Japanese people speaking English use "enjoy" quite frequently, and I believe that some of their uses are not really idiomatic or natural English (although they are grammatical). I've been asked by some people I teach for more specific information on this verb, but I've been here for long enough that it's a little hard for me make clear determinations on this.
The usage in questions is especially problematic, I think. It seems to me that "enjoy" in many cases requires the previous knowledge that the action was done. For instance, you do not ask someone "Did you enjoy watching the Olympics this summer?" if you don't know whether the person did watch or not. The future tense is similar "Will you enjoy watching the Olympics this weekend?" does not seem to me to be an idiomatic way to ask "Will you watch the Olympics this weekend?" with an emphasis that the activity is expected to be fun.

I have a similar doubt about "enjoy" used with "let's", as in "Let's enjoy singing songs tonight." I can't quite put my finger on why I think this sounds odd, though.
Do you think these observations are accurate?
Finally, consider this dialogue:
A: "What did you do last weekend?"
B: "I enjoyed baseball with my friends."
It seems unnatural to me is it any more natural if you change B's response to "I enjoyed playing baseball..."? It still sounds a bit strange to me.
(As a side note, a very common error from middle-school and high-school students is to use "enjoy" as an adjective for instance, "This weekend I went shopping with my friends. It (or "I") was very enjoy.")
-Chris
1 2
Japanese people speaking English use "enjoy" quite frequently, and I believe that some of their uses are not really idiomatic ... did you do last weekend?" B: "I enjoyed baseball with my friends." It seems unnatural to me . . .

This inquiry is a warning against preferring our
own intuitions over (a) usage as recorded in
dictionaries etc., (b) rules of usage as theorized in linguistics.
"Idiom" is relative to time and place: what is
idiomatic for New Yorkers in 1950 is not necessarily idiomatic for Londoners in 1900 or 2000: but the OED (although biased towards print rather than speech) offers an abundant record that includes idiomatic uses.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Sure. But I think most often it's best for a teacher to give his pupils his own consistent idiom (if need be, pointing out other forms). My usage agrees with Chris's here; and I think his subtle points about some of his examples probably apply to other varieties of English, too.
"Will you enjoy baseball tomorrow?" as a general enquiry about what the other person's going to do this weekend is just wrong in my English, and I think it would be at least sloppy in other varieties, too. "Are you going to the baseball tomorrow?" would be right.

"Will you enjoy the baseball tomorrow?" is, on the other hand, a rather different question: if I asked it, it would mean I knew the other person was going to watch the match/game, but that I didn't know how they felt about it.
Mike.
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This inquiry is a warning against preferring our own intuitions over (a) usage as recorded in dictionaries etc., (b) rules of usage as theorized in linguistics.

That's why I posted here rather than simply telling the students what sounded right to me.
-Chris
Japanese people speaking English use "enjoy" quite frequently, and I believe that some of their uses are not really idiomatic ... to ask "Will you watch the Olympics this weekend?" with an emphasis that the activity is expected to be fun.

Is the Japanese "Will you enjoy X-activity?" a question about future enjoyment (Will you enjoy?) or is it just a polite way of asking preferences (Would you like to X?)? Grammar could not tell us but context might.
(As a side note, a very common error from middle-school and high-school students is to use "enjoy" as an adjective for instance, "This weekend I went shopping with my friends. It (or "I") was very enjoy.")

French Canadians (most of them bilingual) first made the English noun fun into an adjective (That party was very fun) and then imported it into French (C'etait tres fonne.)

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
"Will you enjoy baseball tomorrow?" as a general enquiry about what the other person's going to do this weekend is ... it would be at least sloppy in other varieties, too. "Are you going to the baseball tomorrow?" would be right.

Eh? That sentence might possibly work with football in some dialects, I don't know, but 'the baseball', in this context, is un-American English to say the least.
I started to write un-American sans 'English', but Ray Wise would get me for implying AmE should be called American, as he well should.
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"Will you enjoy baseball tomorrow?" as a general enquiry aboutwhat ... "Are you going to the baseball tomorrow?" would be right.

Eh? That sentence might possibly work with football in somedialects, I don't know, but 'the baseball', in this context, is un-American English to say the least.

Ah, sorry: hadn't thought about that, and wouldn't have got it right if I had thought about it. I was sticking to what I think is the variety of English Chris and I seem to use. We are allowed to talk about baseball, I hope; but I take the point.
I've mentioned before that teaching "phoney English" is a bad, and not uncommon, ELT error, and hence that teachers should usually teach their own variety (making important variants clear as appropriate).

Mike.
French Canadians (most of them bilingual) first made the English noun fun into an adjective (That party was very fun) and then imported it into French (C'etait tres fonne.)

Thanks for that: a nice little new fact. It doesn't stop some foreign speakers using "funny" as the adjective from "fun", though.

Mike.
It is a very good topic to discuss. I have the same feeling. I grew up in east pacific area, currently, I live in U.S. I have been in U.S. for more than 10 years.
I notice that a lot of Asian like to use "enjoy", it is not just Japanese only.
I often debate English words or sentences with people. If it is a touching move, I would say "it is a touching story" or "My heart goes out to …."
I would not say "I enjoy the move". But some of my friends will go like "so, you enjoy the move". I do enjoy seeing
The move. But I would not use the word "enjoy" to describe how I feel.

When Asian communicate with American, they intend to describe something or someone exaggeratedly
because they think that is American way.
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