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 Gul. Hi, Gul.
Gul says, Hi Alisha, what is the correct pronunciation of "s" and "th" sounds when they come one after another? Especially when we talk fast?
For example,
It's 3 PM. Here's the thing.
Is that possible?
He is thin.
Could you please pronounce these sentences?
Sure, yeah, this is a tough one.
So, when we're speaking quickly, we make the "s" sound as short as possible.
Sometimes, it's just a "sss" and we drop the "it" sound, like in "it's."
Sometimes, it turns into a "z" sound.
So, I'll say these, uh, sentences at regular pace.
It's 3 PM.
It's 3 PM.
He's thin. He's thin. He's thin.
Here's the thing. Here's the thing. Here's the thing.
Is that possible? Is that possible? Is that possible?
So, we're not pronouncing all the sounds clearly in that last example.
Is that possible becomes "izzat" possible? Izzat possible?
It's like a "z" sound. Everything gets combined there.
So, in the first example sentence, it's a quick, soft "s" sound.
It's 3 PM.
We're not exaggerating the "th" sound so much there.
It's like the "th" sound happens, but the tongue doesn't come out between our teeth.
He's thin. He's thin. He'ssss thin.
So I hope that helps you.
Next question!
Next question comes from Maxim Romanovich. Hi, Maxim.
Maxim says, Hi Alisha, nice day, isn't it?
Uh, about two weeks ago I started learning English by watching serials without translation into my own language.
Is it normal that recently I started to notice I could talk in English to myself about half an hour?
Am I getting crazy with English?
Hehe, uh, thanks for sending this!
No, that's awesome. I think that's really cool.
Um, sometimes you guys do send your comments, like, "oh wow, I can understand things now," or
I can use English more than I could before, so I don't think that's weird at all.
I think that's great. I think that's just uh, proof. That's evidence that your dedication and your studies are paying off.
In other words, you're making progress. So, I think that's great!
So, thanks very much for sharing this comment, and good luck in your continued studies!
It sounds like you're enjoying yourself. That's awesome. Great.
Thanks very much for sending this.
Let's go on to the next question.
Next question comes from Sumayyah Abdullah. Hi, Sumayyah.
Sumayyah says, Hi, I have a question.
Uh, what is the difference between "portal" and "gate"?
Ah, interesting question, okay!
Uh, portal. Portal is something used in like science fiction stories.
We use portal in science fiction stories, and you might sometimes see this on the internet as like a hub, a web hub for something.
But portal is used to refer like a gate between dimensions.
It's like a special kind of, like, dimensional gate.
Uh, so portal is not commonly used in everyday speech.
Maybe some of you have played the game portal. That was a really popular game where you had a gun and you could shoot the gun, like on a wall, and a portal would open here.
You could shoot another portal on another wall and walk through it.
So it's like some kind of dimensional, like sci-fi word.
Gate, however, is the much more commonly used word.
We use gate to talk about this, like, entrance to a house or to someone's yard, or to a garden, for example. So a gate is much, much more common.
We see them in our neighborhoods and our cities all the time.
So typically, in most situations, I think gate is the better word.
Portal is like a science fiction kind of gate.
It's usually the image is like a circle.
Gate is like something that swings open, something like this, perhaps.
So, I hope that helps you. Interesting question.
Thanks very much!
Next question!
Next question comes from Wangfan Chen. Hi, Wangfan.
Wangfan says, Hey Alisha, could you please clarify the phrase "we got you back"?
I came across this expression on my email from my bank. It said, "we've got you back on fraud."
Ummm, I want you to check.
Does your email say, "we've got YOUR back," or "we got you back"?
These are very different expressions. so I'll explain.
First, the expression "we've got," "we have got your back" means we support you.
We've got your back.
Imagine, like, a friend watches your back.
A friend is behind you watching your back. The backside of your body, like to protect you.
To make sure nothing bad happens to you.
So when someone is watching your back, to say "I've got your back," something like that means "I support you," "I'm looking out for you."
I'm trying to protect you.
However, "we got you back." We got you back means we got revenge on you for something.
You did something bad in the past, and someone got you back.
Means they got revenge on you. Someone took revenge for something bad in the past.
So, "we've got your back" and "we got you back" are very, very different expressions.
I think your bank is probably saying "we've got your back in regard to fraud.
In other words, the bank is trying to protect you.
If you want to use this expression in everyday life, like a friend is going to do something difficult or dangerous, you can say "I've (I have) got your back."
Sometimes we also make it more casual. We drop "have" there and say "I got your back. I got your back."
Meaning "I support you. I am looking out for you."
So, interesting question! Thanks very much for asking.
Let's go on to the next question.
Next question comes from Ranold Royce. Hi, Ranold.
Ranold says 1) How to study new words and remember them? 2) How to speak in an American accent?
Uhh, number 1. How to study words and remember them? Uh, to study words and remember them, you could try using a vocabulary flashcard tool like Anki.
Anki is a great, uh, flashcard tool. It's a computer-based, uh, tool, so that's great for flashcards. I think you can download sets of flashcards to help you study vocabulary words and expressions.
Other things you can do...Once you practice those words, make sure you use them.
So, make sure you use the words, um, write with the words.
Speak with the words.
So, don't just input, input, input.
But create using those new words.
Um, 2, how to speak with an American accent?
Practice speaking with an American accent. That's what I did when I was growing up, and that's what speakers all over the world do to gain their accents.
They practice speaking using that accent.
So, if you want to speak with an American accent, I would say practice speaking with an American accent.
I have an American accent, so if you want to practice speaking, you can try to, uh, practice speaking like me, if you want to.
If you want to get some ideas about American accents, uh, you can check the English Topics series on this channel, where you can see Michael, uh Davey, and of course me, talking in English, but in a more casual setting, so you can get an idea of how our accents sound in everyday conversations.
So if you want to see what an American accent sounds like and use that as a way to practice your speech, you can check that out, for sure.
Those are all the questions that I have for this week!
Thank you, as always, for sending your questions.
Remember to send them to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha.
Of course, if you liked the video, don't forget to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel, and check us out at EnglishClass101.com for some other things that can help you with your English studies.
Thanks very much for watching this week's episode of Ask Alisha, and I will see you again next week.


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Pham Thi Ngoc
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It is really helpful video. Alisha accent is great and easy to understand