Lesson 27 Hard work
In English, the same expression can mean different things depending if it describes doing something or being something. Masako’s mistakes should help me explain this.
Tracy: What’s your boss like?
Masako: He’s hard work.
Tracy: I’m sorry to hear that.
Why is Tracy sorry to hear that Masako’s boss is “hard work”? Isn’t hard work a good thing for a boss? Well, hard work can be a good thing for a boss to do, but it’s a bad thing for a boss to be. “He’s hard work” means 彼は気難しい; i.e., he is hard work for other people. Masako should say, “He works hard” or “He does a lot of hard work.” So remember to work hard, but don’t be hard work.