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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 this week comes from Sanju. Hi, again, Sanju. Sanju says, "Hey, Alisha. How can I think fully in my target language? Whenever I see you speaking fluently, I feel like I want to become like you. So, how can I make my communication like yours?" Ah, this is a very common question. And, it requires practice. It requires regular practice. So, this means you need to practice a little bit every day. Where you can, immerse yourself in the language you're studying. If you're studying English, try to use English as much as possible in your day. So, if you can, try to make a time in your week or in your day when you only speak English, or you only read English. So, try to read English books, watch English TV or movies, listen to music in English, talk to people in English, where you can. You need to get used to using it in your everyday life, so that your brain gets used to using it when you're just thinking about things. So, this takes time, absolutely. You need to practice and you need to give yourself time every day and every week to get used to doing this. So, practice every day, practice regularly. Of course, if you really want to practice speaking like me, you can mimic me, you can shadow me, if you want; but, please keep in mind, as I've said on this channel before, I'm speaking in a way that's helpful for learners. So, I'm trying to use very clear pronunciation. I'm trying to use simple grammar or a grammar that's not super complex. And, I'm also not speaking in exactly the same way that native speakers do in everyday conversation. So, please remember that the way I speak on this channel is not necessarily the way that native speakers talk in everyday life. That being said, if you want to use me for your shadowing practice, please feel free. You won't have any communication problems if you practice speaking like me. So, I hope that this helps you. If you're interested, there are some other videos on the channel that have lots of tips about how to think in your target language and how to get used to applying English in your everyday life. So, definitely check those out too. Okay. I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question. All right.
Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Erik Pashkov. Hi, Erik. Erik says, "What's the difference between present perfect and past perfect?" Okay. Present perfect is used, one, for general life experience in the past at a non-specific point in time. This can be an experience you had or an experience you did not have. So, when the point in time is not important, we can use present perfect to talk about that. For example, "I have been to France." "I have never written a book." We also use present perfect tense to talk about actions that started in the past and continued to the present, or the effects of that action continue to the present. You'll see verbs used with progressive tense in this case, too. So, for example, "have been" plus the "ing" form of a verb. We also commonly use "for" and "since" to talk about the entire length of time an action has happened, or has been happening, rather. So, for example, "I have been speaking for about four minutes," or, "He has been listening to me since I started this video." So, this is a common way that we use present perfect tense.
Past perfect, on the other hand, refers to things that happened in the past. So, we're not talking about the relationship between the past and the present, we're talking about the relationship between a past action and some other past point. So, for example, "I had been studying for three hours when I fell asleep." So, in that example sentence, we see that there was one past continuing action and a second action that happened closer to the present that interrupted the action, "when I fell asleep." So, we can use past perfect tense to show sequences. If you're telling a story and there are two points in your story that were in the past, you can use past perfect tense to explain the thing that came first; then, use simple past to explain the thing that happened nearer to the present, as I did in this story. As I also mentioned in this example sentence, if you want to describe a past action that was continuing and that was, then, interrupted, you can use this pattern, this past perfect to simple past tense pattern. So, we use it for that. We also use it to talk about life experience, again, so general life experience or no life experience, but at a past point in time. So, for example, "By my 10th birthday, I had saved $100," for example. So, "by my 10th birthday" is a point in the past. I'm obviously not 10 years old now. So, by my 10th birthday, I had saved. That means up until that point in time, I had saved $100. So, when we want to talk about past experiences in relation to other past points, you can use the past perfect tense. So, you can find some other videos about present perfect tense and, soon, about past perfect tense on the channel soon. So, I hope that you check those out for some more information. I hope that this helps you too. Thanks very much for the question.
All right. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Hanas Bayu. Hi, Hanas. Hanas says, "What's the difference between 'follow' and 'subscribe?' Because they have the same meaning." Okay. For online media hubs like Twitter and Facebook, and YouTube, they have the same feeling, they have the same meaning. You click the button and you receive updates from that person or from that company, or whatever. In terms of a more historical meaning, though, the word, "subscribe," was, and is, used for regular publications. So, for example, "We subscribed to a magazine," or, "We subscribed to a newspaper." When you subscribe to something, there's an expectation that you will receive that thing on a regular basis, on a regular schedule. So, for example, if you subscribe to a monthly magazine, you expect to receive the magazine once a month. That's a subscription. So, the same word carries over into YouTube. When we subscribe to someone's channel, we expect to see their content. We expect that when that person creates something, we are going to receive it. So, in YouTube's case, this means we have a channels you follow list or we see something in our email that says, "Oh, this channel has posted a new video." So, "subscribe," in this way, means you have some expectation of receiving something somewhat regularly. Of course, not everyone on YouTube posts regularly but this is the idea. "To follow," however, like with Twitter or with Facebook, or Instagram, is like you're just waiting for updates from that person. Maybe, you're not expecting to receive something on a regular basis, but if that person or that company, or brand, or whatever chooses to share something, you're saying you want to have the ability to quickly and easily check that thing. So, this is why we don't really use "subscribe for Twitter" or "subscribe on Facebook" or "on Instagram." It sounds more like a service. For YouTube, though, it makes sense, because it's like we're getting something regularly. Many people on YouTube create content regularly. So, "subscribe" is a better fit in this case. Okay. So, I hope that this helps answer your question. Thanks very much for sending it along.
All right. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Abrar. Hi, Abrar. Abrar says, "Are 'like' and 'seems' the same word? If not, what's the difference, and how do we use them? Thanks." Okay. It depends on how the words are used. We can use both of these words to share our opinion of someone or something, like in these example sentences. "She seems nice." "She seems like a nice person." Notice how in the first example sentence here, we follow "seems" with an adjective, "She seems nice." In the second example sentence, "She seems like a nice person," we're using "like" and we need to follow this with a noun phrase. So, "a nice person" is a noun phrase. When you're using "like" in this way, you need to follow "like" with a noun phrase. You can't use an adjective there, as we did with "seems." So, we follow the same rule when we're using "like" to make comparisons. For example, "He eats like a pig." "You look like my brother." So, when we're making comparisons like this, we need to use a noun phrase after the word, "like." Also, we can use "seems" with verbs. For example, "This seems to be the right answer." "He seems to like hiking." So, another quick point about the word, "seems," is that we use "seem" or "seems" when we want to make a guess or share an opinion about something, but, maybe, we can't quickly confirm. So, like, "She seems nice." It's like our opinion, our quick opinion of that person, but, maybe, we don't know yet. She might not be a nice person, we don't know. But when you want to make a quick guess about something that you can't actually check, you can't really confirm, you can use "seems" to do that. In the second original example sentence I introduced, "She seems like a nice person," we're combining "seem" with "like" there. So, "She seems like," that means it's like you're comparing this person, she, to a nice person. That's the idea here. So, she has the appearance or, I guess, she seems, as though she is, a nice person. So, this is an over-complicated explanation. But, think about using "like" when you want to compare things. Think about using "seem" when you want to, maybe, just share a simple adjective or, maybe, when you want to make a quick guess about someone. So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
All right. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Junior. Hi, Junior. Junior says, "Hi, Alisha. Someone once said to me, 'you're neat' and I was confused. What does it mean?" Okay. "Neat" is a cute word or a nice word that means cool or interesting. It sounds very casual, very friendly, maybe a little bit childish. We would use "neat" in the same way as we use "cool." But "cool" is a little bit rough. "Neat" sounds precious and nice and childish a little bit. So, you can say that someone's drawing is neat, or that someone is neat. However, there's a second meaning of "neat," which means tidy or organized. So, if someone came to your house and said, "Wow, you're neat," to talk about the way that your house is organized or to comment about how clean your space is, it could have this meaning. So, it depends how did the person use the word when they were speaking to you, what was the situation? So, it can mean cool, great, awesome, nice; or, it can mean tidy and organized. Some other examples. "I saw that movie. It was neat." "My new computer is neat." "Your parents are really neat, aren't they?" Okay. So, I hope that this helps answer your question. Thanks very much.
All right. That is 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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Hi Stanley,

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