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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 Habib azadani.
Hi Habib! Habib says "what does 'let alone' mean?"
Oh, yeah, a nice question. Okay, let's start by introducing two examples:
he can't drive a car, let alone teach someone how to drive.
She doesn't have time to cook, let alone bake.
Okay, so in these two examples, we see in the first part of the sentence there's an impossible situation introduced. So, he can't drive a car and she doesn't have time to bake, so these are like impossible or really difficult situations; then we introduce another impossible situation in the second part of the sentence and we emphasize that
that too is impossible by using "let alone". So in this case, the even more impossible thing is teaching someone else to drive in the first sentence, and baking in the second sentence. So we often see these kinds of patterns when we're, like, asking for help with something or, like, we're making a request for something, for example:
Can Davey teach me how to drive?
He can't drive a car, let alone teach someone else how to drive.
Can you ask Alisha to bake me a cake?
Alisha? She doesn't have time to cook, let alone bake.
So you see that there's like this other impossible situation emphasized and introduced with "let alone," so that's what it means, it doesn't mean ,like, leaving someone alone, but we use let alone in front of verbs this way to show totally impossible situations. So I hope that this helps you, thanks very much for the question.
Okay, let's move on to your next question. The next question is from Nayef. Hi, Nayef.
Nayef said, "Hi Alisha, what's the difference between possibly and probably?"
Okay, here, possibly means that something can be done, it is possible, something we are able to do. You can think of possibly as meaning, like, maybe. So some examples:
Sorry for the last-minute request, but can my friend join us at the restaurant?
Possibly. Let me call the restaurant.
Will you have time for a meeting later?
Possibly. I have to do some paperwork.
So probably, on the other hand, indicates a high level of potential of something.
So possibly is very neutral, possible is also very neutral, it's just something that we are able to do, it can be done.
Probably, however, refers to, like, an actual chance of something and a very good chance of something, so there's a 70% chance something is going to happen.
So if we take the same example sentences as in -
Can my friend join for dinner? Probably, let me call the restaurant.
And,
will you have time for a meeting later? Probably, I just need to finish some paperwork.
We can see that the level of certainty in the situation changes with possibly, it's like maybe, I don't know, there's a chance, could be, I don't know...
With probably, it's like, there's a very good chance that that thing is okay.
So I hope that this helps you understand the difference between possibly and probably. Thanks for the question!
All right! Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Antonio Lopez. Hi, Antonio!
Antonio says "What's a tag question?"
Cool, ok, tag questions are like tiny tiny questions that come at the end of a statement.
Examples:
You weren't serious, were you?
He's coming to the party, isn't he?
We forgot our passports, didn't we?
I'm late, aren't I?
So at the end of each one of these sentences is this tiny little question, so it's like something that we finish our sentence with in order to confirm the first thing we said in the sentence. So you'll notice in each of these sentences, if the beginning statement is in the negative, the tag question will be in the positive, and vice versa. If the beginning statement is in the positive, the tag question will be negative. So we use tag questions just to confirm what we said in the beginning part of the sentence. I hope that this helps you, thanks very much for the question.
Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Filipe Jacomozzi. Hi, Filipe!
Filipe says, What's the usage difference between 'too', 'also' and 'as well'?
Okay, for the purposes of this answer, I'll talk about just one use of the word "too," which means in addition.
So we see "too" a lot at the end of a phrase or at the end of a sentence, like in "me too" or "you too" or "he wants to come too" or "I like that too".
We see that there at the end of the phrase.
Let's move on then to talking about "also". We use "also" before verbs, usually in the simple present tense or in the simple past tense. You can see "also" at the beginning of a
sentence as well, and we use it in this position when it affects the whole sentence. So some example:
We should get some snacks. We should also get drinks.
Today, I'd like to talk about sales. I'd also like to talk about growth going forward.
And then when you see "also" positioned at the beginning of the sentence, it affects the whole sentence.
So for example: Hey, can you pick up dinner on your way home? Also, put some gas in the car.
Will you please finish this report by today? Also, stop stealing pens from my desk.
So in these ways, we see "also" used to mean "and," and it tends to come before verbs or it can come before a full request.
Finally, "as well".
As well tends to function in the same way as "too".
We use it a lot at the end of a phrase or at the end of a list of items, but it sounds more formal than "too". Okay, so thanks very much for the question, I hope that that helps you. Alright, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Benny. Hi, Benny.
Benny says, "what does it mean when someone says 'cut it out'? And when can I use this phrase?"
Oh, "cut it out" means "stop". We use this when someone is doing something that's annoying or repetitive so it's like if someone's poking you, or maybe if, like, someone keeps throwing things across the room at you, it's something small and annoying and you want them to stop doing that, you can say "cut it out". "Cut it out!"
It's usually in that way, if you just say "cut it out," it doesn't sound so strong. So usually, we make it sound like "cut it out!" So it sounds like you're irritated.
Another way that we expressed the same thing is by saying "don't."
So especially young kids will use "don't" or maybe "cut it out" to mean stop doing that thing.
Don't means, like, don't do that thing, like, don't throw things at me, or don't poke me, whatever it is, but we'll say "don't!"
So "cut it out" is just a casual way to say "stop".
I hope that that helps you, thanks for the question.
All right! That is everything that I have for this week. Thanks as always for sending your questions and 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!

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