Lesson Transcript

The only thing I want for Christmas this year is to chill.
Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Ask Alisha, the weekly series where you ask me questions and I answer them, maybe. Thanks very much, as always, for submitting your questions. Remember, you can submit your questions to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask -alisha.
First question. First question comes from Carla. Hi, Carla. Carla asks, “How do native speakers use ‘to have.’ ‘I have seen,’ ‘I've,’ ‘I have got.’ Formal and informal.” Sure. We use the verb “to have” for a lot of different meanings. There's a grammatical function for the verb “have” when we pair it with the past participle form of a verb like, “I have” plus a past participle, to make the present perfect tense. Or, “I had” plus past participle, to make the past perfect tense. So, there's that kind of grammatical function of the verb “have.” However, if you just want to use the verb “have” in everyday situations like, “I have a phone.” or, “I have a camera.” or, “I don't have any money.” for example, then, “to have,” in that case, just means to own something or to hold something, to be keeping something. So, please consider the sentence that you're looking at with the verb “have” in it. If it comes before a verb in the past participle, it's probably a past perfect or a present perfect expression. If you're seeing something after the verb “have” like an object in my examples, like, a phone or a camera or money, then it's probably referring to owning something or keeping something. So, those are probably two of the most common ways that you'll see the verb “have” and its variations in, at least, American English speech.
Next question. The next person asks two questions. So, the next two questions are from Essa Warsiadi. I’m very sorry. Question one from Essa. “Can you explain ‘through,’ ‘thorough,’ ‘though,’ and, ‘thought?’ They sound similar.” Yes, indeed, they do sound similar and they even look similar in writing, for sure. However, these words have different meanings and different functions in speech and in writing.
Let's look at “through,” to begin with, though. “Through” means to pass into something and to come out the other side of something. So, for example, “to go through a tunnel,” or if you're looking at a document, for example, “to go through a document,” means to read through, read all of the content of the document from beginning to end. So, “through something,” is to begin at something and pass through all of the content to pass through everything and come out the other side or to complete something. So, if we also use the word “through,” to mean finished in American English like, “Are you through with dinner?” or, “I'm through with my homework.” So, “through,” those are a couple of different ways we use the word “through.”
The second word, “thorough.” “Thorough.” So, different from “through.” “Thorough” means comprehensive, “thorough” means completely, “thorough” means well done. It has typically a positive meaning. So, for example, “She was very thorough in her explanation of the word ‘through.’” Or, “She was very thorough in her explanation of the word thorough.” Sorry. “She was very thorough in her presentation.” meaning she gave a lot of information in her presentation. “Thorough” means well done, containing a lot of knowledge, a lot of information in something. “Thorough.” So, “Please be thorough in completing your homework.” or, “He wasn't very thorough in cleaning his room.” So, “thorough,” means well done, completely done, finished, considering everything, considering all points of something, even the small details are considered thorough. So, we can use “thorough” for presentations, for activities that require small details, “a thorough safety check,” for example. So, these are actions that are done completely, fully, to the small details. So, that's “thorough.”
Next word here is “though.” “Though,” you can think of “though” in the same way you think of the word “but.” So, it's used to contrast information. It's used to express a difference in something. So, you could follow someone's opinion with an expression like “though.” So, for example, “I think summer is the best season though winter is pretty fun too.” So, you can think of “though” in the same way as you think of “but.” “A though B.” So, you're presenting A, and then, a contrasting opinion B, and you're connecting those two ideas with “though” in the same way you would “but.” So, “though.” “Although” is similar. We use “although” and “though” and “but” in similar ways. What's the difference? “But” is much more casual and “but” is used much more in casual conversation, in everyday conversation. If you're writing a document, a formal document, or if you're making a formal statement, you could use “though” in place of “but.” So, “though” shows contrasting information.
The last one on this list is “thought.” “Thought” is the past tense of “think” when used as a verb. So, “I thought you were coming today.” or, “I thought it was going to rain later.” or, “I thought this was such a great afternoon.” “Thought” is used as the past tense of think. We can also use “thought” to refer to an idea, as a noun. So, “I have a thought.” for example, or, “Do you have any thoughts about this project?” So, we can use “thought” as a verb, past tense of “think” or as a noun, to refer to an idea.
So, again, that's “through,” “thorough,” “though” and, “thought.” Some of you might be wondering how do I remember which is which when I'm reading or when I'm listening. You have to pay attention to the grammar of the sentence. They all have different grammatical functions. You need to think about the grammar surrounding the word.
On to question two from Essa. “What does ‘love to hate’ mean and when can I use it?” “Love to hate” means it's something that you really, really dislike but it's sort of enjoyable to dislike. So, for example, this is an expression we can apply to reality TV. Many people think reality TV is not very good entertainment or it's not very high-quality entertainment. However, it's really, really fun to watch. So, maybe, for example, you just hate a character on a reality TV show, but, somehow, you enjoy watching that TV show too. So, something that you feel very strong dislike for and yet, you really enjoy it at the same time. That's something you can “love to hate.” You “love to hate” that thing.
Next question! Next question comes from Bowie Dente. I’m very sorry. Bowie Dente asks, “When can I use ‘ever’ in a present perfect sentence? Like, ‘I have ever.’” “Ever” means at any time or at all times. You can use “ever” when you're asking a question. Like, “Have you ever blah, blah, blah?” “Have you ever been to France?” “Have you ever eaten ramen?” “Have you ever taken a trip to the mountains?” for example. We can use “ever” when making questions, that's one. But, because “ever” means at all time or at any time, we may not use it to answer a question like that, “Have you ever blah, blah, blah?” We usually say, “Yes,” or “No,” in response to that. We can say, “I have never ever taken a trip to France.” or, “I have never ever forgotten my keys.” for example. “I have never ever blah, blah, blah.” But, in that case, it still means “never.” An expression like “never ever” just emphasizes the word “never.” So, to use “ever,” we need to pair “ever” with a verb in a sentence. We can't say, “I have ever.” Just “I have” plus a verb. We cannot say, “I have ever.” That's incorrect. “I have at any time or at all times.” It's redundant. It's not necessary. We can, however, use “ever” in a negative expression like, “I haven't ever been to France.” or, “She hasn't ever eaten cheese.” for example. So, we have to pair “ever” with a negative to make a response. We use “ever” for present perfect tense questions and paired with a negative “have” or “has” to make a response, to make a negative response. So, please keep those two in mind.
Next question. Next question comes from Bajar. Hey, Bajar. Nice to see you again. Bajar’s question is, “What does ‘dash’ mean and when can we use it?” Okay, so the word “dash” as a verb means to run very quickly for a short period of time. For example, “I dashed to the station to catch my train.” or, “I dashed to the classroom for my test.” “He dashed off to the flower store to buy a bouquet for his mother.” for example. These are very, very short periods of time and very high speed. That's “to dash.”
However, we can use “dash” as a noun in a way that does not refer to running. We can use it in writing, as well. Sometimes, we use the word “dash” to refer to these lines we see in writing. You might see hyphens, en-dashes and em-dashes. These all have different functions in writing. Hyphens may be used to connect words, en-dashes can be used to show periods of time and em-dashes can kind of show extra information in a sentence. We call all of these dashes. This is kind of the category that we assigned to each of these.
So, there's the verb, “to dash,” and there's also “dash” as a noun which means all of these sorts of things. So, thanks for that question, Bajar.
Next question. Next question comes from Ricardo Villaroel. Hey, Ricardo, welcome back. Ricardo's question is, “What's the difference between ‘several,’ ‘sundry,’ and, ‘various.’” Okay, I'm not quite sure how “sundry” fits in here.
“Several” means a few of something. Think of “several” as higher than “a couple” or “a few” but it's not quite many yet. So, maybe, as a good hint, the word several sounds a bit similar to “seven,” maybe it doesn't necessarily mean exactly seven of something but it's a bit higher than “a few” and it's not quite at the level of “many” or “a lot of.”
The next word you asked about, “sundry.” “Sundry” is something we use for household items like every day small household items. We usually use that in the plural form, like shops which sell “sundries.” So, this is quite different from the words “several” and “various.” So, “sundry” is usually used in the plural form and it refers to everyday items in your house.
The last word you asked about, “various.” We use “various” to describe a miscellany of things. We use it before a noun typically. For example, “various ideas” or, “various people” or, “various subjects,” “various topics.” So, “various” is used to describe many different types of something. “Several” refers to quantity, “various” is just used to indicate that there are different types or different kinds of the noun that follows it. So, as I said, “various ideas,” “various flavors,” “various people” meaning, different types of ideas, different types of people, different types of flavors. So, “several,” quantity, “various,” types.
Next question! Next question comes from Arnett Jake Newglid. I’m very sorry. “How do we use ‘well’ before someone starts speaking and ‘though’ after they speak?” “Well” is kind of used as a soft way to begin speaking. “Well,” it kind of shows that you were listening to the other person. So, it shows you listened to the other person and you are responding to them. “Well, if that's the case,” it kind of has that nuance. “Well,” it sort of shows you were listening and you are going to respond based on that information. Remember, “though” is used to show contrast. So, if someone presents you with an idea or gives you an opinion and you want to show contrast to that formally, you can begin with “though.” So, if for example, you're in a formal situation, a business situation for example and someone says, “I think we should continue with the idea we proposed last summer for this project.” You might counter the opinion or you might oppose the opinion by beginning your statement with “though.” You could say, “Though, that's going to cost a lot of money to implement.” So, “though” shows contrast in a formal and polite way.
Next question! Next question comes from Michael King. Hi, Michael. Michael asks, “I want to study at home, self-study. What should I do?” Ah, yeah, okay. I have self-studied and it can be tough to do but you have the internet, congratulations. So, what can you do? There are a lot of things. Number 1, define your goal. What is it you hope to achieve? What are you looking to do through your studies? Don't just say. I want to learn English. That's not a very specific goal. Give yourself a specific goal to achieve. Like, “I want to pass this level of a test,” or “I want to be able to do this thing in my life,” “I want to be able to give a business presentation in English.” Number 2, Look for resources that are going to help you achieve that goal. If you need to work on your speaking, you need to find ways to practice your speaking. If you're looking for something to help you with your reading or your writing, for example, look for tools that do that. If you want to read, look for blogs, look for websites that have the content in your target language that you want to know more about. Start reading things and trying to pick up the vocabulary through studying those things in your target language. There are tons of resources out there but you need to define your goal first and then start looking for the resources that match your goal. Three, may be the most difficult one for a lot of us is to practice every day. Find some way to make language practice part of your everyday routine. In my case, for example, I found that it was really helpful for me to take 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening during my commute on the subway to study vocabulary. That helped me improve little by little, day by day. It was a total of 30 minutes but it added up over time. And, through practicing every day, you'll find that the resources you're using will become easier to understand. Number 4, where possible, try to create an immersion environment. If you're not in a situation where you're actually living in the country or you can go to the country where they speak the language you're studying, try to create some kind of immersion environment for yourself where you can't escape into your native language. Just as much as possible, try to create some sort of immersion environment so that you get used to hearing those sounds and kind of the natural responses that people have to those sounds too. Number 5, I think one more really good tip for studying at home is asking questions. There are other people who are learning your language and other people who are trying to study. We see it a lot on this channel too and you guys are fantastic about helping your fellow classmates. When you have a question and you can't find the answer for it, ask someone. Don't let yourself get stuck. Also, think about the resources you already have. If it's a question about vocabulary, you can check a dictionary. If you want to deepen your vocabulary, you can check a thesaurus. If you have a specific question about how an expression is used, try asking a native speaker, try posting on a message board, try posting in the comments, try posting on our website, so if you have a question, reach out and ask. Chances are, if you have the question, it's going to help somebody else to ask the question and get the answer. If you have a question, ask. Good luck with your self-study.
Next question! Next question is from Harley Paso. Hey, Harley, welcome back. “What does ‘uncountable’ mean?” This refers to a group of nouns that we do not count with numbers alone. So, for example, bread is uncountable. Instead, we use a counter word between the number and the uncountable nouns. So, in my “bread” example, we use “one loaf of bread,” “one slice of bread.” There are different words we use to count the individual pieces or the individual units of the uncountable noun. Uncountable nouns mean nouns which we cannot count with just a simple number before the noun, we need to use an additional counter word.
Next question! Next question comes from Taylor. Hi, again. Taylor. “What's the difference between ‘look into my eyes’ and ‘look me in the eye?’” I would say that we use “look into my eyes” in more romantic situations. Or, you might hear this in like movies, maybe there's something magical that's happening and, I don't know, which is casting a spell and she says, “Look into my eyes.” “Look me in the eye” is typically used in a more aggressive situation. It's used as an expression like, “Look me in the eye and say that.” “Look me in the eye” tends to be a more aggressive statement. “Look into my eyes” sounds more romantic or mysterious.
Next question from Yong Chi. Yong Hee? I'm sorry. “What's the difference between ‘I like to take naps.’ and, ‘I like to take a nap.’ Or, ‘I like to go for walks.’ and, ‘I like to go for a walk.’” So, when you're speaking generally, especially in a sentence like “I like to,” you need to use the plural form of the noun. You can't use the singular form of the noun because you're talking generally about all cases of that noun or all cases of that action. You're talking about a regular activity you like to do, something you have done more than one time, something you are going to do repeatedly, presumably, into the future. So, you need to use the plural form.
Next question! Next question is from Suha. “How do we write a good paragraph?” Ooh. Number 1, you need to think about the position of your paragraph in your overall document. Let's think about writing a document in terms of three parts: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. In the introduction section, you need to introduce the key information your reader needs to know what they're going to read about later in your documents. So, if your paragraph is in the introduction, you need to think about how to introduce your information there. Second, the body section of your document should be where you include your evidence, your supporting materials, your opinions, any references that you have. So, if your paragraph falls in the body of the document, you should have these themes in mind. If your paragraph is in the conclusion of your document at the end, you should be concluding or finishing your ideas. It's typically a good idea to summarize the ideas you presented in the body and the introduction of your document in the concluding section. Two, use transitions. When you're writing, it's good to transition from one sentence to another and to use good transitions between paragraphs themselves. So, some example transitions could be, “first,” “second,” “third,” or, “next,” “then,” “finally,” “after that,” “moreover,” “additionally,” “furthermore.” So, transitions help the reader connect the ideas that you're presenting in your writing. Three, avoid trying to include too much information in one sentence. Remember, you need to try to present your ideas as clearly and accurately as possible. So, if you find you're just writing and writing and writing and the sentence is becoming extremely long, take a moment and look at the goal of the sentence. What are you actually trying to communicate? If you need to, break it into smaller sentences and connect them with transitions.
Next question! Next question comes from Juan Garcia. Hi Juan. Juan asks, “I would like to know how to use ‘down,’ ‘up,’ ‘off,’ ‘in,’ ‘on,’ and, ‘out’ after a verb and why it's necessary?” Oh, dear. Juan, this is a very big question. Your question is about phrasal verbs. These are all called phrasal verbs. Verb plus adverb or preposition. There are an enormous amount of phrasal verbs. I possibly talk about all of them in one video. Phrasal verbs are necessary because they are part of speech. They are simply a type of verb, they are a type of expression so you need to know them because they will help you to communicate effectively. So, if you want to know more about specific phrasal verbs, I would suggest checking a dictionary.
Okay, thanks very much for submitting your questions again this week. Great questions, as always. Thank you so much. You guys make me think really hard.
Remember, if you'd like to submit a question, please send them to me at EnglishClass101.com/ask-alisha. If you like the video, please make sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to us too if you haven't already. You can also check us out at EnglishClass101.com for some more resources like some of the things we talked about in this video.
Alright, so thanks very much for watching this episode of Ask Alisha and I will see you again next time. Bye-bye.
This is not a traditional Christmas outfit. I kind of look like a cleric from the movie “Equilibrium.” Have you guys seen that movie with Christian Bale and Sean Bean? You know that movie where they like don't have any feelings and they fight? This video is over. Bye.

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