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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 Javier Lopez. Hi, Javier. Javier says, "What is the difference between 'able' and 'capable?' Can you provide examples?" It depends on the sentence. In most cases, though, they mean the same thing. The key difference when you're using these words to mean ability to do something is that we use "able" and "capable" in slightly different sentence patterns. When we use "able," we tend to use "able" before a verb in the infinitive form. That means "able" plus “to,” verb. Some examples: "We weren't able to finish the race." "He was able to attend the meeting." In contrast, when we use "capable", we use "capable" before a noun phrase and we connect it to the noun phrase with the preposition "of." The final pattern would be "capable," "of," noun phrase. Some examples: "She's capable of dangerous things." "They're capable of surprising us at any moment." I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Sadat. Hi, Sadat. Sadat says, "Are 'win,' 'gain,' and 'earn' the same?" No, they are not the same. We use "win" for prizes. We often use this verb in contests or in competitions, something that involves a challenge of some kind. Some examples: "I don't think I'm going to win first prize." "She won first place." We use "gain" when we're talking about adding to something that we already have or developing something naturally. Some examples of this: "He gained weight." "Our team gained new skills at the conference." We use "earn" when we work to receive something. "She earned a lot of money last year." "You've earned my respect." I hope that that helps you understand the differences between "win," "gain," and "earn." Thanks very much for the question.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Rafael. Hi, Rafael. Rafael says, "Hi, Alisha. What's the difference between 'thee' and 'thou?' These words, are they still used?" No. First of all, these words are old English. We do not use these words in everyday conversation. If you have come across these words somewhere in your reading or in watching media, it's probably in something that was very old or in a movie that was set hundreds of years ago. To look at this in a historical way, though, as a historical study of English "thou" was used to mean "you" when "you" is the subject of the sentence. If you can imagine "thou" is subject, "you". "Thee," on the other hand, is like saying "you" when "you" is the object of a sentence. You object form. "Thou" is the subject, "thee" is the object form. This appears in William Shakespeare's works. It also appears in stuff like the Bible, which has this very old-fashioned way of speaking and writing. A very well-known expression from Shakespeare is the line, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" "Thee" is being used in the object position there. "Shall I compare thee?" "Thou," on the other hand, is famously used in the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments in the Bible are a list of rules and the rules begin with "Thou shalt not" or "thou shalt something." That means you should or you should not do something. Those are examples of uses of "thee" and "thou." They are not used today in English. We only use them in these archaic old settings, like I mentioned, religious or in literary sentences. That's the history of those two words. I would not recommend using them in everyday conversations. If you want to make a joke or you want to sound old-fashioned, really old-fashioned, to be funny, go ahead; but in most cases, we don't use them. I hope that this helps. Thanks for an interesting question.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Roberto Cruz. Hi, Roberto. Roberto says, "When can I use 'bad' or 'badly?'" "Bad" is an adjective and "badly" is an adverb. We use bad to describe nouns. Some examples: "That movie was bad." "He's a bad man." "You're a bad cook." Ouch. Use "badly" to describe verbs. "His essay was badly written." "The song was badly performed." "Your message was badly worded." You can position it before the verb or after the verb, it's okay. I hope that that helps you understand these differences. Thanks very much for the question.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Alfatin. Hi, Alfatin. Alfatin says, "How do I talk about something that just happened about an hour ago, and how do I ask someone about the recent past?" Use the same grammar that you used to write this question, use "just." Use "just" before a simple past tense verb to describe something that happened in the very recent past. Some examples: "I just talked about the difference between 'bad' and 'badly.'" "We just ate lunch." "You just woke up?" Then, to ask someone about the very recent past, there are a few ways that you can do it. First, you can try including the specific time point that you want to ask about. Some examples of that might be, "Where were you an hour ago?" "Where was he at eight this morning?" You can also use "just" to make a question, but there are some cases where this might sound a little bit aggressive, like, "What did you just say?" or "Where did you just go?" Using that tone of voice might sound a little bit like you're accusing the other person. It can sound a little bit aggressive, so be careful with these questions. Also, if you want some more information and more details about this topic, you can check out the live stream that we did about the very recent past. That will give you some more example sentences and some patterns to try. I hope that that helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
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. Thanks very much for watching this week's episode of Ask Alisha. I will see you again next week. Bye-bye!