Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Ask Alisha, the weekly series where you ask me questions and I answer them, maybe.
First question this week comes from Sadaf Yasmeen.
Hi, Sadaf!
Sadaf says…
“Hi, Alisha! I have two questions. First, what does ain’t mean, and how do you use it? I’ve seen this word in lyrics like ain’t nobody who makes me feel this way. My second question, what does the phrase wide awake mean? I read it in the sentence, lying here wide awake on my own now. I couldn’t completely understand it.”
Okay. First, let’s talk about “ain’t”. Nice question. “Ain’t” is a really interesting word because it can mean a lot of things. It can mean “is not”, “are not”, “am not”, “have not”, and “has not”. It can mean all of those things. And “ain’t” is also considered a very casual kind of rough, in some cases, cool word and it really depends on the person who uses it. So, for example, in the US, the images that we have that are associated with the word “ain’t” are like maybe country-western like musicians or maybe like cowboys. They might use the word “ain’t” to sound kind of casual or rough and cool.
You might also hear “ain’t” used in other music, like pop music or rap or R&B. Again, the feeling of “ain’t” is kind of casual. It’s kind of rough. It’s like tough maybe sometimes as well too. So, it really depends on the personality of the person who’s using the word.
“Ain’t” is also special because we follow the word “ain’t” with a negative. So, as in your example, you said, “ain’t nobody” or another example might be something like “ain’t never done this thing”. So, it feels actually very strange for me to say that because I’m not the type of person who would use the word “ain’t”, but when we use “ain’t”, we follow it with a negative, like “ain’t nobody”. So, in your example, “Ain’t nobody who makes me feel this way” means there isn’t anybody who makes me feel this way. So, in many cases like with your example here, we follow “ain’t” with a negative like “ain’t nobody” or “ain’t no” or “ain’t nothing”. So, this just means “isn’t” or “are not”, whatever follows that.
But there might some cases where you don’t see a negative after “ain’t” like “I ain’t having that” or “I ain’t buying that”. So, that just means the negative, I am not buying that or they are not doing that.
So, again, this really depends on the person. This really depends maybe on the region as well too. So, pay attention to the kinds of people that you see and hear using this word, and maybe you can kind of understand the times at which it might be appropriate to use it and whether or not it’s good for you to use the word too. As I mentioned, I personally don’t use this word, but this is how we use it in American English, anyway.
Regarding your second question about the expression “wide awake”, to be wide awake means to be awake, but we use it at a time when we are usually asleep. So, for example, maybe at like 2:00 in the morning, most people are asleep, usually. But, if you are wide awake, it’s like you’re awake and you cannot close your eyes and go to sleep. So, it might be helpful to think of your eyes, like your eyes themselves as being wide open, like you cannot close your eyes, you are wide awake. So, you can’t go to sleep, usually, we use this expression at a time when we should be asleep.
So, for example:
“I woke up at 2 AM! I was wide awake for hours!”
Or “When I got up to use the bathroom, I saw my dog was wide awake. It was weird.”
So, “wide awake” is used in this way to talk about being awake at kind of a strange time. I hope that this helps you. Thanks for the questions.
Okay, let’s move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Rubo.
Hi, Rubo!
Rubo says…
“Hi, Alisha! What is the difference between scrape and scratch?”
Good question. Generally, well, in many cases, they do have the same meaning, but for “scrape”, we use “scrape” usually with non-living things and we use “scrape” when we’re talking about taking a very heavy or a very sharp object across a surface. We often use “scrape” when we’re talking about trying to remove something that is difficult to remove.
So, for example:
“Oh no! I scraped my car on the gate!”
Or, “I scraped the paint off the wall with a knife.”
So, it’s like there’s some kind of heavy or sharp object moving across another surface, oftentimes with the intent or with the plan to remove something else.
“Scratch” on the other hand, is something that we use much more commonly with living things, so with people or with animals. We use “scratch”, usually, when we’re talking about like using a sharp part of our body like nails or claws or maybe even teeth. We talk about using something sharp and dragging that across a surface.
So, for example, I might say like:
“Ouch! I scratched my arm!”
Or “Be careful! My cat might scratch you!”
So, “scratch” is typically used with humans, with living things, and “scrape” is usually used to talk about like maybe machines or other very heavy and sharp objects being pulled or dragged across a surface, so I hope that this helps you. Thanks for the question.
Okay. Let’s move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Saif Al-Din.
Hi, Saif!
Saif says…
“Hi, Alisha! Can you explain why we use out and in or up? Like when someone says, I go up to the door and I open it. If it were me, I would say, I go to the door and I open it. What is the difference between the two sentences? Thanks!”
Yeah, super great question! We often use “up” along with bodily motion like physical motion-related verbs to mean we did that action up until a point. So, we went to that thing or we moved to that thing and stopped. So, verbs that we use this with, commonly, are like “walk, run, open, close, go” as well. So, we use “up” after these, to mark the point at which that action stopped. You might also hear “over” used with this.
So, as in your example, “I walked up to the door and opened it” or “I went up to the door and opened it” means I moved until the point of the door and then I opened it. So it shows the point at which an activity or an action stopped.
Another situation you might use that is like talking to someone at your office, like “I walked up to my boss and asked if she had a moment.”
Another example might be, “My coworker ran over to my desk to help me.”
So using “up” and “over” in these ways, followed by “to” marks the point at which some action stopped. So, you can use “up” and “over” to do this.
We don’t really use “down”. You might hear “down” used if you’re talking about traveling like “I’m going down to the city” or “I’m going down to the post office.” You might hear that used, but generally when we’re talking about like this bodily, these physical activities, we’ll use “up” to mark the stopping point, so I hope that that helps you regarding “up” and “over”.
Regarding “in” and “out”, however, these follow the same rules as the preposition themselves follow. So, we typically use these when we’re talking about entering or exiting a building, like, or other location.
So, for example:
“He walked into the bank.”
Or, “They ran out of the police station.”
So, we can use these same verbs relating to bodily motions, relating to movement, and when we use “in” and “out” with those, we’re talking about moving from one location to outside that location and the opposite, so from moving outside of a location to inside of a location. So, “in” and “out” follows the prepositional rules. So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks very for the question.
All right. That is everything that I have for this week. Thank you, as always, for sending your questions. Remember, you can send them to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-asliha. Of course, if you like this week’s episode, please don’t forget to hit the like button, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel if you have not already. Thanks very much for watching this week’s episode of Ask Alisha and I will see you again next week. Bye-bye!