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英語研究プロジェクトCase Study 16

どっちが悪い?Who was bad?


Who was bad?

You’ve had a car crash and you’re telling your friend about it. What does your friend say?

‘Who was bad?’

‘Which one was bad?’

‘The other driver was bad.’

‘I wasn’t bad.’

In this situation the problem is the use of the word ‘bad.’

Wait a minute! I hear you say.

One driver must be 'bad' and the other must be 'good.'

Well, it's a case of YES & NO.

It’s not as simple and clear-cut as you would imagine.

Let’s look at the reasons why in more detail



When we use the words 'good' and 'bad' for people, it’s a pretty big responsibility.

It sounds like you’re talking about their character - that person as a human.

In many situations, accidents are not caused by being a bad person.

They are caused by


Misjudgments 不適切な判断

Feeling drowsy 眠気を催す

Old age 高齢

Inexperience 未熟

To use the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ seems a little childish and perhaps, unobjective.

Of course, this is not only for car accidents. It could be used in many situations.

Basically, something bad happened and we want to find out the reason why.



So what’s the solution to this problem?

Let’s look at this from a more objective viewpoint.

We need to use words such as:

  • At fault

  • To blame

  • In the wrong

(A) I had a car accident.

(B) Who was at fault?

(A) The other driver was at fault.

(A) Dad, I got rear-ended.

(B) OK, who was to blame?

(A) I think I was to blame.

(A) I was turning and a car hit me.

(B) Who was in the wrong?

(A) The other guy was in the wrong.

So in this case, we would never use ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ It’s too light and as I said before, sounds kind of childish in English.



Let's take a look at 5 example sentences.

(1) We’re going to miss the movie and it’s all your fault! You didn’t get ready on time!

'It’s your fault' is a common phrase used by family and friends when we are trying to blame another person.

(2) Who is to blame for this broken window?

I’m completely to blame. Sorry. I was practicing golf in the living room.

If someone is completely to blame, it means that they are 100% at fault.

(3) You are never in the wrong! Why don’t you just admit your mistakes sometimes!

With couples, this can be a bit of a sticky area. Some people just can’t say sorry.

(4) Don’t blame me for not passing the test! It’s nothing to do with me!

Maybe some little kids would try to pass the blame on to other family members. But we all know the truth.

(5) Do I need a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault?

Well, I’d say get lawyered up just in case things take a turn for the worse!



The next time you go to say ’who is bad?' think again and try to use some of the phrases from above. Please watch the VIDEO LESSON on YouTube!

Thanks for reading!









feel drowsy


old age






get rear-ended


admit your mistakes


get lawyered up


sticky area


take a turn for the worse


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