Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Ask Alisha, the weekly series where you ask me questions and I answer them, maybe!
Let’s get to your first question this week.
First question this week comes from Laura.
Hi, Laura!
Laura says…
I would like you to help us understand how to use the word “left.” Thank you.
Okay, sure! I think that this question is not about the direction, the opposite of right, but rather, how do we use leave in past tense? So, let’s take a look at this.
“Left” is the past tense form of the verb “to leave.”
So, when we want to express leaving in past tense, we use the word “left.”
For example:
“I left my wallet at home, oh no…”
Or “I left my coffee in the coffee shop, shoot!”
So, these are examples of simple past tense use of “left.”
“Left” is also the past participle form of the verb “leave.”
So, you might hear this in situations like this, you’re looking for someone in your office and they say to you, “Oh no, she’s not here. She already left for the day.” “She already left,” so this “left” is a past participle form of “leave.” That means this person is no longer in the office, she has already decided to go home for the day. So, this form of “left” is the past participle form.
So, “left” refers to something that you forgot somewhere or a person leaving a location, as in my other example there. So, because the simple past form and the past participle form are the same, it might seem a little bit confusing at first to try to understand whether it’s a simple past structure or a perfect structure, but you’ll find some clues in the words around the verb.
So, for example, when I said, “Ah, I forgot my wallet at home,” we understand that’s a simple past tense situation because we have “I” coming directly before the verb. “I left my wallet at home.”
It might seem a little bit confusing at first to understand the differences between these two because the simple past form and the past participle form are the same. So, how do we know which is which?
You can find a few hints especially with perfect structures. So, in the example sentence that I gave earlier, “she already left,” we have one really big hint there, “she already left” or I suggest another hint, in another example, another form of that example, when I said, “she has already left.” So that’s a really good hint. If you see a word like “already” or “had” or “has” before “left” in a sentence, that’s a really good hint that that is a perfect structure, so maybe past perfect structure or a present perfect structure, depending on the sentence that you’re looking at. So, we don’t see those words in simple past tense structures. We just see like [subject] left [object], something very simple and basic like that.
So, these kinds of hints can help you to understand which version of “left” you’re looking at. But essentially, yes, we use this word when we’re talking about something we forgot in a location or when we’re talking about someone or something that has left or departed from a location too. So, I hope this helped answer your question about the word “left.” Thanks very much for sending it along.
All right, let’s go to your next question.
Next question comes from Tausif.
Hi, Tausif.
Tausif says…
Hi, Alisha! I’m from Bangladesh. What is the difference between “built” and “build”? Are they the same?
Hmm, no they’re not the same. “Built” has a T at the end and “build” has a D at the end, and while these can be used as verbs to refer to creating something, like building a house, “I want to build a house” or “I built a house,” there are some other uses of these words that we can talk about.
First, let’s focus in quickly on the verb forms of this word.
So, I just used a couple of example sentences.
“I want to build a house.”
So, “build” means to create something, right? Like in terms of construction in this case, to build a house.
In past tense, we would say:
“I built a house.”
So, that means I created a house, I constructed a house. But there are some other uses of “built” and “build” that we can talk about.
First, let’s talk about “built.”
You might see “built” used as an adjective. We sometimes use “built” as an adjective to refer to someone or maybe in some cases, some animals that have really big muscles.
So, we might say something like:
“Wow, that guy is built!”
Or “She is built! She works out every day.”
So, someone, usually a person, someone who is built is someone who has a really, really muscly body. You can kind of remember this if you think about someone building their muscles. That’s actually a vocabulary that we use when we talk about this. When someone wants to build muscles, it refers to wanting to create larger muscles, yeah. So, when someone is “built,” they have built their muscles. Maybe that will help you to remember it. So, this is another use of the word “built.”
Now, let’s talk about another use of “build.”
We see “build” used in software a lot, software and programming apps, these kinds of things. It’s used to talk about the version of something. So, you might see this on maybe an app you’ve downloaded or maybe a software you’ve downloaded. It might be on like a loading screen or you might see it in the information section of the app that you download. It might say something like build number or Build 2.0 or something like that.
So, you can think of the “build” for an app or for a software as kind of the version number of the software. You might see them used in very much the same way. So, “build” is also used in this way. You kind of think of it as like this is the number of our creation, so maybe you started at Build 1 and then had these features and then Build 2 had these features and so on. So you can kind of think of it as like the versions or the levels of that app. You might also see “build” used in this way.
So, these are the uses of “built” and “build.” I hope that this was helpful for you in understanding the differences. Thanks very much for the question.
Okay, let’s move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Mohammed.
Hi, Mohammed!
Mohammed says…
Hi, Alisha! Are there some other ways to say "sorry" to someone? I know "I'm sorry" and "excuse me," but what should I say in other situations, like at work or if something serious happens?
Okay, sure, yeah! Let’s talk about this. So, yes, of course, in a lot of situations, you can just say “I’m sorry” or “sorry” or if you bumped into someone, you can say “excuse me.” But what do we do if you have a really small mistake, or what do you do if there’s a very, very serious situation that we need to express an apology for?
Let’s talk about a few things that you can do.
Let’s start by talking about very small mistakes. If you do something very small, like maybe you accidentally delete a file that you needed, it goes into the recycle bin on your computer and you have to take 20 seconds to fix the problem, you might say, “Ah, oops!” So, “oops,” O-O-P-S expresses that feeling of apology a little bit. It shows that you recognize you made a mistake and that you can fix it.
“Oops!” So, that’s a very good way to express that kind of “Oops, sorry! I didn’t mean to do that. Let me fix it very quickly.” So, “oops” is used for very, very small problems that are generally very easy to fix.
Another thing that you might hear sometimes is, “Sorry about that.”
“Sorry about that.”
It comes very, very quickly, generally:
“Sorry about that!”
So, again, this is for something that’s very small, generally. If you make a big mistake and you say “sorry about that,” people will probably get really angry with you. So, if you make a small mistake like maybe, I don’t know, you forget to buy milk at the store, you might say, “Ah, sorry about that!” So, it’s not a huge problem. Maybe, it’s a small inconvenience for some time, but it’s not a big deal. You can say “sorry about that,” sorry about that.
If, however, you start to get into, like these big mistakes or these more serious situations that you need to apologize for, maybe in a formal situation or a work situation, what should you do? So, you can say, “I apologize, instead of I’m sorry.” So, “I’m sorry” is fine, but it tends to sound a little bit more casual. If you need to use this in a work situation, you might say, I apologize or you might see this used in we apologize when you’re talking on behalf of a company, like you’re sending a company email.
You might see:
“We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Or “I apologize for the mistake.”
So, “I apologize” sounds more serious than just “I’m sorry.” If you write, “I’m sorry for the mistake,” sounds a little too casual. “Apologize” is going to sound more professional.
“I apologize for the mistake.”
If you make a really big mistake and you want to express that you feel sorry for it, you can say, “I deeply apologize.” Generally, using “deeply” shows that you feel that emotion more strongly, so “I deeply apologize.”
Another thing that you might see is, “I’m terribly sorry.”
“I’m terribly sorry for (something, something, something).”
So, let’s take a look at a few example sentences that use this.
So, I mentioned earlier:
“I apologize for the inconvenience.”
Or “I deeply apologize for the mistake.”
Or “I’m terribly sorry for this mixup.”
You might also hear “about” used in this, as in:
“I’m terribly sorry about the mixup.”
So, these are ways that you can express apologies for mistakes you made, but sometimes, you need to express that you feel sorry for someone else. So, someone else is experiencing a really challenging time, maybe unfortunately a loved one has passed away or maybe they received some very bad news. So, how do you express that? You shouldn’t just say “I’m sorry,” I’m sorry, cause it’s not your mistake. Here are some expressions that you might use in these cases.
If someone has lost a loved one, they’ve passed away, you can say:
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
In the same situation, if someone loses a loved one that’s in a more formal situation, you can say:
“My condolences.”
Or “I express my condolences.”
This is another way to say very politely, I’m sorry for your loss.
If you learned that someone has some bad news, something bad happened in someone else’s life, you can say:
“I’m so sorry to hear that.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that.”
Again, if you say, “I’m sorry,” it sounds strange because it’s not your responsibility, right? So, if you say, “I’m sorry to hear that,” it shows that you feel sorry for the other person.
If it’s a more casual situation or if you have kind of a close relationship with that person, you might just react by saying:
“Oh, that’s too bad…”
“That’s too bad.”
So, these are a few ways that you can express apologies and that you can also express that feeling of being sorry for someone else in serious situations, so I hope that this helps answer your question. Thanks very much for sending it along.
All right! That is everything that I have for this week. Thank you, as always, for sending your great question. Thanks very much for watching this week’s episode of Ask Alisha and I will see you again next time. Bye!