Lesson Transcript

It's another evening edition of Ask Alisha because this was a busy week.
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 Eduardo. Hi, Eduardo. “Could you explain, please, how to use the expressions, one, ‘at all,’ two, ‘kind of,’ three, ‘actually,’ four, ‘a big picture.’” Sure.
Number one, “at all.” We use “at all” as an emphasis phrase after negative statements. “I don't want to study at all today,” “He doesn't like me at all.” We can also use this expression in question.
Question two, about “kind of.” It depends on which expression you mean. There's “kind of” which can mean a little bit or somewhat. “I kind of want to eat Vietnamese food for dinner.” You'll also notice that the pronunciation there changes to “kinda.” “Kinda,” not kind of but “kinda.” Depending on the way the sentence is made, though. “Kind of” can also refer to types of something. “What kind of ice cream do you like?” “They don't know what kind of house they want.” Here, “kind of” means type. So, they don't know what kind of house they want, they don't know what kind of food they want to eat for dinner, for example. So, check to see which way “kind of” is being used. If it's coming before a verb like, “I kind of want to eat,” or “I kind of want to go,” then, it probably means a little bit. But, if it's coming before a noun, then it probably means a type of noun. So, I hope that helps.
Third question about the word, “actually.” “Actually,” right. We use the word, “actually,” when we want to explain the real situation as we understand it. So, people like to use “actually” to introduce their opinion as though it's fact sometimes. Some examples of this, “Actually, I don't live in the United States,” “I don't think he actually likes chocolate.” In these ways, we’re introducing a real situation as we understand it. We use “actually” to do that.
Your fourth question is about “big picture.” “Big picture” is used to talk about a broad idea of something. So, going away from a small detail and talking about like the entire situation at one time. “I know you think studying vocabulary is boring, but look at the big picture, it's important to know small details,” “He's losing sight of the big picture, he's wasting time and money.” So, the big picture is kind of the bigger situation. Hope that helps.
Anyway, next question! Next question is from Wang Fong Chen. Hi, Wang Fong. “Hey, Alisha. What does ‘you just made my day’ mean? I heard this phrase but I don't fully understand it.” Yeah, so, “you made my day” is a really positive phrase. You can imagine this as, “You just made my day much better,” but we don't say “much better.” We use this when someone gives us good news, we can say, “You just made my day,” or, “You made my day.” Just sounds like something happened very recently. “You just made my day,” “A raise? You just made my day!” “We get to take the afternoon off? You just made my day.” Those are situations where someone is really happy and wants to express that the other person improved their day in that moment. Nice expression.
Next question comes from Alexander. Hi, Alexander. Alexander says, “Hi, Alisha. What's the difference between the words, ‘intelligent,’ ‘smart’ and ‘clever.’” “Intelligent” and “smart” have the same meaning. They mean someone who has a lot of knowledge and the image is that they got it from books, from studying, from classrooms, from lectures. “Intelligent” and “smart,” they have that same feeling about them. But, “intelligence,” sounds more formal. “Smart” is used a lot among young people who have good academic abilities, for example. “Clever” also means that someone has a lot of knowledge but the idea with “clever,” maybe they have knowledge from books and classes, yes, but their knowledge is from world experience. So, they're really good with people, in situations and they can think quickly, maybe, and they have good ideas. That's someone who is “clever.” Sometimes “clever” has the image of being a little bit sneaky too.
Next question comes from Celso Moreno. You wrote your name in all caps. “’Back to back,’ what does it mean? Sometimes I hear it in baseball games. Do you know?” Yes, I do know. The expression “back to back” means one thing after another. So, we have two things, sometimes more, “back to back to back,” you can put that in a line. It means, in baseball, for example, like one home run after another. We could say, “two home runs back to back,” two or more things happening quickly in succession. It's used a lot in sports.
Next question is from Anderson Souza. Anderson Souza. Hi, Anderson. Anderson asks, “Hi, Alisha. How are you doing? I'm reading ‘Harry Potter’ and I just saw the sentence, ‘G’night, Harry.’ How do you pronounce ‘g’night?’” Yeah, “good night,” we sometimes say “G'night,” So, that “ood” in “good” is dropped. We've removed that “ood” sound and we say, “G'night.” “G’night.” “G’night,” that's how you say it. Hope that helped.
Next question is from Oz Rocha Junior. Sorry, I hope I said that right. “Alisha, how do we separate words in a text when we get to the end of the line?” Your text formatting software should do that for you. Do you use Word? Word should do that for you. If you use just text or Notepads, there should be a Word Wrap function, I don't know. Google it if that doesn't help. Your second question, though. “What is the difference in pronunciation between ‘life’ and ‘live’ or ‘live?’ For example, ‘My life is good.’ And, two, ‘I live in a big city.’” Right. So, “life” and the word that spelled, L-I-V-E, as in your example, “I live in a big city,” have different pronunciations. The vowel pronunciation of the “I” sound is different. In “life,” it's a very open sound. /lī/ like “life.” In the second word, “live,” the “I” sound is kind of tall, /li/. It's very like kind of in your nose, “live.” That's the first sound that's a bit different. So, “/lī/, /li/, /lī/, /li/.” That's the “I” sound that's different. But then, the consonant sound is also different. The “F” in life. /’f/, so, there's just air coming out of my mouth. I'm not making any sound with my vocal cords there. Just “life.” With the word, “live,” however, I'm making a /v/ sound. So, /v/, that's the difference. /v/, so I have to use my vocal cords to make that /v/ sound. So, “life,” no vocal cords, “live,” vocal cords used. However, do be careful. “Live,” L-I-V-E, can also be pronounced, /līv/. So, that “V” sound I talked about, where you use your vocal cords, plus that open “I” sound, /līv/. So, like, “a live performance,” for example. So, you need to pay attention to the grammar of the sentence to understand if it's /liv/ or /līv/, as well. So, “life” and “live,” have very different pronunciations. Good one. Nice catch. I hope you can practice those.
Next question is from Harley. Hi, Harley, hello again. “What is the correct use? It's, ‘I have breakfast,’ ‘I have lunch,’ ‘I have dinner.’ Or, ‘I breakfast,’ ‘I lunch,’ ‘I dinner,’ ‘I dine.’” Ah, nice question, Harley. I use the “I have lunch,” “I have dinner,” “I have breakfast,” version. If you drop “have,” you sound very posh. “Posh” means like fashionable, sophisticated, a bit rich as well. So, I'm not any of those things but saying, “I breakfast,” “I lunch,” “I dinner.” It sounds like you have a very high opinion of that activity. In most cases, at least in my life, I don't have a reason to speak like that, so I always say, “I have breakfast,” or “I have lunch,” or “I have dinner.” It's not incorrect to say, “I breakfast,” “I lunch,” “I dine,” but it sounds a bit unnatural in most everyday life situations. You don't really need to talk with that level of formality, I don't think. Hope that helps you.
Okay, so, those are all the questions that I want to look at for this week. Thank you so much for sending me your questions. Remember, you can send your questions to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha. If you like the video, please make sure to give us a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel and come check us out at EnglishClass101.com for some other good English study tools. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Ask Alisha and I will see you again next week. Bye.

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