Lesson Transcript

Let's get started even though there's a dude on the balcony.
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 Imon. Hi, again, Imon. Imon says, “What is the use of definite article ‘the?’” We use “the” with a singular noun to refer to a specific instance of that noun. So, when you're telling a story, we'll often introduce the first instance of a noun with “a” and then after that, we'll use “the” to refer to the specific instance of that thing. For example, a simple story. “I was walking down the street and I saw a dog. The dog was really cute. I pet the dog.” So, in that situation, when I introduce “a dog” in the story, the first time I talk about the dog in the story, I used “a” to introduce it. Then, after that, I used “the” to refer to that specific dog that I introduced earlier in the story. Every other time that I want to talk about that same dog, I use “the” before it. So, use the word, “the,” when you need to refer to a specific noun or when you have to refer to a specific group. So, for example, “The teachers in the school district went on strike.” So, specifically, we're talking about teachers in a specific school district, “The teachers went on strike.” “The mothers at the PTA meeting organized a bake sale.” It's a specific group that is defined by something else. So, in this case, “the mothers at the PTA meeting,” only the mothers that were at that meeting, not the mothers from a different group, for example. We use “the” to talk about a specific instance of something.
Next question! Next question comes from Johnny. Hi, Johnny. You wrote a very long message. Thank you very much for watching. “There's a slang expression that I've heard several times and don't understand well. ‘I know, right.’” Using “I know, right,” it's like an invitation then for the other person to agree again really. “I know, right.” So, think of “I know, right,” as like an even stronger, even more emphasis on the agreement and an invitation for the other person to agree again, “I know, right.” It's like, “Yes and you agree too, don't you?”
Next question comes from Zafar Ahmad. Zafar Ahmad, hi. Zafar asks about two sentences. Okay. “One, ‘Have you ever cried in a film?’ Two, ‘Have you ever cried at a film?’ My question is about the preposition ‘in’ or ‘at.’ Which sentence is correct and explain the reason.” Of course, I will explain the reason. Let's take a look at the first one, “Have you ever cried in a film?” This is actually a point where the differences between British English and American English might come into play a little bit. “Have you ever cried in a film?” could have a few different meanings depending on the situation. If, for example, you were speaking to an actor and you say, “Have you ever cried in a film?” meaning, when you were in a film, when you were acting in a film, did you cry at any point in time? So, “Have you ever cried in a film?” it could also mean have you gone to watch a movie in a movie theatre and cried at the movie theatre or in the movie theatre. Your second sentence, “Have you ever cried at a film?” So, using act shows like the direction of an emotion. We use it with other emotions as well like, “My mom is mad at me,” or, “My dad is angry at me.” So, it's showing the direction of emotion. In this case, “Have you ever cried at a film?” meaning, did a film cause you to cry? Have you ever cried because of a film? In my case, though, if I wanted to ask my friend if a movie had ever caused them to cry, I would say, “Have you ever cried at a movie?”
Next question. Next question comes from Igor. Hi, Igor. “Why are verbs like ‘bury,’ ‘hurry,’ ‘study,’ ‘tidy,’ and ‘try’ in the irregular verbs list. Their past simple and past participle forms have “-ed” endings like other regular verbs. The course books we use have listed these verbs in the irregular verb list.” Alright. Tough question because I did not create the textbooks and I don't know the logic that was used for the textbooks. But, if I had to guess why those verbs are included as irregular verbs, I would imagine it's because these verbs all end in Y. And, yes, although the verbs do end in “-ed,” there is an irregular change that happens with verbs that end in Y. So, that's to drop the Y and add “-ied” instead of just an “-ed.” So, we maintain that “ih” sound like “tidy,” “bury.” However, the spelling of the word changes.
Next question is from Pohria. Pohria asks, “What's the difference between these words, ‘interior’ and ‘internal,’ ‘exterior’ and ‘external.’” Alright. Well, there are grammatical differences. “Interior” and “exterior” are nouns. “Internal” and “external” are adjectives. We use “interior” and “exterior” to talk about the inside and the outside of something. But, “internal” and “external,” those are adjectives. We use them to talk about the qualities of something.
Next question from Stanislav. Hi, Stanislav. Stanislav asks, “How do you politely address unfamiliar women and men. ‘Lady,’ ‘miss,’ ‘missus,’ ‘mister,’ and ‘sir.’” Ah, nice question. Alright. If you're in a formal situation, it's better to use “Mr.” with men. “Sir” tends to be used more in like a service relationship. The same thing with “Ma’am,” for women. “Mrs.” is used for married women. If I don't know if someone is married or not, a woman is married or not, I'll use “Miss.”
Next question! Next question is from Leon. Hi, Leon. “What are the differences between ‘test,’ ‘exam,’ ‘quiz,’ and ‘questionnaire.’ And, when should I use each of them?” Nice question. Alright. Let's start with “test” and “exam.” We use these two words quite similarly when we're talking about tests of knowledge or like examinations at school. We can use either of those. Like, “I have a test this week,” or, “I have an exam this week.” I think in American English, “test” is probably used more commonly than “exam” or the long form, “examination.” However, when we want to check the status of our bodies, we’ll often use the word, “exam.” So, for example, “a physical exam,” that's an expression we use to mean like a full check of the body which is commonly done maybe once a year or so. So, “an exam,” like, “a dental exam,” or, “an eye exam” is a check of the condition of your body as well. A “quiz” is essentially a mini test. A “questionnaire,” however, is quite different from the three that we've talked about thus far. A “questionnaire” is something that's given usually to customers that is for feedback. We use “questionnaires” for feedback.
So, those are all the questions that I want to answer this week. Thank you so much for sending your questions. Remember, if you have not sent a question yet or if you just want to send more questions, you can send them to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha. If you liked the video, please make sure to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel if you haven't already and check us out in EnglishClass101.com for some other good resources. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Ask Alisha and I will see you again next week. Bye-bye.

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