HOME > WordMaster® > LIGHT (a cigarette) vs. SET FIRE TO | (タバコ)に火をつける vs. 〜に放火する

For Life
2002.09.30

Greetings, and welcome back from the weekend! Today we say goodbye to September and look forward to all the great things that are sure to happen in October.

Last week we took a break from our series on "fire" to welcome the coming of autumn. This week we finish that series with four more "hot" WordMasters. Just when you thought it was safe to light a match again...!

Today's LessonCATEGORY: Commonly Confused Words
LIGHT (a cigarette) vs. SET FIRE TO   (タバコ)に火をつける vs. 〜に放火する

Explanation

  • To light a fire is to make something start to burn. We can also say, "light a cigarette", "light a candle", etc.

    To set fire to something also means to make it start to burn, but usually to cause damage.
  • light a fire は、何かを燃やすために火をつけるという意味です。light a cigarette(タバコに火をつける)、light a candle(キャンドルに火をつける)のようにも言います。

    set fire to も、何かに火をつけるという意味ですが、普通、ダメージを与えるために火をつける場合に使われます。

examples

  1. a: Shall I light a fire in the fireplace? 
    b: Yes, I'd love a chat by the fire.
  2. If you try to light a cigarette in the bathroom of an airplane, an alarm will sound.
  3. (friends preparing for a surprise birthday party for Sally)
    Quick! Light the candles. Sally's coming!
  4. The man, angry at having lost his job, set fire to the office. Three employees were injured, one seriously.
  5. (newspaper headline)
    "Woman sets fire to own home to collect insurance money"
  6. One of the students used gasoline to set fire to himself to protest the war.

See you tomorrow!