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 Ayan. Hi, Ayan. Ayan says, "Hi, Alisha. Which sentence is correct? 'I think someone break into my apartment.' Or, 'I think someone broke into my family.' When should I use the simple past tense?" Actually, both sentences are close, but neither sentence is correct. The correct sentence would be, "I think someone broke into my apartment." So, when we use the verb, "break into" in the regular present tense, we follow it with the actual place, like with a location. So, we don't use people as the object of this phrasal verb, we use the actual place. So, "I broke into an apartment," or "Someone broke into my house," or, "I think someone is breaking into your car," or "A thief broke into the jewelry store last night." Okay, I hope that this helps with your understanding of the phrase, "break into." Thanks very much for the question. All right. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Vladimir. Hi, Vladimir. Vladimir says, "Hi, what is the difference between 'what' as a conjunction and 'that?' Some examples. 'I should have said what I said.' 'I don't know that we can.' 'Show me that you can help me and I'll tell you where your friends are.' I got these examples from TV shows." Yeah, really good question and a tough question too. Actually, in these sentences, "what" and "that" are not acting as conjunctions. They're acting as relative pronouns. So, relative pronouns start a noun clause like a relative clause. They're giving us some information and we begin these clauses with relative pronouns. So, let's take a look at the examples that you sent. Let's start with "what." So, in your first example sentence, you said, "I should have said what I said." So, here, "what" marks the beginning of this new clause, "what I said” is the clause itself. So, I should have said something. So, this "what I said" refers to something the speaker mentioned earlier, something the speaker like mentioned in a different conversation. So, "what I said" could be replaced with "it" or "that." And the sentence would remain grammatical like, "I should have said it. I should have said that."
"What" is acting as a relative pronoun, and it means the thing which or the things which something, something, something. So, you could say, "I should have said the things which I said." So, that would be a grammatically correct sentence. So, in this case, "what" does not act as a conjunction, it's acting as a relative pronoun. It's starting off this clause, this new information.
So, let's look at another example that uses this. For example, "I shouldn't have eaten what I ate for lunch." So, in this sentence, “what I ate for lunch” is like my extra information, that's my noun clause there. And I'm using "what" to introduce that. So, here, the speaker is expressing regret. Maybe the speaker ate lots of junk food for lunch and now they feel terrible. So, "I shouldn't have eaten what I ate for lunch." So, that means that thing or those things that I ate for lunch, even though the speaker is not specifically stating everything he or she ate. So, we use "what" in this way to mean the things which or the thing which.
So, let's continue on to your other two examples. The first one was, "I don't know that we can." So, here, "that" is the relative pronoun as we talked about with "what." But here, "that" is used to introduce like an idea or a concept. So, "that we can" is the noun clause here. It's acting as the object of the verb, "know.” “I don't know that we can.” So, "that we can" is referring to something that was said earlier in the conversation. So, maybe, for example, like, "We should try to convince the neighbors to build a pool and share it with us." And then, the speaker might respond with, "I don't know that we can." So, "that we can", that seems like it's kind of an unfinished sentence, like what does can connect to there? But can actually connect to the verb that was in the previous statement or the previous sentence. In that case, it was “We should convince the neighbors.” So, "that we can" connects to the verb convince. Like, "I don't know that we can convince the neighbors." That's what it means. So, in order to introduce this clause, we use "that." So, we use that for like things, ideas, concepts. It sounds quite informal too. For more information on using "that," you can check out a video that we have on the channel about relative clauses as well.
Let's look at your last example. So, in this example, you said, "Show me that you can help me." So, here, let's focus on this clause, that's "that you can help me." So, in this case, it's actually not acting as the object, the direct object. So, the verb here is "show." The direct object is "me." And, this clause is actually what's called the object complement. So, an object complement describes or gives us some more information about the direct object. So, in this case, it's "show me.” Like, "What are you going to show me?" "That you can help me." So, there's this noun clause there and we begin the noun clause with that.
So, this is the difference and this is how we use these kinds of things in sentences. So, I hope that this answers your question. Thanks very much for sending it along. Okay. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Muhammad Bushra. Hi, Muhammad. Muhammad says, "How do I use 'in terms of' in sentences?" Okay. Using "in terms of" kind of like helps you to explain a specific focus for a situation or gives you more context about a situation. So, for example, like a company meeting, you could say, "In terms of sales, last month was a huge success. But in terms of staff morale, it was a huge failure.” So, here, you're pointing out like two parts of one situation. So, you're talking about the company's performance, maybe last month as a whole, as one thing. But inside that, there are small points. So, you're pointing out smaller things inside something larger. So, we use "in terms of" to do that. I would say we tend to use this a little bit more in formal conversations. I wouldn't use this a lot with friends, but you could if you want to. So, I hope that that helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
All right. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Ehsan. Hi, Ehsan. Ehsan says, "Hi, Alisha. Could you please explain a bit about 'past' and 'passed,' and how to use them in different situations? Because it's quite challenging for learners. I watched a few videos but I'm still a bit confused. Thanks." Okay. Sure. Let's talk about "past," P-A-S-T, first. So, "past" can be a noun which refers to time before the present. We can also use "past" to refer to prior things. So, that means it's like an adjective. So, "my past work" or like "my past relationships" or "my past job." So, "past" refers to things prior. "In the past, what kind of work have you enjoyed doing?" "Some of her past relationships ended terribly."
Now, let's talk about "passed," P-A-S-S-E-D. This is the past tense form of the verb to pass, which can mean like to move beyond something else, or it can mean to give someone something else, usually like a close range. We also use this verb to mean to successfully complete a test or to get a good grade on a test, to pass. So, again, this is the past tense and the past participle form of this verb. So, that means that even though the pronunciations sound very similar, these two words have very different grammatical functions. And therefore, you can determine which word is being used depending on the positioning of the word in the sentence. So, let's look at some examples with "passed." “I passed my coworker on the street earlier.” “Have you ever passed a test without studying?”
There's one more use of "pass" that's also very common which is "to pass out." "To pass out" means to fall asleep. And we usually use this when we've been drinking or when we're just super, super tired. So, for example, “I passed out as soon as I got home last night.” Or, “He passed out in the back of the car.” So, "pass out" is kind of a set phrase on its own, which like casually or roughly means to fall asleep. So, you can hear in these example sentences that "passed," P-A-S-S-E-D, and "past," P-A-S-T, take different positions in sentences. So, we're not just listening for the pronunciations of these words in speech, we're also kind of listening to the grammar of the sentence as a whole. So, if you're confused, if you're listening to someone speaking and you're wondering, "Did that person just say 'past' or did they say 'passed?'" Which sounds extremely similar. Think about the way the sentence is made, like what's the position of the word that you're wondering about. And also, think like, "Does this word make sense? The meaning of this word?" So, in some of these words, do take different positions and have different meanings. So, try to listen to the sentence as a whole. 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 Fernando Valencia Gonzalez. Hi there, Fernando. Fernando says, "Hi, Alisha. My questions: I still can't get the difference between 'buy' and 'purchase.' In the same way, I don't know when or where to use 'amid,' 'among' and 'between.'” Cool. So, first, let's take a look at "buy" and "purchase." Yeah, when we use these as verbs, they share a meaning really, but in everyday conversation, we use "buy." Like, "I need to buy a camera," or "I'm going to go buy lunch," or, "What did you buy last weekend?" So, they refer to just like going shopping and exchanging money for things.
We use "purchase" more in like formal situations, maybe in like contracts or maybe you see it in like a customer service agreement. You might also see purchases like the verb use on an online shopping website, like the button to click something. It might say "buy" or it might say "purchase." So, it's just the verb it's used.
You might also see "purchase" used as a noun. We can use it as a countable noun actually. So, like, "Customers should bring their purchases to the register." It does sound more formal. We cannot use "buy" in this way. We cannot use "buy" as a noun. That would sound very strange. So, please only use "purchase" as a noun. So, in everyday conversation, I would recommend using the verb "buy" to talk about shopping. In more formal situations, we might use "purchase" more commonly.
Regarding your second question about the differences between "amid" and "among" and "between," the very short answer is that "amid" is used with uncountable nouns, "among" is used with countable nouns, and "between" is used in situations where there are just two options to choose from. We also use "between" to mean in the middle of two objects. Another point, "amid" does tend to sound quite formal, and we tend to use "amid" with this kind of like abstract nouns. So, for example, "She lost her wallet amid the confusion." Or, "The thief escaped amid the excitement of the concert." Regarding "among" then, when we use it with countable nouns, it kind of sounds a little bit less formal than "amid." Like, "They walked among the trees." Or, "There's a spy among us." So, "between" can be used to mean in the middle of two things. So, for example, "On the train this morning, I sat between two people wearing lots of perfume." Or, "I put your lunch over there between the microwave and the coffee maker." So, this is a really quick introduction to these. I made a whiteboard video about this question. So, please keep an eye out for that on the channel very soon. So, I hope that that helps answer your question. Thank you very much for sending this along.
All right. That's everything that I have for this week. Thanks, 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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