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 Rizal Kuswandi. Hi, again, Rizal. Rizal says, "Can you explain what modal verbs are?" Sure. So, a modal verb is a verb that's used to talk about possibility or ability. In English, we have "will" and "would," "shall" and "should," "can" and "could," and "may," "might," and "must." "I might come to the office later." "We should look for a new apartment." "Can you help me move my sofa?" So, we use modal verbs in English to talk about possibility, yes, and ability too, as with "can" and "could." But we also use them in patterns relating to giving advice and asking for advice, as well as making offers and requests, too.
So, there are a couple of videos on the channel that you can check out for some more information about modal verbs. First, you can look at the "must" for possibility, whiteboard video. There's also a video about "would," especially using "would" for future tense situations. That's coming out very soon. You can also look at the "will" versus "going to" video on the channel for some future tense expressions. There are some other videos about modal verbs coming out, and some other information about "may" and "might" and "must" in livestreams. So, please take a look around the channel for some more information, some detailed information about some of these modal verbs. And of course, there will be more content coming up soon. So, I hope that you check out those lessons, and I hope that you can get a good start on modal verb studies. Thanks very much for sending this along. I hope that helps clear up what a modal verb is.
Okay. Let's move along to your next question. Next question comes from Trang. Hi, Trang. Trang says, "Hi, Alisha. What does 'get rid of' mean? "Get rid of" means throw away. We often use the word "get rid of" when we want to throw something away quickly, or when we really don't want that item, or it was really unnecessary. We can also use the phrase "get rid of" with people, but this is used when we want to cut someone off of a group or an organization, like when someone loses their job, for example. "I finally got rid of my broken blender." "Our company finally got rid of that employee who was stealing things." Okay. So, I hope this helps you understand the expression "get rid of" something. Thanks very much for sending it.
Alright. Onward to our next question. Next question this week comes from Mohammed AL-Daly. Hi, again, Mohammed. Mohammed says, "Hi, Alisha. What's the difference between 'supposedly' and 'supposably?' And can I use them interchangeably?" No. Use "supposedly." So, "supposedly" means according to something else, this is true. But we use "supposedly" when we're like a little bit skeptical. So, skeptical means we don't quite believe something is true, like there's a little bit of disbelief there, like maybe someone is lying or someone is hiding something. So, there's a feeling of suspicion, but it's like saying, "According to this person, this situation is true." But we might not have all the information. So, "supposedly" is the word that means this. Some examples, "Supposedly, this is a good company to work for." "Supposedly, he missed his flight because of traffic." So, "supposably," the other word you introduced means conceivable, something we are able to conceive of, something that we can suppose. So, it does not have this meaning of according to someone, plus disbelief. It doesn't have the same meaning as "supposedly." In American English, speakers will use this word, but it's a mistake. They're intending. They're planning. They want to use the word "supposedly," but they make a mistake and use "supposably" instead. So, please use "supposedly," not "supposably." I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
Alright. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Motahare. Hello, Motahare. Motahare says, "Hi, Alisha. Is it true that use 'of' for something that belongs to a thing or animal, but ''s' for something that belongs to a human?" No, it is not true. While yes, it does sound more natural to use 's for something that belongs to a human, it is not a rule to use "of" to show possession for something that belongs to a thing or an animal. Some examples. Let's compare. "The car's steering wheel came off in my hands," and, "The steering wheel of the car came off in my hands." "My computer's screen is broken." "The screen of my computer is broken." So, these pairs of sentences actually mean the same thing. We're just showing possession in different ways. I would say that native speakers will probably use whatever is the shortest way to describe whatever it is they want to say. So, probably, the 's pattern is most common. It's certainly not incorrect to use the "of" pattern. Both are fine to use here. When you're talking about people, however, it does sound much more natural to use the 's pattern. Using the "of" pattern to show possession for something we own or something we have sounds very weird when you're talking about people. Examples. "My friend's hair is beautiful." "The hair of my friend is beautiful." "Your brother's shirt is so funny." "The shirt of your brother is so funny." Very weird. So, in these pairs, the second example sentence that uses "of" while grammatically correct sounds very strange. So, when you're talking about people, use the 's pattern to talk about their characteristics or the things that they have. If you're talking about an object or an animal, you can choose whichever you prefer. As I said, native speakers tend to use the shortest expression possible. So, in most cases that's the 's pattern.
Also note that in some formal situations, when we want to make something sound a bit more grand or exciting, we will use that "of" pattern instead of the 's pattern. Like, "The palace of the king," instead of "The king's palace." So, that's going to make it sound a little bit more exciting. So, in those cases, and those formal really exciting luxurious expensive cases, you might hear "of" used more often. Okay. I hope that that helps you. Thanks very much for your question.
Let's move along to our next question for this week. Next question comes from Baheej. Hi, Baheej. Baheej says, "What's the difference between 'if I' and 'if I will?' For example, 'if I do that', and, 'if I will do that.' If there's a difference, where is it?" This is a good question. But the answer is that we use "if I" and not "if I will." Actually, this relates back to our first question from this week's episode about modal verbs. When you're making a conditional sentence, that means a sentence that uses an "if" clause and a main clause. We do not use a modal verb in the "if" clause. If you want to use a modal verb, your modal verb needs to come in your main clause. So, that means if you want to make an "if" sentence and you want to use "will," you can use them in the same sentence, but you have to separate the clauses that they're in. That means, "If I, something, something, something, I will, something, something, something." That's the pattern that you need to use. You cannot use "if I will" together in that way. You have to separate these two.
Some examples. "If I have the day-off tomorrow, I'll go to the movie theater." "If we save enough money this month, we can go to Hawaii this summer." So, the second example sentence uses a different modal verb. I used "can" there instead of "will." So, just make sure that when you're making these conditional sentences, that you don't use your modal verb in your "if" clause. Use it in your main clause. Also, remember, you can swap the order. You can switch the order so that it's main clause first, "if" clause second. That's fine. The same rule still applies. "We can go to Hawaii this summer if we save enough money this month." So, that's also fine. You can choose whichever you prefer. So, I hope that that helps you. Use "if I," not "if I will." Thanks very much for the question.
Okay. 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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