Lesson Transcript

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 some Sanju. Hi, Sanju. Sanju says, "Hi, Alisha. I would like to know how to use adverbs and their correct position in sentences. And I also want to know the different kinds of adverbs we can use in sentences." Okay, adverbs are tricky, yes. So, for this, I'm going to focus on two broad types of adverbs. One, I'm going to talk about the ones that we use to modify just verbs, or to modify adjectives and phrases. And second, I'll talk about adverbs that we use to modify whole sentences. So, first, let's take a look at adverbs that we use to modify verbs and adjectives. So, these types of adverbs, they make them meaning more specific. So, they make the meaning of a verb a little bit more restricted. So, it becomes a more specific sentence. So, an example, "She walked slowly." In this sentence, "slowly" is the adverb. "Slowly" modifies the verb, "walked." So, we're learning here, how did she walk? She walked slowly. So, "She walked slowly" is a more specific sentence than just "She walked." Let's look at another example. "We arrived late." In this sentence, "late" is the adverb. The verb that it's modifying is "arrived." So, instead, of just saying "We arrived," we can say, "We arrived late." This gives us more specific information about the situation. We're learning, when did they arrive? We arrived late. So, "late" is the adverb here. One more example. "This view is very beautiful." Here, "very" is the adverb. In this case, it's modifying an adjective, not a verb. The adjective is "beautiful." So, we want to ask the question, how beautiful was the view? Very beautiful. So, in this way, we can modify verbs, we can modify adjectives and even phrases in this simple way. So, with that in mind, now, let's take a look at adverbs that can be used to modify entire sentences. So, sometimes, these adverbs can be used to modify just verbs, yes, but they can also be positioned so that they modify entire sentences. An example, "Sadly, we lost the match." Here, "sadly" is the adverb. It modifies the sentence, "We lost the match." "Interestingly, we never received a call from our client." Here, "interestingly" is the adverb. It modifies the sentence, "We never received a call from our client." So, the positioning here is important. You can position the adverbs at the beginning of the sentence or at the end of the sentence. But I would make one point. If you're going to position the adverb at the end of the sentence, use a comma before the adverb. So, if you do this without a comma and you make a sentence like with the first example situation, "We lost the match sadly," it might sound like the team members were actually sad in the match. So that might create some confusion. If you put a comma, though, before your adverb at the end of the sentence, it makes things much clearer for your reader. The same thing applies in the second example situation, "We never received a call from our client interestingly." It's confusing. You might think like you never received an interesting call from your client. It might create some confusion. So, adding a comma there can help make things clearer. So, if you want to do that, you can put it at the end of the sentence. I personally prefer, in most cases, to put the adverb, if it's a sentence modifying adverb, I prefer to put it at the beginning of the sentence to prevent any of this confusion. While, yes, you can make some changes in their positioning, if you're ever not sure where to place the adverb, place it as closely as possible to the word that it's modifying. So, for example, the first example sentence was very simple. "She walked slowly." But, if there's more information like she walked slowly and we want to talk about a road too, it's much clearer to say "She walked slowly down the road" than it is to say "She walked down the road slowly." So, in that second sentence, "slowly" and the verb that it's modifying, "walked," are very far apart in the sentence. So, in very complex sentences, it can get confusing. It's better to keep your adverbs and the words that they modify close together, if possible. So, I hope that this helps you understand a bit about placement of adverbs and how and where we use them. Thanks very much for sending this question in.
Okay. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Diana. Hi, Diana. Diana says, "Hi, Alisha. Which one is correct? 'write something in the chat,' or, 'on the chat?' For example, the YouTube chat during the livestream. Thanks." Oh, yeah. Use "in." So, this is something I think I say during the livestream, like, "Send us your messages in the chat," or, "I see something in the chat," or, "Write that in the chat." "Send your example sentences in the chat." When you want to talk about chatrooms online on YouTube, whatever, please use the preposition, "in," to do that. I hope that that helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
Okay. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Kesavaraj Varadarajan. Hi, again, Kesavaraj. Kesavaraj says, "Hi, Alisha. When can we use, hi, dear, and other salutations in emails? Thanks." Nice question. So, if you're emailing a close colleague or a close co-worker, there are three that I would recommend. You can use, "hello, first name," "hi, first name," or, "hey, first name." I would use "hey" only with colleagues or with coworkers that you are very close to. It sounds quite casual, and it might sound a little bit impolite. It might sound a little too casual if you don't know the other person very well. If you use one of these plus "Mr." or "Mrs." or "Ms.," or something like that, it sounds a little weird. It might sound a little bit off balance if you use "Hey, Mr.so-and-so." Some professors I know and some instructors, at least in the US, don't mind that kind of thing; but in some cases, it can sound a little bit strange. If you're ever not sure what level of formality to go with, like should I use "hey," should I use "hi," should I use "hello," just go with "hello." "Hello, first name" for someone that you know fairly well. "Hello" is nice. You can use "Hello, Mister" or "Hello Missis," "Hello, Miss" as well. So "hello" is the standard level. For more formal salutations, you can use "dear," yes. I use "dear" when I'm writing to someone that I feel is a bit above me and, maybe, I don't know that person. If you want to make it even more formal, use "Dear, Mr./Ms./Mrs.," whatever, plus their last name. Don't use first names. If they have a title, you should use that title as well. But in general, I think most email correspondence usually uses "hello" or "dear" in one of those patterns that I've just mentioned. Those are probably the most standard ways to greet people in emails. So, 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 Ruben. Hi, Ruben. Ruben says, "Can you explain the difference between the words 'garbage,' 'rubbish,' and 'trash'?" Yep. They mean the same thing. "Garbage," "rubbish," and "trash" mean the same thing; but "rubbish" is used in British English. We don't really use the word "rubbish" in American English. Also, we tend to use the words "garbage" and "trash" when we mean a garbage can or a trash can. We don't always say, "Where's the garbage can?" We might just say, "Where's the garbage?" or, "Where's the trash?" But we mean where is the garbage can or where is the trash can. So, "trash" and "garbage" can also be used as very rude words to talk about people that you dislike. So, you might hear this in media. I personally don't like to use those words to talk about people, but you may hear it sometimes. "Rubbish," as well as "trash" and "garbage," can also be used to talk about things you think are of poor quality. So, like, "Oh, man. This phone case was trash," or, "Oh, man this shirt is trash." Something that's of very poor quality, you can use "garbage," "trash," "rubbish." But, again, British English uses "rubbish." We don't really use this word in American English. So, I hope that that helps you. They mean really the same thing when you're talking about waste. Thanks very much for the question. I hope that that helps you.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Ageles Polite. I'm not sure if I'm saying that right. I apologize if I'm not. But, Ageles says, "Hi, Alisha. What does the phrase, 'knuckle under,' mean? Also, what is the correct usage of 'I' with 'was,' and when is 'were' used with 'I'? Thanks." Interesting I have never actually heard the expression, "knuckle under." But I researched it and "knuckle under" means to submit or to yield. So when someone is pressuring you or trying to get you to do something and you finally give up and you agree, "Okay, fine, I'll do that thing," you give in, that's called knuckling under, to knuckle under. You can imagine that someone uses their knuckle. So, this part of the body is called "the knuckle." You can imagine someone applies their knuckles to apply pressure to someone to get them to do something. So, this might be a helpful image. When you finally agree to that thing, you go under their knuckles, they've pushed you into the situation or into a task that you really didn't want to do, or it was difficult to agree to. So, that's the meaning of "knuckle under." Some examples, "We won't knuckle under to their demands." "Keep pushing them. They'll knuckle under."
Regarding your second question about using "I was" and "I were." The short answer is that we use "I was" to begin simple past tense statements. We use "I were" to begin statements that are not true. They are unreal statements. For example, "I was a teacher five years ago," and, "If I were a teacher, I would teach math." So, in the first example sentence, it's a simple past tense statement, "I was a teacher five years ago." I used "I was" to show that. In my second example sentence, "If I were a teacher," I'm explaining something that is not true. It's an unreal situation. So, in this case, we imagine I am not a teacher, but so, I want to explain, if I were a teacher, I would teach math. So, when we introduce these unreal situations, we use "I were." So, for some more example sentences and some more discussion about this topic, please check out episode 54 and episode 70 of this series. So, I've answered similar questions from other viewers about the same topic. So, I hope that that information is helpful for you. Thanks very much for the question.
Okay. That is everything that I have for this week. Thanks, as always, for sending your great questions. Remember to send them 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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