Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Ask Alisha, the weekly series where you ask me questions and I answer them, maybe!
Okay, let's get to your first question this week.
First question this week comes from Muhammad Aaref
Hi, Mohammed!
Mohammed says…
“Hi Alisha, what's the difference between not related to and nothing to do with?”
Okay. If you're talking about anything other than people, so not people, objects situations, then generally, they mean the same thing. “Nothing to do with” has a little bit stronger emphasis. “Nothing to do with” sounds like absolutely zero, nothing. Whereas, “not related to” sounds like a little bit less intense, not quite as strong.
Some examples…
“This question has nothing to do with cooking.”
“This question is not related to cooking.”
“Today's meeting had nothing to do with marketing.”
“Today's meeting was not related to marketing.”
So both of these example sentences or both of these pairs of examples rather, communicate the same idea. It's just that “nothing to do with” maybe sounds a little more intense like closer to zero, we really want to emphasize, no connection at all.
If, on the other hand, you're talking about people, “not related to” and “nothing to do with” are very different.
For example…
“He is not related to me.”
“He has nothing to do with me.”
In the first part, “not related to,” it refers to no family connection with me. He has no family connection with me. He is not related to me. In the second example, “he has nothing to do with me,” it means there is no connection at all. He's not my friend, he's not my coworker, he's not my family member, nothing. There's no connection there.
In the sentence, “He's not related to me,” however, it just means there's no family connection. He could be my friend or my roommate or my coworker, something like that, but, “He's not related to me,” specifically means family member.
So when you're talking about people, this is a key difference between these two expressions; “nothing to do with,” no connection at all; “not related to” just means no family connection. Again, when you're talking about things other than people; however, you can use them pretty much interchangeably. To me, “nothing to do with” sounds a little bit more like emphatic than “not related to.” So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks for the question. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Gennadiy.
Hello again, Gennadiy.
Gennadiy says…
“Hey Alisha. I ran across the word overlap, with a meaning like meet. For instance, we never overlapped. Does that mean we never met before or maybe we never met accidentally? Is this correct or close?”
So this use of “overlap” means to be in the same situation or the same place as another person at the same time.
So for example, if you're talking about where you work and you work at company A and my friend, Risa, used to work at company A, I might ask you…
“Oh, did you know my friend, Risa? She worked at company A.”
And you could say…
“Ah yeah, we overlapped a little bit.”
“No, we didn't overlap.”
So, in the yes answer there, it means I worked at company A at the same time as Risa, so you can imagine overlapping being like your work overlapped. So, she and I shared the same workspace for a period of time. If the answer is negative, no we didn't overlap, it's like saying, no we didn't share the same situation, we didn't share the same workplace. So “overlap” means being in the same place or the same situation.
So, this is not so common in everyday conversation. We use this, as in the example in like work or business situations. You might also hear it used a lot in politics and in government situations as well to talk about, like for example, when world leaders are in the same place or when their terms overlap, so when they're in office holding their government positions as the same time as other people. That's another situation you might hear it.
You may hear it as well in like universities or in other like college, school-related situations, when you want to sound a bit more formal. But in general, we don't use this so much in everyday conversation.
Instead, we might say..
“Oh, I worked there at the same time as your person.”
“Oh, I worked there at the same time as Risa” for example.
So “overlap” means being in the same place with the same situation at the same time as someone or something else. So I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Ruban.
Hello again, Ruban!
Ruban says…
“What is the difference between as and while? For example, while I was walking, I ate an apple, and, as I was walking, I ate an apple. When do I use as and while?”
There's no difference, actually. You can use both “as” and “while” to talk about two actions that happen at the same time.
For example…
“I ate potato chips while I watched TV.”
“I ate potato chips as I watched TV.”
To me personally, “as” sounds a little bit more formal, so I tend to use “while” more when I'm speaking and when I'm writing. Also, I will use “while” before the main action and same thing for “as.” I tend to put the word before the main action. So in this case for me, watching TV is the main action and eating potato chips is kind of like the extra action or the bonus action. Of course, for some of you, maybe eating potato chips is the main action, that's fine, but for me, watching TV is the main action, so I usually put that after “while” or “as.”
Another example…
“I listen to music while I washed the dishes.”
“I listen to music as I washed the dishes.”
So again, in this situation, the main activity is washing dishes so I placed “while” or “as” before that and listening to music is sort of like the bonus or the extra activity, so that comes before the expression.
So yes, you can use “as” and “while” in the exact same way here to talk about actions that happen at the same time. Again for me, “while” sounds a little more casual, so I tend to prefer that a bit more in my everyday speaking and writing. I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Ali Reza.
Hello, Ali!
Ali says…
“Hi, Alisha! What's the difference between till and until and how do we use them correctly?”
Okay, good question. Let me introduce one more item here. So your original question included “until” and “till” T-I-L-L. I want to introduce T-I-L. There are these three different spellings. So, you will see native speakers use all three of these; “until,” “till”with two L's, and “til” with one L.
So “until” and “til” can be used interchangeably, “until” and “til” with one L, I should specify here. We use “til” like with one L commonly, in time and distance expressions.
For example…
“It's 10 til 2.”
You might hear “to” used in this situation as in, “It's 10 to 2,” but you can use “til” in that case.
Or as in like a time and distance-related thing, like when you're traveling.
For example…
“It's gonna be another hour til we get there.”
So that means “until,” yes, but speakers will often use “til” especially in quick speech.
So what is the difference here, really? An important difference comes into play when we see T-I-L-L used, that spelling with two L's. So T-I-L-L can actually be used as a verb. “To till” means like to grow crops or like to move soil as in farming, like to grow vegetables, and it can also be used as a noun. It's an old-fashioned word that means cash register.
So for example…
“The farmer tilled the soil.”
“Lock the till when you're finished.”
So there are these other uses of the T-I-L-L spelling. For that reason and just for the sake of consistency, so that we're always the same, I would recommend you use till, T-I-L-L, two L's, for those words, and use “until” and “til” with one L to mean “until.” That's my personal recommendation. Of course, you don't have to follow that and not all native speakers follow that by any means. But for me, I prefer to keep the two separate just to be consistent like I said.
You'll hear native speakers use this of course in speech, “til” and “until,” and you'll also see it used in writing, but my personal preference is to use “till” as a verb with two L's and also to mean cash register with two L's, and use the “til” with one L and no apostrophe to mean “until.” So yes, they are used in the same way, but that's kind of my recommendation for making the differences clear, so I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Mahdi.
Hello, Mahdi!
Mahdi says…
“What's the difference between American English conversation and British English conversation?”
Okay, there are lots of differences. “American English pronunciation” and “British English pronunciation” are very different, and there are many different types of pronunciation inside America and inside Britain, so there are so many different ways that people speak. I speak with a west coast American English accent, so I speak very differently from maybe a person from London, for example. Also, there are many differences in vocabulary words that are used. For example, in American English, we use the word “elevator.” In British English, it's not elevator, but “lift.” So, they have the same meaning, yes, but we use different words to communicate that.
I've made a video, a whiteboard video, about some words that are different between “American English” and “British English,” so you can have a look at that. You may also hear some slight differences in the prepositions that are used. So, for example, in American English, I tend to say something something is different “from” something something. But in British English, you might hear something something is different “to” something something, so there are these small prepositional changes that may vary, that may change from person to person or from region to region.
So these are just a few of the ways in which British English and American English conversations are different. As I said, I speak American English, west coast American English. If you want to check out some British English, you can take a look at some of the lessons that we have. We have lots of British English listening and some other just regular videos that use British English and talk about British culture too. So have a look at those if you want to know more, and maybe you can compare the way I speak or the way like Michael or Bridget or Davie speaks to the way our British English teachers do. So have a look at those for some more information about British English conversation. I hope that that helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
Thanks very much for watching this week's episode of Ask Alisha and I will see you again next week. Bye-bye!