Lesson Transcript

This shirt is the same shirt that I was wearing in the live-stream this morning!
It's a busy day.
A busy day for me.
[laughs]
Hi everybody, my name is Alisha. Welcome back to Ask Alisha, where you ask me questions, and I answer them. Maybe.
Thanks very much for submitting your questions. Remember, you can submit your questions at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha. There's a hyphen between "ask" and "Alisha," so watch out.
First question! For today.
Do you have an American accent or a British accent?
A lot of you have asked this over the course of the years.
I have an American accent. To be very specific, I suppose I speak with a west coast American accent.
Not British English.
If you want to know what British English sounds like, there are some videos on the YouTube channel with Gina, one of our other hosts. She speaks with a British accent. So you can listen to her to kind of pick up some of the differences between my accent and her accent. British English and American English.
So, thanks for that question.
But yes, I speak American English.
Next question!
How do we use the word "cheers"? When do we use it? Is it formal or informal? Please help.
In American English, we use "cheers" when we're drinking. When we want to start off a drink with somebody else, we'll often clink glasses. So like, touch glasses together and say "cheers."
We use "cheers" in this way in American English.
In other types of English, like British English or Australian English, for example, people might use the word cheers as a way to say "thank you," or as a way to say "thank you in advance for something." If my friend asks me for a favor, and I agree to do that favor, my friend can say "cheers" to me, meaning "thank you in advance." So "cheers," it tends to be more on the informal side. It's not a super-formal expression. If you want to use it in a formal situation when you're drinking with someone, you can use cheers, but in most situations, we use it informally. Informally.
Next question!
Hey Alisha, how do I make this sentence negative? "Let's go to the park."
If you want to make a "let's" blah blah blah sentence negative, just put "not" before the verb. Let's NOT go to the park. Let's NOT plus some verb or some verb phrase. Let's not go hiking this weekend. Let's not watch that movie tonight. I'm tired. Let's not blah blah blah to make a "let's" sentence negative.
Thanks for the question!
Next question!
What does "play down" mean?
This is a phrasal verb.
To play down something or "to play something down" means to decrease the significance of something.
I don't want to play down how delicious my mom's Thanksgiving dinner was. I don't want to play down my friend's success. He's doing an amazing job! If something is really great or really interesting, or...It could be negative, too. To play something down means to make this thing seem less than what it actually is.
If there's a scandal, for example.
The president is trying to play down the seriousness of the situation.
It means that it's a very serious situation, but the president is trying to make it seem less serious than it is. So, "to play down" means to make something seem less than it actually is.
Good question, though. Thanks!
Next question!
The next question is about if-conditionals.
There's no problem when you say the main clause first and you say the if clause after. Is that correct?
Yes, that's fine. In the live stream, I introduced the pattern:
if clause first
main clause second.
But I also mentioned that we can use main clause first and then if clause second.
If I finish editing this video today, I can go running.
I can reverse that sentence.
I can go running if I finish editing this video today. Both sentences are totally correct. It's up to you to choose which order you like.
Thanks for the question, though. Good one.
The next question is about the present perfect progressive tense.
I said "I have been wanting to" blah blah blah.
Why did I use the verb "want" in the continuous tense, as "wanting"?
I used the progressive form "wanting" because from a point in the past until now, there is something I have desired. I have wanted to do continuously, though. To give a strong nuance of the continuous nature of that, I used the progressive or the continuous form "wanting." I've been wanting to see that movie. I've been wanting to get a coffee with my friend. I've been wanting to get more sleep. I've been wanting to go jogging. Something you started to want in the past and continued to want until this point in time. You can say "I have been wanting." We can apply other verbs to this pattern too, like, "I've been thinking about you all week!" "I've been worrying about you all day." So, these continuous past emotions, too. We can use the progressive tense to talk about those.
Thanks for that question, though. That's a good one.
Next question!
Next question comes from Ricardo Villaroel. I'm very sorry.
What does "one" mean as a subject?
One means "any person." It sounds rather formal. In more casual speech, we say "you." Like, if you went to the movie theater, where would you buy popcorn? To make it sound more formal, we could say "where would one buy popcorn?" Instead of using "you," we say "one." So you might see this more in writing, or perhaps in situations where "you" is not appropriate, or it's too casual. So "one" means any person. It doesn't mean the number. It doesn't refer to another noun, necessarily.
A lot of "if" sentences.
Like, "if one were a doctor, how much money would one make?"
One just means "a person." Any person.
Thanks, Ricardo!
Next question!
From Nita Apriyani. I hope I said your name right I'm very sorry.
Can I say "the ketchup on that crispy chicken was savory"? The flavor was barbecue, teriyaki, or black pepper. It wasn't spicy.
Ah! Yes. You can say a sauce is savory. That's very, very common. So something savory, as we talked about quickly in the food live-stream, flavors that are not so sweet but that are still very very flavorful. Something that's usually a little bit more salty. We don't really use savory to explain sweet things. It's more for kind of salty things, or things that have like a really deep flavor about them. So yes, you can describe your sauce, or your barbecue sauce, or your chicken, whatever you put on your chicken, as "savory." That's a great word to describe. Thanks for that question!
[snaps]
I almost forgot! There's one more thing I want to talk to you about. You guys did not ask this question, but I noticed it during the food live-stream that we did recently.
The difference between "desert" and "dessert" is one "s" in spelling. However, these two words are different.
Let's start with the word "dessert." The sweet food that comes at the end of a meal.
Dessert is spelled with two "s"s. We use d-e-s-s-e-r-t to spell "dessert."
However, the word "desert," which is spelled d-e-s-e-r-t refers to like a dry landscape. Not many plants. Not many animals live there. That's a desert. If you misspell the word "dessert" and you forget that "s," it becomes "desert."
Also, very interestingly, there's another way to pronounce the word that's spelled "desert." This is a verb. To desert. So, "to desert" means "to leave something without planning to come back." Like, to desert a town, or to desert your family. To abandon something. Also, it can mean like leaving a military position. So, to desert the army.
Please note: "dessert" (the end of a meal) and "to desert" (meaning "to leave" or "to abandon something") have the same pronunciation, but different grammatical functions. So please be careful of this point.
How can we put them all together?
I'm going to desert my station so that I can enjoy dessert in the desert. Ho-ho.
Okay! So, I think those are all the questions that I want to take a look at this week. Remember, if you want to submit a question, you can send them to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha. Type away! Type away. I will be waiting for your messages.
Our recent live-stream, which many of these questions are from, was about food. So if you have any other food vocabulary related questions, let me know!
Thanks very much for watching this episode, and I will see you again next week. Bye Bye!

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EnglishClass101.com
Saturday at 6:30 pm
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Do you have questions for Alisha? You can submit them at https://www.englishclass101.com/ask-alisha

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EnglishClass101.com
Friday at 10:03 pm
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Hello Pedro,


So pleased you loved this episode! ๐Ÿ˜„


Thank you for your post.


Cheers,

Eva

Team EnglishClass101.com

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pedro
Tuesday at 8:29 am
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i love this episode is very interesting for learn english ... i have a question . when i use between or among

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EnglishClass101.com
Saturday at 5:08 pm
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Hi Ric,


Great to hear you're enjoying our lessons!


In case of any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team EnglishClass101.com

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Ric
Saturday at 1:17 am
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thanks for this videos !

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EnglishClass101.com
Wednesday at 6:50 pm
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Hi Ftom,


Thank you for posting!


Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team EnglishClass101.com

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ftom
Wednesday at 10:19 am
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i love you Alish, you are so funny and kind person

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EnglishClass101.com
Monday at 8:12 pm
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Hi Hadiss,


Thank you for joining us!


Glad to know that you enjoy our videos!


Looking forward to seeing you often here.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team EnglishClass101.com

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hadiss
Monday at 3:44 am
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Hi Alisha! I've started learning English recently. I watched one of your videos on youtube and I found it very useful and then I subscribed to your site. I'm glad to visit your videos.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘