Lesson Transcript

This one is the proper camera, right?
Yes, yes.
Okay, cool.
Close-up? We have a close-up camera now.
Give me one second.
Oh, my God, close-up camera on Ask Alisha. Who are we?
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 Waize. Hi, Waize. Waize says, "Hello, can you tell us which sentence is correct. 'Did you used to play ball?' or 'Did you use to play ball?' Thank you." Yes, nice question. In speech, you'll hear “use to,” no “d” sound, “use to.” This is because it's really difficult to pronounce that “d” sound next to the “t” sound quickly in speech. Regarding text though, there's some debate. So, there are some people who believe “used to” is correct in text and other people who think that “use to” with no “d” is fine. I would say just follow the rules of whatever textbook you use. Whatever you choose, just try to always use the same one. If you prefer “used to,” try to use that in text. If you prefer “use to,” you can use that just try to stick to the same one. So, I hope that helps you. Thanks for the question.
Alright, next question. Next question comes from Fernando Valencia. Hi, Fernando. Fernando says, "Hi Alisha, I would like you to explain the difference between 'unbelievable' and 'incredible.' Also, 'especially' and 'specially' and when should I use them?" Okay, first, let's start with the word “unbelievable” and compare that to “incredible.” So, when we look at “unbelievable,” there are three parts to think about. First, there's “un” which means not or like the opposite of something. Next, we have that root which is “believe” so to believe something, means to have faith in something, like to trust something. Finally, we see the end part, that suffix, “able.” Able means something that we have the ability to do. So, when we look at “unbelievable,” it means something that we are not capable of or we do not have the ability to trust or to believe or to have faith in, to find is true. Alright, so we use “unbelievable” for surprise or for shock and actually, your intonation matters. Your intonation is really important here because you communicate which you mean like surprise or shock? Some examples, "This dessert is unbelievably good!" "Someone stole my bicycle. Unbelievable!" So, you can hear when someone wants to communicate a positive meaning of “unbelievable,” they use that upward intonation like, "This dessert was unbelievably good." When someone wants to communicate that negative meaning, they use the downward intonation, "Someone stole my bike. Unbelievable!"
Now, let's look at “incredible.” We can break down “incredible” in the same way as we broke down “unbelievable.” So, first, let's look at “in” in “incredible.” The “in” just like the “un” in “unbelievable” means “not” so it's like opposite against something. Then, we have this root part, “cred” which relates to like “credibility” which means something is legitimate or true or genuine. Finally, we see the suffix, “ible,” again. The spelling is different from “unbelievable” but it means the ability to do something. So, here, “incredible” means something that we do not have the ability to believe is genuine or true or legitimate. So, that means that “incredible” and “unbelievable” have similar meanings but it's just that “incredible” is something that's like, we can't believe it's real. "Unbelievable” is like we're not able to trust it or we're not able to believe in it. Also, “incredible” tends to be used in more positive situations than “unbelievable.” "Today's lunch was incredibly good." "We saw an incredible movie last night."
Is anything incredible?
What about the movie?
Which movie?
“The Incredibles.”
Oh, “The Incredibles.” Yes, the movie “The Incredibles,” of course.
Why don't you talk about that?
Okay, let's go on to your next question. The next question you had is the difference between “especially” and “specially.” Okay, so let's start with “especially.” “Especially” is used to mean in particular or above all other things, like above everything else. "I especially love the red dress." "He hates spicy food. Especially peppers." "We can't wait to go on vacation, especially to our summer campsite." So, “specially” is used to refer to things that have a specific purpose. We often use it for things that are made or designed or created or like set up, so some kind of making or building is very, very commonly associated with this. Some examples, "I had this dress specially made." "The computer was specially set up for classroom use." "Our lessons are specially designed for young students." So, though there are these two separate meanings for these words, you may hear “especially” used to refer to things that have a specific purpose. This is just a general guideline but I hope that that helps you in choosing between these two words. Thank you for the question.
Next question. Next question comes from Nordon Emanette. Hi, again, Nordon. Nordon says, "Hi Alisha, what is the difference between 'knowledge' and 'information?'" Okay, alright, think about “information” like data. We use “information” to share things between people. So, “information” is sort of everywhere. We can find “information” everywhere. “Knowledge,” however, is something that we gain. So, by taking lots and lots of pieces of information and putting that together and like studying a topic or learning about something specific, we gain knowledge. So, “knowledge” is like lots and lots of specific “information” together that we can use to like, you know, make things or form opinions or live our lives. "We lack knowledge about this topic." "I don't have enough information." So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
The next question comes from Ronnie Akmad. Hi. Hi, Ronnie. Ronnie says, "Do you have any tips on how to improve vocabulary within a limited time? Also, please what is the meaning, 'Hope this email finds you well’ and 'not more the casual' in relationship." Okay, let's begin with your question about improving vocabulary in a limited period of time. I'll just share with you what I did when I was studying and what helped me a lot was writing. I would just write like crazy. The new vocabulary words, like a few days before the test, I would like, cram them in my head and just practice writing them over and over. And then, I would cover up like the words in English, in my language and look at them in the other language I was studying and try to recall from that. Then, once I saw that in the language, I was studying in Japanese, I would cover that up and try to write the English equivalent. So, I was always like producing, producing. It wasn't only input, I forced myself to actually produce. So, that really helped me for tests, yes, but I should say that this is not something that you can expect is going to help you remember words forever. You have to continue studying those words. So, in my case, because I would focus so much on the test and when the test was over, I wouldn't go back and try to practice those words again and then, I would forget them until the next time we needed them. So, maybe this could be a good short-term vocabulary study strategy but if you really want to remember the words, you need to continue that kind of study.
Let's move on to your other two questions. Your first one was the about the expression, “Hope this email finds you well.” It's just a formal greeting. It's just saying, "I hope that when you read this message that you are doing okay," that's what this means. Your other question is about the expression “not more the casual” actually, I'm not sure. This doesn't appear to be a common phrase. I wonder if this could be “not more than casual” in talking about relationships. So, when we say that you don't want a relationship that's more than casual, it means that you don't want a romantic relationship or a serious romantic relationship. In other words, you just want to be friends with the person or you just want to have like a casual, like friendly relationship with someone, nothing serious. So, maybe, that's what this means, “not more than casual.” I hope that that helps you. Okay, thanks for your questions.
Our next question this week from Dor Gregory. Hi, Dor. Dor says, "Hi Alisha. What does it mean, 'it's time to turn new leaf?'" This is the expression, "It's time to turn over a new leaf," or "he turned over a new leaf." So, we use this expression to mean someone changed their behavior so they made an improvement on past behavior. So, if something was bad in the past but they turned over a new leaf, past tense, “turned over a new leaf,” it means that they made an improvement to their past behavior. They are now doing something better than they did before. "My brother finally started taking care of himself and cleaning his house. He's turned over a new leaf." "She began cooking at home instead of eating out at expensive restaurants. She turned over a new leaf." So, I hope that that helps you understand the expression “turned over a new leaf.” Thanks for the question.
Alright, so that's everything that I have for this week. Thank you, as always, for sending your questions. Please remember that you can send your questions to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha. Of course, if you like the video, please don't forget to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel if you have not already 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. Bye-bye.
Which is the best Incredible? The kid? The little kid, Jack-Jack, right? That like just bursts into like flames? Incredible! Unbelievable! No?


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Saturday at 06:30 PM
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Do you have questions for Alisha? You can submit them at https://www.englishclass101.com/ask-alisha


EnglishClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 08:51 AM
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Hi Heiko,

Thank you for posting.

Please check out our special series:

English Prepositions Made Easy


Hope it helps! In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Team EnglishClass101.com

Heiko Ullmann
Saturday at 09:50 PM
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Hello Alisha,

Perhaps you would be able to explain to me the use of prepositions, especially those of the place and the direction - Thank you in advance

Heiko from Germany