Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody, welcome back to Ask Alisha, the weekly series where you ask me questions and I maybe answer them. Maybe! Maybe. I don't know.
Let's get to your first question this week.
The first question this week actually...is two questions.
It comes from...first, Cristiano Magalhรฃes. Hi, Cristiano.
And Mouaad Guitoun. Hi, Mouaad.
Both of you asked the question, What is the biggest difference between American and British English?
Or just, what are the differences between American and British English?
There are quite a few differences.
So, the first difference is pronunciation. American English speakers and British English speakers have different forms of pronunciation, and depending on the specific city or the specific region that the speaker is from, there can be even bigger differences.
It just depends on how you grew up and what the local dialect (dialect means way of speaking) is.
So, I can't really do a British accent very well, but a great example word is a word like "popular."
So, when I say "popular," everything is kind of...this...like, crisp sound to it. Popular.
My "r" sound is really like, clear, I think, too.
In British English, though, perhaps it would sound like "popular." So, it's all kind of soft and round.
Popular.
So it sounds quite different from my American English "popular."
I don't think I can do a British English accent.
I don't want to go to school today. [laughs]
One huge difference between American English and British English is pronunciation.
So, if you want to hear some examples of British English pronunciation, you should check the YouTube videos that we have on the channel.
You can find some British English-specific videos there.
So, listen to that and you can compare that to the American English that's on the channel.
So, I speak American English.
The second big difference is vocabulary. There are just different words used to describe the same things.
So, a great example of this: in American English, we say "elevator."
In British English, the word is "lift."
So they refer to the same thing - that box that moves people up and down buildings.
That's the same thing, it's just different words for that.
So in most cases, using different vocabulary won't be a problem, but there are some cases, like with slang or with insults, especially, where maybe one type of English has that word, and the other type of English doesn't have that word.
The third point is grammar.
There are some small differences in grammar, like preferences, kind of.
So, this can mean, like, something as small as choosing a preposition. [00:02:33.15]
A rule that an American English speaker users might be different from a grammar rule that a British English speaker uses.
So, a great example - I just said "different from" a British English speaker.
So, "different from" or maybe "different than" are some choices that maybe American English speakers would use.
But a British English speaker might say "different to."
So, there are kind of these very, very small grammar points, or kind of small preference points that are different between these two.
So, again, that's just something that you have to kind of experience, I think.
And even me, as an American English speaker, there are some things that sound strange to me because they're British English.
It's just the way a phrase is expressed, or it's just a way -- it's just a preference.
So I think that in terms of your studies, if you really are concerned about British English and American English and putting them together, I would say maybe vocabulary...you could spend some time learning differences in vocabulary and then consider pronunciation differences too.
So, I hope that this helps you.
Thanks very much for the question.
And also, there was one more question from Mouaad. Hi, again.
Mouaad also asked about when we should use for and from and at.
Perhaps this is a question about prepositions.
If it is a preposition question, like for, at, by, to, that sort of thing, which I talked about briefly, you can check out the preposition videos that we have on the channel about prepositions of place and prepositions of time.
Hopefully that's helpful for you.
Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Okay, next question comes from Rifki Subhan. Hi, Rifki.
Rifki says, please explain the difference between I should and should I. Have to, and should have. Thank you.
OK. I should begins a statement.
I should clean my room.
I should study.
Should I begins a question.
Should I clean my room?
Should I study?
Have to is used to explain a responsibility.
I have to clean my room.
I have to study.
Should have is used to express regret over something you did not do in the past, but you wish you had done.
So, I should have cleaned my room.
I should have studied.
So I hope that that helps you. It's a really quick introduction to the differences, but hope that helps you.
Okay, thanks very much for the question.
Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Marcelo Oliveira. Hi again, Marcelo.
Marcelo says, Hi Alisha. My question is: What's the correct form to use? Already, still, or yet? Thanks.
Um, I'm not sure what "correct" means here. What you mean by correct.
So I'll talk about the differences between already and yet and still.
So we use already to talk about actions that are finished. They have been completed, and they are actions that we expected to happen.
For example, I've already eaten lunch.
Or, I've already finished my homework.
Yet, then, is used for actions that are not finished. But, we expect that they will be finished at some point in time.
So, when we use "yet," we often use the present perfect tense to talk about that.
So, for example:
He hasn't eaten lunch yet.
We have't taken out the trash yet.
Then, we can use "still" to kind of give emphasis to something that needs to happen or that should happen, but that has not happened yet.
We don't use "yet" together with "still," though.
So, for example, I still haven't eaten lunch.
Or, we still haven't taken out the trash.
It's an emphasis thing.
So, it's like there's something that really needs to happen.
It just hasn't happened yet.
If you want to make "yet" stronger, you can use "still."
So I hope that that helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
All right, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Douglas Otavio. Hi, Douglas.
Douglas says, Hi Alisha. "What's that mean?" Or, "what does that mean?" Which one is correct?
Uh, both, really.
But technically, "what does that mean" is correct.
What does that mean, when we're speaking quickly, sounds like "what's that mean?"
But "what's that mean" isn't grammatically correct, especially if you spell it, like, w-h-a-t-'-s, what's that mean.
That's not technically correct, but in fast speech, "what does that mean" can sound like "what's that mean."
Like, the "does" part gets very very reduced.
Like, "What's that mean?"
So, you should use "what does that mean" if you're writing.
You could use it in speech as well. But if you're writing, make sure to use "what does that mean."
That one is correct.
Okay, hope that that helps you. Thanks for the question.
Okay, let's go to your next question.
Next question comes from Nari. Hi, Nari.
Nari says, hi, what is the difference between "sanitize" and "sterilize"?
Yeah, if you're talking about cleaning, they're very similar.
So, to sterilize something means to completely remove germs.
To sanitize is to try to sterilize, like, to make something clean.
So, imagine sterilize is like 100% clean. There's no bugs, no germs, nothing.
Sanitize is like something that should be very close to perfectly clean.
Maybe it's not.
But something that's sanitized.
Sterilize does also have another meaning that means like, to remove someone or something's ability to have babies...which we use for pets.
So, like, to sterilize a cat or to sterilize a dog.
That means like, to have a procedure -- an operation -- so that the animal can no longer have babies.
So, that's another way to use "sterilize."
That's totally not related to cleaning, but you might see that as well.
So in terms of cleaning, think of "sterilize" as like 100% clean; "sanitize" as like making something clean, in order to make something clean.
So I hope that that helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
All right, so that's everything that I have for you for this week. Thank you as always for sending your questions.
Remember, you can send them to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha.
There's a link in the description.
Of course, if you liked the video, please don't forget to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel if you haven't 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'll see you again next week.
Bye bye!

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