Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Ask Alisha, the weekly series where you ask me questions and I answer them, maybe.
First question comes from Vanessa Rodrigues. Hi, Vanessa. Vanessa says, “Hi, Alisha. I'd like to know the difference between ‘kind of,’ ‘sort of’ and ‘somewhat.’ Greetings from Brazil.” Let's begin with “kind of” and “sort o.f” So, “kind of” and “sort of” can be used before verbs and adjectives to mean a little. And, when we're speaking quickly, we say “kinda” and “sorta,” you'll also see this spelling used in casual messages like text messages or maybe less formal emails. Some examples, “I kind of want to eat Korean for lunch,” “This dessert is kind of sweet, don't you think?” “I sort of like that new movie,” “Our neighbors are being sort of noisy tonight.” We also use “kind of” and “sort of” as softeners, especially for bad news. Some examples, “I sort of forgot to send you the details,” “I kind of broke your computer.” Also, keep in mind that “kind of” and “sort of” can come before a noun but when they're used in this way, “kind of” and “sort of” mean type, they don't mean a little. For example, “What kind of ice cream do you like?” “What sort of car are you thinking of buying?”
Let's move on to “somewhat.” “Somewhat” means a little or slightly also but it sounds more formal than “kind of” or “sort of.” We can use “somewhat” before adjectives. We can also use “somewhat” with verbs but you'll find somewhat used after the verb. So, it's an adverb there. Some examples, “Our answer depends somewhat on today's meeting,” “The lesson content may vary somewhat in accordance with students questions.” Like I said, we can use it before adjectives but it feels more formal than “kind of” or “sort of.” “I'm somewhat surprised you replied to my email,” “This decision seems somewhat odd.” Okay, I hope that that helps answer your question. Thanks very much for sending it along. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from David Hosono. Hi, David. David says, “Hi, Alisha. I am Japanese and not is it acceptable for me to use religious words like, ‘Oh, my God’ or ‘bless you.’ If not acceptable is there an alternate way of saying it.” Hmm, this is kind of a tough question because it depends on your listener. So, let's start with the phrase, “bless you” here. I've never heard of a situation where someone has gotten in trouble for saying, “bless you.” If you're not familiar with this phrase, “bless you” is a common expression English speakers use after someone sneezes. It has kind of an interesting history. I've read two things, actually, about where this expression comes from. One, people used to believe that when you sneeze, that part of your soul or part of your spirit leaves your body so they said, “bless you.” The other thing is that I heard that the phrase originated around the time of the Black Plague and so sneezing was like the first sign that someone might die so people said, “bless you,” when they heard a sneeze. Interesting. I don't know which is true but it's an interesting. It's an interesting expression for sure. But, regardless, when people say, “bless you,” it typically isn't a problem. If you're not sure or if you're not feeling comfortable, just say nothing. That's totally natural as well. Some other people like to use the German word, “gesundheit.” I don't know if my pronunciation is correct there but it means roughly health to my understanding. Some people like to use that, I personally don't. You might hear it from time to time. But if you're ever worried, my recommendation would be to say nothing. I personally don't use the expression, “bless you.”
Regarding the question about, “Oh, my God.” This one is perhaps more sensitive, depending on the person you're talking to. There are some people, especially people who have strong religious beliefs, who believe that using the word God outside of a religious situation is bad, it's not a good thing to do. In those cases, those people might feel offended if you use the word, “God,” in the expression, “Oh, my God. For many people, it's not a problem. If you're worried, if you're not sure, if you're not comfortable, you can use the expression, “Oh, my gosh.” This is a very common and very acceptable and natural substitute. So, “Oh, my gosh,” in place. If you listen to the people you’re around and you hear them saying, “Oh, my God, Oh, my God,” you can probably safely use, “Oh, my God” as well. But if you're worried, you can just say, “Oh, my gosh,” that's fine too. So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for this question. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Kanat. Hi, Kanat. Kanat says, “Hi, Alisha. Could you please explain the difference between ‘What do I have to do?’ and ‘What am I supposed to do?’” Yeah, the difference between “have to” and “supposed to” is subtle. Let's start with “have to.” When we use the expression, “have to,” we're talking about like an obligation or a responsibility. When we use “supposed to,” it's like there's some kind of outside expectation, like a societal expectation or a relationship expectation. Something you are supposed to do like a specific way you are supposed to behave. So, regarding your question then, let's imagine two people are having an argument. If someone says, “What do I have to do?” It's like they're asking about their obligations, they're asking about their responsibilities. What must they do? If someone asks the question, “What am I supposed to do?” It's often like they're asking for the other person's expectations of them. Maybe it's not even necessarily like a responsibility but you're asking for someone else's expectations with that question. So, the situations where you would hear these two are maybe a little bit different. Like, “What do I have to do?” would be used more when we're looking to achieve a goal. Like, “What do I have to do to get a good score on this test?” Or, “What do I have to do to get this job?” If you're asking the question, “What am I supposed to do?” it's often in a situation that's like trouble. So, maybe you're in trouble with like the person you're in a relationship with or maybe you're in like trouble with like a landlord, for example. Like, “What am I supposed to do if I don't have this house, I'll be in trouble.” So, it's what are your expectations of me versus what are the things I must do so it's a very subtle difference. “Supposed to” is kind of more like societies and relationships and those kinds of people-related like connections and “have to” can feel more like obligations, responsibilities. So, I would suggest to just pay attention when you see these two words used in text and you can kind of get a feel for the times when we would use these. I hope that this helps answer your question. Thanks very much for sending it along. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Tai. Hi, Tai. Tai says, “Hello, Alisha. Can you tell me about the word, ‘record’ and the way to read it when it's a verb and when it's a noun?” Yeah, so as a verb, the word is pronounced /reCORD/. For example, “We're recording a video,” or “Let's record a song next year.” When used as a noun to talk about like the disc that you can use to play music or to talk about like a written note where you keep a lot of information, the pronunciation is /REcord/. “He bought a lot of records last week,” or “Do you keep a record of your tasks?” So, as a verb, /reCORD/, as a noun, /REcord/. I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Victoria. Hi, Victoria. Victoria says, “I would be grateful if you could explain the difference between ‘want to’ and ‘wanted to.’ Also, when can we use ‘wanted to?’” Okay. The short answer here is that “want to” is present tense and “wanted to” is past tense. Examples, “I want to eat lunch,” “You want to get a coffee?” “He wanted to go jogging,” “She wanted to cook dinner.” So, something that might confuse people here is when we're trying to be soft and polite. We might use “wanted” in past tense to make like a soft request or to ask for information in a soft way. Examples, “I wanted to know where the restroom was,” “I wanted to ask you about the new software,” “I wanted to talk to you about the presentation.” So, yes, we're using the past tense here like “I wanted to talk to you about the presentation.” It makes the question sound softer using past tense in that way. We don't do this for all verbs, we do this for like questioning verbs like “I was wondering,” is another good example or “I was hoping.” So, we're trying to make an inquiry, you might hear this past tense structure used. So, we use this in situations where there's a little bit of distance between us and the listener, maybe with like a work colleague we're not so close to or maybe with staff at a department store. We use it typically with strangers but we're trying to be a little bit more polite. Of course, you don't have to do this. Some people are very direct and they use present tense. They say, “I want to know where the restroom is,” or “I want to talk to you about the presentation.” I personally prefer to be a little softer and a little more polite so I also tend to use the past tense form. You can choose which you prefer but if you hear past tense in situations like these, it's to make a softer question. I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
Alright, that's everything that I have for this week. So, 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 and I will see you again next week. Bye-bye!

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Saturday at 6:30 pm
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Sunday at 7:20 pm
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Wednesday at 8:45 pm
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Prem
Tuesday at 1:29 pm
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Is there any way to download lesson note or subtitle for this lesson?

Saeed
Tuesday at 6:51 am
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درس جميل ..


س) كيف نسجل معهم ... ؟؟؟

وكم الرسووووووووووووووم ....؟؟؟؟

EnglishClass101.com
Sunday at 4:14 pm
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Hi Sam,


Thank you for posting. To submit your question to Alisha please go to:

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You can also check out more about [literally] in our English Dictionary:

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sam hernandez
Saturday at 8:35 pm
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about literally

sam
Saturday at 8:27 pm
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when can used the frase literally