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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 comes from Mohammed Rafu Hassan. Hi, Mohammed. Mohammed says, “Hi, Alisha. How do I say these kinds of things naturally zero-one-double nine-one or zero-one-nine-nine-one? Similarly, coffee: c-o-double f-double e, or c-o-f-f-e-e?” Actually, everything that you listed here is normal and natural. Some people prefer using that double pattern that you described, like "double f," "double e," or “double nine.” Some people prefer to use that, other people do not. I personally do not use that double or, sometimes, triple pattern with numbers, but it's perfectly fine to use. It's just a personal preference. Thanks very much for the question. I hope that this helps you.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Luis Regiori. Hi, Luis. Luis says, “Hi, Alisha. Can you tell me when to spin words and when not to? For example, when to use ‘king of the jungle’ and when to use ‘jungle king?’ Are both correct? Thank you." Good question. Unfortunately, there's not really a rule for this, but there's not going to be a communication problem. If you use the “of pattern” instead of the pattern that doesn't use “of,” there probably won't be a communication problem. This is something that just comes with practice. In your reading and your writing, you'll start to notice which words are commonly paired together. I will say, though, if you're looking for something that's a guideline, it's not a perfect rule, but maybe it's helpful, is to think about how using the “of pattern” makes things sound more important. It can make things sound a little more formal. If you're talking about an everyday object and you use the “of pattern,” it's going to sound really funny, really silly, like it's too important. If you're talking about a dessert, for example, saying “apple pie” is very normal. If you say “pie of apple,” it sounds way, way too formal, funny, and silly. If you have situations like this, people might laugh a little bit, but there won't be a communication problem. The only mistake is that you sound way too formal. Anyway, I hope that this helps you understand this point. Thanks very much for an interesting question.
Let's move along to your next question. Next question comes from Monmon. Hi, Monmon. Hi again, Monmon. Monmon says, “How do I use ‘it's’ (with an apostrophe) and ‘its’ (with no apostrophe)? Also, what are abstract nouns, and how are they different from non-abstract nouns? Thanks.” “It's” (with an apostrophe) means “it is,” or “it has.” Examples: “It's been a fun day.” “It's a bird.” “It's a plane.” “It's Superman.” Then, “its” is the possessive form of “it.” Examples: “The cat is licking its foot.” “The dolphin escaped from its tank at the aquarium.” I hope that that helps you with that it's, its difference. Your second question about abstract nouns and non-abstract nouns. An abstract noun is something that we cannot see, we cannot touch. It's not tangible. These are concepts or ideas. Some examples are sadness, concentration, anger, those kinds of things, things that we can't actually see but we can understand in our minds. That's an abstract noun. A non-abstract noun, then, is the opposite. It's objects, it's people, it's things. We can see them, we can touch them, we can interact with them. Phone is a non-abstract noun, or camera, person, or beach. These are things that we can actually interact with. That's a non-abstract noun. Abstract nouns, concepts, ideas, non-abstract nouns, actually things that we can touch and interact with. I hope that this helps you understand the difference. Thanks very much for these questions.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Shinto. Hi, Shinto. Shinto says, "Hi, I have been studying English with your videos on YouTube. My question, what do adults call their mothers and fathers in the U.S.? Is it ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ or their parents' names?" Good question. Yes, usually, we use "mom" and "dad" to talk to our parents directly. If you use your parent's name to talk to your parent, it creates this distance in your relationship with them. In most cases, I think people feel comfortable saying “mom” or “dad” directly to their mother or father; but if there's some cases where, maybe, you don't have such a good relationship with your parents, you might choose to use their name instead of their mom or dad title. Some people do choose to do this. That might be why you hear some differences in the ways that people address their parents; but in most cases, yes, "mom" or "dad" is fine. On the other hand, using "mother" or "father" to address your parent directly can sound too formal. It's a nice familiar close word to use, "Mom" and "Dad." Those are much more natural and much more common, I think, in American English. Of course, if you're speaking with someone else about your parent, it can sound a little more polite to use "mother" or "father" in that case, like "Oh, do you know my mother?" or, "My father met you last week," for example. On the more casual side of things, using something like "mommy," or "mama," or "daddy," or "papa," those words are used by little kids. I would not recommend using those in public situations, maybe you want to make a joke, an inside joke with your family, like pretending you're a kid again, fine; but it might sound weird if you're in public and you use those words that are used by little kids. Keep that in mind. Anyway, I hope that this helps you understand. Thanks very much for the question.
Let's move along to your next question. Next question comes from Kai Hong. Hi, Kai Hong. Kai Hong says, "Hi, Alisha. How do natives pronounce "what do we do now?" I hear "what er we do now." Do you do that as well?" I think, this is a question about reduction of sounds. A question like "What do we do now?" if I say this in my regular speech, I would say, "Whatawe do now? Whatawe do now?" This is an example of these reduced sounds, these sounds that come together. Native English speakers do not clearly separate words in the same way that I do on this channel. "What do we do now" becomes "whatawe do now." This is an example of how words get connected in ways that are, sometimes, a little bit challenging to pick up the first few times. To practice these kinds of things, I would recommend listening, of course, listening and reading at the same time. That means finding things that have a script. You can, of course, check out the stuff that we have on the website, EnglishClass101.com, but you can also try audio books, you can also try using subtitles on videos that have them. I know that not all videos on YouTube have them, but try looking at the actual words that people are saying and the way that they're pronouncing them, because we don't clearly separate words all the time in English. I hope that that helps you understand this pronunciation related point. Thanks very much for an interesting question.
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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