Lesson Transcript

Lots of grammar points this week.
Hi everybody! Welcome back to Ask Alisha, the weekly series where you ask me questions and I answer them. Maybe!
First question!
First question this week comes from Ricardo Villaroel. Hi again.
Hi Alisha, what are reflexive verbs? If you have a reflexive verb, you have to use a reflexive pronoun? Like "yourself"?
First, to begin the answer to this question, a reflexive verb is a verb where the subject and the direct object of the verb refer to the same thing. Maybe in some languages, there are verbs that are like, specifically called reflexive verbs. But in English, we have verbs that we can just use reflexively. So, some examples would be like, "I discipline myself," or "he cut himself," or "she hit herself in the face." So in each of these examples, the subject, and the direct object – they both refer to the same person. Or the same actor, essentially. So yes, when we use a verb reflexively, we need to follow the verb with a reflexive pronoun. However, if you're using a verb that's like a really common action, for example, so like, a daily action. Like taking a shower, or like shaving, for example – If you say, like, "I showered myself this morning," or like, "he shaved himself this morning..." In those cases, in those really common examples, we already know the direct object of that verb. We can already guess because it's a very common action. So you don't really need to say, like, "I showered myself this morning." Just say, "I showered this morning," because we can already guess the direct object of that verb. So, for super common actions, we can drop it unless you want to add emphasis for some reason. But yes, when you use a verb reflexively like that, the reflexive pronoun (like himself, herself, myself, ourselves, themselves) – that should match the subject. So yes, yes. That was kind of a long answer, but yes.
Next question!
Comes from Galina. Hi, Galina.
How do you make tag questions with modal verbs and with "have," "has," "had to," thank you in advance.
So to start this one,
tag questions are like mini questions that come after a short statement. These are things that we use to get agreement from the person listening or maybe sometimes we actually do want to check – we want to confirm something with someone else, but they're kind of just like short, small questions. So your question is about how to use modal verbs and maybe auxiliary verbs. Auxiliary verbs are like linking verbs. Basically, the tag question goes at the end of the statement. And whatever verb you use in the main statement—in the main sentence there—you'll use that same verb in your tag question.
He hasn't come to work yet, has he?
They haven't called yet, have they?
You could hear me, couldn't you?
In the first one, "he hasn't come to work, has he?" So, he has not come. We're using the present perfect tense there. He has not come to work yet, has he? So, this tag question, "has he?" uses the same verb that we used in the main part of the sentence; he HASN'T come. The same auxiliary verb there.
The second sentence is the same: "they haven't called yet, have they?" So here, the auxiliary verb "haven't" is used. "Haven't called" is matched with "have they."
In the last one: "you could hear me, couldn't you?" We see the positive "could" is in the main part of the sentence. And the negative "couldn't" is in the tag question. So you should be using the opposite form of the verb. So, if the main part of the sentence is positive, you should use a negative in your tag question, and vice versa. If the main part of your sentence has a negative verb, use the positive form in the tag question.
Next question!
Next question comes from Alex Fang. Hi, Alex.
Alex says: Sometimes I hear people say the words "then" and "though" at the end of sentences. What does that mean?
For example, if you say a sentence like, "if you're not going, I'm not going to go, then." So, we use "then" to show cause and effect. It's like an if-then sort of thing. If you're not going to go, then I'm not going to go. But native speakers maybe we just casually add it to the end of the sentence, or we just change the position. So "then" is showing like a cause and effect sort of relationship there.
Though, however, is used just like "but," but we put it at the end of the sentence. For example, if you go to see a movie.
One person says, "the theater was really crowded!" And person B says, "yeah, the movie was really good, though." So that "though" is like a "but," but it's at the end of the sentence. If you say, "though, the movie was really good," you CAN say it, but using "though" at the beginning of a sentence sounds a little more formal. You could say, "but the movie was really good." But I think that the – The person who is responding to the complaint ("the theater was really crowded") is agreeing. They're saying, "yeah, the movie was really good, though." So it's kind of like a way of softening a little bit of a different opinion. A different point. So "though," think of "though" as "but" at the end of a sentence. Hope that's helpful.
Next question!
Comes from Eduardo! Hello, Eduardo.
Eduardo says: What's the difference between "like" and "as" and "such as"?
Ah! Okay. I explained this – I talked about "like" and "as" in episode 4 of this series, so check that out. "Such as" is used in the same way as we use "like" to introduce examples. But "such as" tends to sound a little bit more formal. So check that video if you want to see some more details.
Next question!
Comes from...Tomoya.
What is the difference? How do you use "in," "on," and "at"? Aha, another one.
Okay, so, many of you ask questions similar to this one. So, if you haven't, please check out the videos that we have on this channel. I've talked about how to use prepositions of location and prepositions of time, and I've talked a little bit about using "at" and "in" and "on" and some other prepositions. So I would recommend: start with these videos. Those might answer some of your questions.
Next question!
Is from Weldo Carvalho. Weldo Carvalho? Carvalho? I think?
Weldo says: Is there any difference between "do not have" and "have not"? Thanks.
Yes, there are big differences. Used in a complete sentence, they have very different functions. They have different purposes. So, for example, like, "I do not have a dog," or "you do not have any money." Those sentences express not possessing something. I do not own a dog. I do not own any money. That's something I personally do not hold, do not have. However, "have not" could be used in like a present perfect statement. "I have not been to France." "You have not given me my money back." So "do not have" means something I do not possess. But "have not" could refer to a present perfect statement; a negative present perfect statement, meaning "lack of experience in something." Lack of life experience. Yes, they do have different grammatical functions, so please be careful.
Next question!
Comes from Brahim Rouabah. Brahim Rouabah, maybe?
Brahim says: Hi Alisha, how can I think in English? Because I always need to translate in my head.
Great, I answered this in this video. This is the very first question I answered in this video, so please take a look at that for a few different ways; a few tips to help you maybe stop translating in your head. I recommend: start here.
Next question!
Comes from Gerson Silva. Hi, Gerson!
Gerson asks: Do I need to use the auxiliary verbs "do" and "does" always when I want to make questions in a casual conversation?
If you want to make a simple "yes" or "no" question, yeah. "Do you eat lunch every day?" Or, "Does he have a pet?" For a simple "yes" or "no" question, yes, you should use "do," or "does" to make those. If, however, you want to ask an information question, you should use one of those "wh" words, like who, which, where, when, what, for example. Or how. So, if you want to make a yes or no question, yes, use "do" or "does" to start your question. That's for present tense sentences. If you want to ask an information question, you can use one of the "wh" questions to do that.
So, that's the last question that I want to answer for today. Thank you, as always, for sending all of your great questions. Please please please make sure to send your questions to EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha. So that's the page to send your questions for this video series, so please check that out and send your questions there.
Thanks very much for watching this episode of Ask Alisha! I will see you again next week! Bye-bye!

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