight?
B: Nothing much. I think I’ll just stay home and  ______________ TV.
15.    I need to __________________ over the figures for that report. I just want to double check.
16.    __________________ _______ you! You’re dancing skills have really improved!
17.    ____________________ the runner on the left. He’s got a slow start but I’ll bet he finishes in the top three!
18.    I ________________ ______________________ that movie yet. Is it good?
19.    I hate being ______________________ like that on the train. Staring is so rude!
20.    The train is one hour late. ________? I told you so! Nothing is on time during a typhoon. I’m surprised it’s not cancelled!

Making Polite Requests

Start by learning the expressions in orange, then try to use other phrases. Note that the phrases are progressively more polite.

1.   Requesting information

Please tell me_____.
I would like you to tell me ____ .
I would like to ask you ____.
I would like to know ____.
Can/ Will/ Could / Would you please tell me____?
Would you mind ____ing please?
Do you think you could ____ please?
I wonder/ was wondering  if you could tell me _____.
I wonder/ was wondering  if you would mind telling me ____.
I wonder/ was wondering  if you would mind my asking you to _____.
Do you think I could ask you ______?
Would you be so kind as to tell me ____ please?

2.   Requesting action

Please _____.
I would like you to ____ .
I would like to ask you to ____.
Can/ Will/ Could / Would  you please ____?
Would you mind ____ing please?
Do you think you could ____ please?
I wonder/ was wondering  if you could  _____/ would mind  _____ing.
I wonder/ was wondering  if you would mind my asking you to _____.
Do you think I could ask you to ______?
Would you be so kind as to ____ please?

3.   Requesting permission

Can/ Could/ May I please ______?
I would like ______ please.
I would really appreciate it if I could/ you would allow me to  _____.
Do you mind if I _____?

More advanced ways to ask for something

Do you have a ____ I can/ could ______?
You don’t/ wouldn’t have a ____ I can/ could  ______, do/ would you?
Do you happen to have a _______ I can/ could ____ ?
You don’t/ wouldn’t happen to have a ____ I can/ could ____, do/ would you?