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 Nick. Hi, Nick. Nick says, "Hi, Alisha. What does ‘to roll’ mean in this context? ‘Sugar was rare, too. If you could offer guests a feast featuring spices, sugar, and vegetables from the new world, you were rolling.’ Is it about madness? Or, poverty?” Oh, yeah. Great question. "To roll" or "to be rolling" means to have a lot of money. The image here is that you have so much money that you can roll your body around in the money, like you are so rich you could roll in it. We will sometimes say, "He's rolling," or, "She's rolling," or, "they're rolling," which means they're rolling in money. "She inherited a lot of money from her family. She's rolling. They bought a huge house last year, and this summer they bought a yacht. They must be rolling in dough." I hope that this helps you understand the word "roll." Thanks very much for the question.
All right. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Gevorg Galstyan. Hi, Gevorg. Gevorg says, "What's the difference between ‘gonna’ and ‘gotta?’ Where should I use them?" "Gonna" is the short form of "going to." "I'm gonna go to the store." "He's gonna leave early.” “We're gonna watch a movie." "Gotta" is the short form of "got to," which means “have to.” "I have got to" means I have to do something. Native speakers will often drop the "ve," the "have" part, the contracted form of “have” in speech. We're supposed to say, "I've gotta," which is the contracted form of "I have got to," but we often drop the "ve" sound in quick speech. It sounds like "I gotta" or "we gotta." We do, however, keep it when the subject is "he" or "she" or "it's," because it's easy to say quickly. Some examples. "I gotta go. He's gotta leave. We gotta work." Because "gonna" is the reduced form of "going to," we use it to talk about upcoming plans. Because "gotta" is the reduced form of "got to," meaning "have to," we use "gotta" to talk about upcoming responsibilities. I hope that this helps you understand the difference between the two. Thanks very much for the question.
Okay. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Benny. Hi, Benny. Benny says, "Hi, Alisha. Could you please tell me which forms are correct? A) I learned English in the morning. B) I've learned English in the morning. C) I've been learning in the morning. D) I was learning in the morning. Two, A) We will be eating dinner when he arrives. B) We will be eating dinner when he arrive.” Okay. I'm going to stop here for your question because it's quite long. Before I talk about my responses to these, I also want to say that I'm going to use the word "study," the verb "study," instead of "learn," to answer this question. You've used "learn" in your example sentences, but we use the word “learn” when we have finished learning something. Like, "I learned how to use a computer," or, "I learned how to do something." We're finished with that. For that reason, I'm going to use "study," instead of your original "learn" here. “Study” sounds more natural. With that in mind, the correct answers, the correct sentences here, are Sentences A and D. B and C both use forms of the present perfect tense. Sentence B uses just a regular present perfect. "I have studied in the morning." That sounds strange because we're using a specific point in time, "in the morning," plus present perfect tense. We don't use those two together, really. We use present perfect tense when we want to talk about general life experience. We could say, for example, "Yes, I've studied English before." "Before" just means sometime before now, sometime in the past. "Yes, I've studied English before." That's okay, but we would not use "in the morning," a specific time. The second sentence, C there, is also strange, even though we're using the continuous form, the present perfect continuous form, because it's something that is continuing, yes, but we have it at a specific point in time. Like, "I've been studying in the morning." We use the present perfect continuous with "for" and "since" to talk about the time when an action started. We talk about the specific point when the action started. In this case, you're talking about an action that is finished. It's done. It sounds strange to use "in the morning," and it's grammatically incorrect. You could say, "I've been studying since 10:00 this morning." Or, "I've been studying for three hours this morning." Those are fine when you want to talk about a duration of time and you want to talk about the point in time where you started that thing. Only Sentence A and Sentence D are correct. You could change Sentence B and Sentence C but you would change the meaning a little bit.
On to your second question, then. This is a quick answer. The correct one is "He arrives." He arrives. This is because "arrive" is connected to "he." When you're using "he," or "she," or "it," you need to use "arrives." When you're using "I," "you," or "we," there is no change to the verb. “He arrives. She arrives. It arrives.” I, you, we: "arrive." I hope that that helps you.
You had one more question which was this. "Michael said, 'Yeah, that was a new one for me as well. I hope I don't have to do that again.' Can I use 'this' instead of 'that'?" Really, the answer is it depends on the situation. If, in this case, Michael is gesturing and pointing to something like, "Ah, that was a new one for me," or "This was a new one for me, I hope I don't have to do this again," and we can clearly see what's this, then it's okay to use "this" here. If it's just general and he's not gesturing, or anything, to clearly show us what “this” or “that” is, it sounds more natural to use that. The answer is it depends a little bit. If you can clearly show the other person what you're talking about, sure, you can use "this," especially, when you're gesturing, you're pointing at something. I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for all your questions.
All right. Let's move on to the next question. Next question comes from Muhamad Abdelhakeim. Hi, Muhamad. Muhamad says, "'Are you using me from my brain?' What does this mean? You mentioned this in '100 Phrases Every English Beginner Must Know.'" Yeah. Okay. I was making a small joke here, actually. There's a really common complaint or a really common problem that you sometimes hear in couples who are in romantic relationships. If one person, or maybe both people, I don't know, has just a really strong physical attraction to somebody, there might be a complaint where someone says, "Are you using me for my body?" This is a common complaint in a relationship where a person thinks it's only physical. This person only cares about my physical appearance. They say, "Are you using me for my body?" I was making a joke in that one and saying, "Are you using me for my brain?" to suggest that someone could just be interested in the things that I think. It's not actually a joke. I was just making a twist on a common complaint. I can't quite remember but I feel like in that video, I was, maybe, talking about relationships or something similar, but I wanted to twist the joke a little bit to make it about knowledge, I don't know. It's not actually funny. I was just twisting a very common complaint. I hope that this helps you. Thanks for the question.
Okay. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Silver Way. Hi, again, Silver Way. Silver Way says, "Hi, Alisha. I want to ask about the expression, 'things couldn't be better.' Does this mean in the past or can I use it to mean for the time being, like in the present?" Yeah. This is a present tense expression. When you say "things couldn't be better," it means “Right now, it's not possible for my life to be better.” That means things are great. Yes, "couldn't" is being used here, but it means things now could not be better. It's not possible for things to be better. For example, "Hey, how are things? Oh, couldn't be better. Work is going great, and I have a vacation coming up soon." Or, "Hey, how's the family? Oh, couldn't be better. Everyone is happy and healthy." That means it's not possible to improve more. It's not possible for things to be better, so we say "couldn't be better now." That's a present tense expression. Thanks very much for the question. I hope that that helps.
All right. 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 and I will see you again next week. Bye, bye.

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