Category Archives: quizzes

Valentine’s Day Differences

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Valentine’s Day is coming up this Thursday! Are you ready?

two children making valentines, by johnny_automatic at

Valentine’s Day is celebrated differently around the world. What do you know about Valentine’s Day in the US? Check yourself by taking this quiz!

Regarding Valentine’s Day in America …

  1. … do men and boys receive most of the chocolate?
  2. … do people often give presents to their loved ones?
  3. … do couples often go out to dinner together?
  4. … do many elementary school students give cards to all of their classmates?
  5. … do people only give cards to their romantic partners, and not to friends and family?
  6. … do restaurants offer special dinner menus?
  7. … do most people make their own chocolate to give as gifts?
  8. … does your boss expect you to give him or her a present?
  9. … do you get the day off?
  10. … is it the number one day for buying flowers?
  11. … is chocolate the most popular candy?
  12. … is there another holiday in March called White Day, where men give gifts to women?

Okay, ready?

Here are the answers!

  1. NO! Men can both give and receive chocolate, but women get more chocolate than men.
  2. YES! Jewelry is common, but it can be anything–books, plants, video games, art, gift certificates, a bicycle, or anything that your loved one will enjoy.
  3. YES! I’m planning to go to dinner with my husband.
  4. YES! In my school, each student decorated a shoebox or paperback for receiving valentines. Then, on Valentine’s Day, we had to bring a card for each classmate (so that no one would be sad). Some students also give out candy. Stores carry special cheap cards, which come in a box of 20 or more. These cards have images of cartoon characters like Pokemon and Spongebob, pop stars, sports stars, etc. Children sometimes make valentines using colored paper, stickers, etc.
  5. NO! Some people give cards to their partners and to their children, friends, family members, etc. It depends on the person.
  6. YES! These dinners are often very expensive. They are often a set price and include special extras like champagne, roses, and a special dessert.
  7. NO! Some people do, but almost all people just buy their candy. Popular brands include See’s, Joseph Schmidt, and Godiva. M&Ms and other ordinary brands have special colors and flavors, and very expensive chocolate shops make special candies, too.
  8. NO! Your boss will probably be shocked if you give him or her a gift, since this day is mostly for romance.
  9. NO! Almost no one has this day off, because it’s not a national holiday.
  10. YES! It’s considered a romantic gift. Traditionally, men give roses to the women they love, but there are many other choices depending on the people. Of course, it’s okay for women to give flowers to men, and same-sex couples to each other, etc.
  11. YES! A lot of chocolate is sold for Valentine’s Day, and you can buy special chocolates at all kinds of stores (even gas stations).
  12. NO! White Day was invented in Japan, as far as I know. It is not known or celebrated in American culture–there’s no need for it here since Valentine’s Day is for both men and women to give and receive presents.

How did you score? Did you learn anything new, or did you already know everything? Actually, there’s a lot more to know about Valentine’s Day, because it’s a very old holiday in Europe (where it comes from). In a few days, I’ll post some websites where you can learn more about Valentine’s Day.

P. S. Significant other is a way to refer to “wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner,” etc., without making any guesses about the relationship or the gender of the person. (After all, you often can’t tell by looking if someone is married, gay, etc.) For example, let’s imagine that I have two co-workers, Alice and Scott. If Alice works late every day and never takes a vacation, I might ask Scott this question: “Does Alice have a significant other? It seems like she’s always working, and she’s never mentioned anyone.”

Away for a bit

On Thursday, I’m flying to San Diego to attend the statewide conference for CATESOL. My classmate and I are going to give a presentation about using Japanese comic books to teach English. It should be fun! I’m also going to attend lots of other presentations. I’ll probably be too busy to post here. However, I expect that I will come back with lots of new things to write about.

In the meantime, here is a long-time favorite self-study site: Interesting Things for ESL Students (also called “Many Things”). There is so much here that you could spend months using it. There are word games, quizzes, explanations, idioms, jokes, poems, songs, drills, and a lot more.

Let me know what your favorite pages at Many Things are. There are so many pages, I can’t try them all.

Have a good week! I’ll be back in just a few days.