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 Naru. Hi, again, Naru. Naru says, “Hi, Alisha. What's the difference between ‘it’ and ‘that?’ For example, ‘I do yoga every morning. I do it too,’ or ‘I do that too.’” We use “it” to replace a noun that we mentioned earlier in the conversation. For example, “I bought a new computer. It's really cool,” or “I built a new computer. It was really hard.” That “it” refers to the process of building a computer or it refers to the computer I bought in the first sentence. We use “it” to replace that thing, that object, that specific process. When we use “that," however, yes, we are talking about something we referred to earlier in the conversation, but we're using “it” for something that the speaker and the listener shared. It's a shared experience. If you use “that” to talk about an experience that you did not share with your listener, it's going to sound really weird. In your example, “I do yoga every morning,” and someone says, “Oh, I do that too,” it makes sense because both speakers in that situation have the experience of doing yoga in the morning. If you say, “Oh, I'd do it too.” It's not wrong but it does sound less natural than using “that.” When you have a shared experience of a situation, you can use “that.” I hope that this helps you. Thanks for an interesting question. Let's get on to your next question.
Next question comes from Ardy. Hi, Ardy. Ardy says, “Hi, Alisha. How do you politely ask someone about their health condition? Is it common to use ‘Are you sick?’ (since sick can also mean crazy or insane?)” Good question. Actually, it's totally fine to ask “Are you sick?” That's totally fine. This depends on your intonation. If you say “Are you sick?” and you have this concerned look and you have this concerned voice, there's not going to be a communication problem. If you've seen a movie where characters are like “Are you sick,” that's the situation where it's talking about the person's mental health, or “Are you crazy? Are you insane?” When they use that shocked, horrified face. “Are you sick? Do you want to fill all those doughnuts with mustard?” That's a situation where you would say “Are you sick?” and it means crazy or insane. Other ways you could ask would be “Are you okay? Are you feeling okay? Do you have a cold?” That kind of thing. Thanks very much for the question. Let's go to your next question.
Next question comes from Ismail. Hi, Ismail. Ismail says, “Hi, Alisha. Thanks for your support. What's the difference between ‘may’ and ‘might?’” There isn't really a difference, honestly. May and might are used in the same situations when you're talking about possibility. In American English, however, “might” is more common than “may.” Some examples, “I might have forgotten my wallet.” “I may have forgotten my wallet.” They're the same but “may” sounds a bit more formal. In American English, we tend to use “might.”
This question actually connects nicely with a question from another viewer. This comes from Alan Chan. Hi, Alan. Alan asked, “Hi, Alisha. How can I use ‘may be,’ ‘might,’ and ‘probably?’” We talked about how we use “may” and “might” in the same way to talk about possibility. Now, let's talk about "may" and "be" together, not "maybe," but “may be,” and “might,” and “probably.” Let's compare these. We use "may" and "be" when we want to talk about something that could possibly be something else. That sounds very open, so let's look at some examples. "Hmm, this may be the restaurant he recommended." "He may be the right person for the job." This is the pattern we can use for "may be" and "might be." I want to continue on to "probably." If we imagine "may" and "might" express uncertainty, maybe, on a scale from like zero to 100, "may" and "might" is maybe 40% or so. "Probably" has a much higher level of certainty, like 70%, or 80%, or so. We have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen in the future, but there's a little bit of wiggle room. We're still not 100% sure. Some examples. "I'm probably going to sleep late tomorrow." "She's probably not going to reply tonight." "Probably" shows the speaker has a higher level of certainty. I hope that this helps you use “may” and “might” and “maybe,” “it might be” and “probably” and “maybe,” also too. Thanks very much for these two questions. Great. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Lombardozzi Marco. Hi, Lombardozzi. Lombardozzi says, "Can you explain the difference between 'all' and 'whole' with some examples?" Sure. Let's begin by looking at some example sentences. "My dog ate all the cupcakes.” “My dog ate the whole cake.” “My roommate stole all the iPhone chargers.” “My roommates stole my whole electronics box." You can see in the sentences that use "all" that we're looking at individual units of something. In the first example sentence with the dog, "The dog ate all the cakes, all the cupcakes," we're talking about individual units there. In the second situation, "the roommates stole all the iPhone chargers," we're looking at individual units, one thing but all of those one things. When we want to emphasize the unit, we use "all," all plus the unit. You'll also notice that the “units” use the plural form. We're using the plural form of the noun. In the dog situation, it's “cupcakes,” in the roommate situation, its “iPhone chargers” we're using the plural form. However, when we're using "whole," we're talking about something that can be broken down into units. In the dog situation, it's a cake. One cake can be many smaller pieces of cake. In the second example sentence, it's about a box of electronic equipment or electronic related things. It's not the things inside the box, it's the complete box. We imagine that this is one complete unit, one complete set of something. We use "all," like I said, when we want to emphasize the units, the small pieces of something. "All my cupcakes," or "all of my iPhone chargers." We're emphasizing the unit there. Using "whole" to refer to a larger thing that's composed of many smaller units really emphasizes your level of shock or your level of surprise that that thing was affected. As you pay attention in your reading, I think reading will help you to find some more examples of this. Just look and see the kinds of units and the typical kinds of like a larger nouns that get this whole treatment. Foods are great examples, like a whole pizza, or a whole cake, or a whole turkey, or a whole chicken. That refers to one thing composed of many parts. I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question. Let's go on to your next question.
Your next question is from ThienPhu. Hi, Thien. Thien says, "Can you explain 'a bit more sophisticated'?" Without context, I can't be exactly sure what this means, but I think that this is a comparative phrase. Let's make a complete sentence to start. “Restaurant A is a bit more sophisticated than restaurant B.” "A bit more" means a little more than something else, a little more or a small amount more than something else. "Sophisticated" means refined or maybe they have lots of culture, or lots of knowledge if you're talking about a person. In this case with a restaurant, maybe it's well-rounded. There's lots of experience that was used to make this restaurant, like the restaurant decorator had lots of worldly experience, the menu has a lot of different world flavors, I don't know. It's something that's sophisticated, it has a high-class image. If you use "a bit more sophisticated," it means item A is a higher level of sophistication than item B, in this case, a restaurant. I hope that this helps with your understanding of the phrase "a bit more sophisticated."
That's everything that I have for this week. Thank you, as always, for sending your questions. Remember, you can send them to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-Alisha. Thanks very much for watching this week's episode of Ask Alisha. I will see you again next week. Bye-bye!


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