Lesson Transcript

Trang: Hi everyone, it's Trang from eLight. And next to me is Alisha from English Class 101. This is our second video we are doing with Alisha and English Class 101.
Alisha: Hi, everybody. I'm Alisha from EnglishClass101.com. Thanks so much for having me on eLight Channel. It's great to be a part of your video.
Trang: Oh, and what is the topic today?
Alisha: Today, we're going to talk about the top five mistakes that English learners make.
Trang: Let's go. Let's start.
Alisha: The position of adjectives. So, the first mistake to talk about today is the position of adjectives. What do you mean, like, the position of adjectives? Do your students make mistakes with this?
Trang: Let me think. Very often I hear my students state that, "This is a house beautiful." So, have you ever heard that before?
Alisha: Yeah, actually, my students are Japanese. They often make the same mistake. Because the word order in Japanese uses the noun first, and then the adjective.
Trang: Oh, yeah. The same in Vietnamese, because people usually translate from our mother language to English. So, in Vietnam, we have, "nhà o" means house and "đẹp" means beautiful. And then, we translate it we have, "nhà đẹp" means house beautiful. But actually, it is incorrect. Right?
Alisha: Right.
Trang: So, what is the right order, the right position of adjective?
Alisha: Yeah, so we should put the adjective before the noun. So, in this example sentence, "beautiful house" is correct.
Trang: It should be, "This is a beautiful house," right? Can you explain that?
Alisha: Well, I mean, there are some phrases that are just, we just use the same kind of patterns for them. So, using just a simple adjective and a noun together, whatever the adjective, or maybe there are more adjectives we want to use. Like in this example of a "beautiful house," I think you said, like a "red house." for example. We should put the adjectives together before the noun always, like, "that's a beautiful red house."
Trang: Yeah. Normally, sometimes I hear some students say that "dress red long" when you want to describe their dress. Actually, what is the correct one?
Alisha: Right. So, in the same, as we saw with the first example sentence, we should put the adjectives before the noun. So, in this case, I think it was long and red. Yeah, that's "a long red dress."
Trang: "A long red dress," it should be the correct one, right?
Alisha: That's correct. Yeah.
Trang: So, everyone, make sure to put the adjective in front of the noun.
Alisha: The order of personal pronouns. "You and I," or "I and you." Good, okay. So, the next mistake to talk about is the order of personal pronoun. So, an example of this is like "you and I" or "I and you."
Trang: Yeah, it's very funny for this, because many people just say, "I and somebody" do something. Yeah, I heard that lot in Vietnam. So, have you heard that in Japan?
Alisha: I see. Yes, I have heard that. Like, "I and Trang are making a video." Like not quite. Yeah, I heard that too.
Trang: So, it is not correct one, right?
Alisha: That's right. It's not the correct one. So, we should say "Trang and I are making a video." That's the correct sentence here.
Trang: So, in your opinion, what could be the reason for this mistake?
Alisha: Oh, the reason for the mistake? Oh, that's a term--well, it depends on the country. For your students, I would imagine it's perhaps a word order issue for Vietnamese students
Trang: Yeah. Because in Vietnam, we usually say, "tôi và." It means "I and somebody."
Alisha: When you are in a situation where you're doing something with other people, it does sound kind of strange to say, "I and you" or "I and Trang did something." So, as you're saying, I think it's better to put "I" at the end.
Trang: Okay. So, when you want to put yourself in a list with the others, remember to put yourself at last. For example, I will say "Alisha and I are making a video," is going to be a perfect one.
Alisha: Exactly. Sounds good
Trang: Confusion over active and passive voice. And then, next mistake will be the confusion over active and passive voice.
Alisha: This is a really common one, I think. Yeah. Do you have an example of how this works?
Trang: Yes, of course, because it's very common mistake. For example, in Vietnam, people sometimes say, "I was went out with my friends yesterday."
Alisha: That's a perfect example. Like, it's better to use just a simple active voice to explain that. "I went out with my friends yesterday."
Trang: Yeah. It should be, "I went out with my friends yesterday." It's because, in this case, it's the active voice and it's not passive. It's not passive, in this case.
Alisha: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. I've heard another example of it, like, something just as simple action. Like, an everyday action. Like, in passive voice. "The door was opened by my teacher," for example. It's like a sentence, like that, we can understand the sentence, but it doesn't need to be in passive.
Trang: Yeah. It's not natural, right?
Alisha: That's right.
Trang: We should say that, "My teacher opened the door."
Alisha: Yeah.
Trang: It's natural, and it's easier to communicate.
Alisha: Exactly, exactly. So, if you're thinking like, "How do I know? When should I use active voice? When should I use passive voice?" When you want to express like the person doing the action is not so important or you don't know who did the action. Like, for example, if your phone was stolen.
Trang: Yeah, yeah.
Alisha: But we don't know who stole the phone. So, you don't know, voice use passive then. Yeah. Or if that person is not important, use passive voice.
Trang: Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes if you try to translate it from your mother language into English, don't try to translate word by word.
Alisha: So, another daily life example could be, "My mother cooking dinner," for example. So, I could say, "My mother cooked dinner" in the active voice, or "Dinner was cooked by my mother." In that sentence, in the active sentence, it's clear who is the person who cooked dinner. It's my mother. Like, she's the important part here. If I say, "Dinner was cooked by my mother."
Trang: Dinner is more important than my mother.
Alisha: Exactly. So, it sounds not so nice. So, "Dinner was cooked by my mother."
Trang: I love my mother a lot so.
Alisha: Me too, me too. So, it's like we should say, "My mother cooked dinner." That's a much better choice.
Trang: Yeah, Yeah. For daily we should use active voice.
Alisha: Active voice isn't very nice.
Trang: Incorrect use of present continuous. So, number four would be incorrect use of present continuous.
Alisha: That's a very common problem I've heard. Absolutely, absolutely. So, using the continuous with a verb that we probably should not use the continuous form with.
Trang: Yeah, for example, if I want to say that, "I love my boyfriend a lot." People will say that "I am loving him," "I'm loving him." Normally, we just say, "I love him." We don't need to put it in present continuous in this case.
Alisha: Or when people talk about the sports or their hobbies that they enjoy. They might say, for example, "I am liking baseball," or "I am liking football," for example. But in the same way, we should not use the continuous tense there. Let's just use the simple present tense, "I like baseball," "I like football." So when you're using these, like mental state, or emotion or feeling verbs, usually we use them in the simple present tense. Of course, sometimes we use a word like "thinking."
Trang: Yeah, sometimes I still hear that people say, "I'm thinking about something."
Alisha: Right. Exactly. Exactly.
Trang: Why we use "think" in current present continuous, and in which case, we don't use that in present continuous.
Alisha: Exactly. Well, in that case, that's a perfect example using the word, "think," in the continuous tense. That's sort of like an action. Like at that moment, I'm thinking about something, that's an action in my mind.
Trang: That's an action. Yeah.
Alisha: Exactly. So, in that case, it's okay to use it in the continuous, you can.
Trang: So, we have to clarify, the verb is an action or if the verb is current emotional status, right?
Alisha: Exactly.
Trang: A status.
Alisha: Your example of, "I am loving my boyfriend" sounds a little like, hmm. That's a little different but what are the other crazy examples can we think of? Oh, sometimes my students say, "understanding." They say, "I am not understanding." Thank you. That's very helpful for me. But you should say, "I don't understand," in the present tense.
Trang: Alisha, so can you give us some verbs that usually in simple present? Not in present continuous?
Alisha: Yeah. So, we talked about, for example, "like," and "love," "know," and "understand," "fear."
Trang: "Hate?"
Alisha: Yeah.
Trang: A lot.
Alisha: Exactly. Exactly. So, those very like emotion-related words. Those are definitely good examples of this.
Trang: So, just make sure to think about your verb.
Alisha: Think. Are you thinking about your verbs? Answering the negative questions
Trang: And the next mistake and a very common mistake is answering the negative question,
Alisha: Answering negative questions. So, for example, a question that begins with a negative word, right?
Trang: Yeah, yeah, exactly. For example, I would take an example.
Alisha: Okay.
Trang: Yeah, for example, people will ask you, "Don't you want to learn English?"
Alisha: "Don't you? Don't you?" Yeah.
Trang: Yeah. "Don't you want to learn English?" People will say, "Yes, I don't." Or "No, I don't," "Yes, I do," "No, I do." It gets very confusing.
Alisha: Right. Actually, the native speakers sometimes get confused with this point, too. But it's good to discuss this. Yeah. Yeah. So, the correct answer to someone asking, "Don't you want to learn English?" You can say "Yes, I do." Well, I hope you do. If you want to learn English.
Trang: If you want to learn English. Yeah, you say, "Yes, I do." But if you hate English, just say "No, I don't."
Alisha: I think people, especially native speakers, use the negative question to make the question a little more polite or maybe to make the question a little softer. That's it. But just like you said, just think of it like a simple yes-no question. "Don't you want to learn English?" "Do you want to learn English?" We use them in the same way. They mean the same thing.
Trang: So, can you keep us another example?
Alisha: Sure. Another example, maybe a daily life example. Let's see. "Didn't you go to that party last weekend?" And then, you can answer with "Yes, I did." In this case, it's a past tense, negative. "Didn't you go to that party?" So, you can answer "Yes, I did," or "No, I didn't" in the same way that you would answer. "Did you go to that party last weekend?" If you get confused, then just think of it as a simple yes or no question. Replace it with "do." "Don't you want to learn English?" So, then, we're talking about these examples of these problems but what do you think are some ways that students can learn these good word choices? These more natural word choices?
Trang: Yeah, my advice would be, try to use a lot of authentic materials like TV series, newspaper, songs, movies, a lot to see how native speaker choose a word.
Alisha: Do you have anything--is there a favorite TV show, or book, or something that you really enjoyed that helped you?
Trang: I really enjoy "Friends." You know it?
Alisha: I know it. Many people love using "Friends" for study and it was such a popular show among native speakers too. It's a great resource and it's funny. Check it out, "Friends."
Both: Bye!
Alisha: Usually, the teacher's surname like Mr. Johnson or Ms. Smith. Didn't you go? Didn't you go? Sounds a little suspicious, right? Maybe you're checking your friend. Like, "Didn't you go to that party last weekend?"
Trang: No. Do you want to study with us?
Alisha: Or should I say it one more time a little less silly? Good one!
Both: Yeah.
Alisha: Now, you have a video of us fixing our hair.