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 Satish Ganeshan. Hi, Satish. Satish says, "Hi, Alisha. How are you? What is the difference between 'I have got to' and 'I got to?'" It depends on the situation and it depends on the type of English the speaker is using. By that, I mean. American English or British English. "I have got to" is more commonly used in British English than in American English. It's used to explain our responsibilities like "I have got to go to work" or "I have got to go to the bank." "He has got to finish his reports today." When we reduce "I have got to" or just "have got to," it sounds like "I've got to." American English speakers tend to reduce the sound even more in fast speech so it sounds like "I gotta." As in, "I gotta go to work" or "I gotta do some laundry." So, this does sound a lot like "I got to" but it actually does not mean "I got to." It still refers to that "I have got to do something."
We use "I got to" when we're talking about something special or we're talking about a privilege or an exciting opportunity we were able to participate in. So, we use "I got to" before a verb to show our appreciation, to show our gratitude for the opportunity. For example, "I got to ride in a helicopter today," "I got to stay at a fancy hotel last night." So, I got to can sound a lot like "I gotta" but the "to "actually have different meanings. We don't use "I gotta" to talk about something we feel appreciative for. We use "I gotta" to express a responsibility in a casual way. So, try to keep this in mind. "I gotta and I got to" have different functions. I hope this helps you understand the differences between "have got to" and "got to." Thanks very much for the question. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from AFIFI. Hi, AFIFI. AFIFI says, "What do these phrases mean? 'Take for granted' and 'grant a wish?'" Okay, to take something for granted means to expect something but that thing is something that's special or it's like a privilege, it's something that we should not expect. So, to take something or to take someone for granted is a negative thing. Some examples, "My boss took me for granted. When I quit my job, nobody could do all my work." "Don't let your boyfriend take you for granted. You're a great person and very supportive." So, to grant a wish means to make a wish come true, to fulfill someone's wish, to fulfill something that someone wants. So, an example would be like, "The genie granted wishes for Aladdin in the popular adventure story," or "My company granted my wish and bought me a new computer." So, "to take for granted" refers to expecting something that you should not expect, something special or a special privilege. "To grant a wish" refers to having a wish fulfilled, something that you wanted like a special dream or desire came true. So, I hope that this helps you understand the differences and the meanings of these expressions. Thanks very much for the question. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question this week comes from Ayoub. Hello, Ayoub. Ayoub says, "Hi, Alisha. My name is Ayoub. I'm from Algeria and I'm learning English but my problem is translation. What do I do to learn and speak correctly? I don't translate so sometimes I make mistakes in my reading and writing." Okay, first, I think it's a good thing that you don't translate because if you try to translate from your language, your native language, directly into English, it can cause you to create some unnatural sentence patterns. So, I think that's great. It's fine not to try to translate everything directly. Second, it's okay to make mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the learning process but for a few tips, maybe, to help you as you try to move forward and to help you as you don't use translation techniques, I would suggest focusing in on like one point at a time. Like one small topic or one small grammar point. So, for example, if you use our videos, you might start with like a grammar video, for example, like the simple past tense video. You watch the simple past tense video and you learn some patterns that use the simple past tense. Then, you write those by hand. You say those sentences out loud so you can get comfortable with the sample sentences that are in that video. Then, after you're comfortable, you take the same verb from the video and try making a new sentence with some different details. So, for example, in that video, my example sentence, my first example sentence was, "He brought a towel and sunglasses to the beach." So, we can focus in on the verb, "brought" there, the past tense of "bring," and make new sentences with new details that keep the verb. So, for example, "We brought food and drinks to the park," or "She brought coffee to the office." So, you can focus on the sentence pattern you know and just change the details. So, that's one way to kind of expand more personally to on the things you're learning. I think you could do the same thing with some vocabulary videos like our Top Words videos, for example. If you choose the video that's about like American foods, you could try using the vocabulary from that to create new sentences. You could even combine it with your past tense video studies. So, for example, the word, "chocolate-chip cookies" is one of the vocabulary words in the American foods Top Words video. You could say, "We brought chocolate-chip cookies to the park," for example. So, in that way, you're using a grammar pattern that you already know for one video and you're combining it with vocabulary that you're learning from another video. So, in this way, you can kind of begin putting together key words and key phrases as you learn them. But, again, I think it might be a good idea to try to focus in on just one point at a time to learn it comfortably and then expand. Finally, then, the last and arguably most important point here is to remember to practice speaking out loud. So, don't just write sentences down or type sentences on your computer. Make sure to practice speaking the sentences and make sure to ask questions to practice saying questions as well. So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for this question and good luck with your continued studies. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from an M. Abdul Rahman. Hello, Abdul. Abdul says, "Hi, Alisha. Here are my questions: How can I eliminate my native accent when I speak English? People guess my country after I say a few sentences. And two, I have two kids aged 9 and 4, is it advisable to start them with your class for speaking practice? Thanks." Regarding your first question one, getting rid of an accent takes practice for sure. And, keep in mind that probably most non-native speakers of English do speak with a bit of an accent and it's not a communication problem, in most cases. Also, if it is a communication problem, you just ask for confirmation. Actually, even native speakers don't speak clearly sometimes too. So, I wouldn't worry so much about completely removing your accent but if you do want to practice pronunciation a bit, I would say if you're studying alone to try listening to yourself first and comparing your voice to a native speaker's voice so that you can identify the parts in your speech that are different from that of a native speaker's. So, one thing that I think could be helpful if you're studying alone, as I said, and you don't have a teacher to correct you, is to record your own voice and listen to yourself saying something that you can replay in media. So, for example, if you choose like an English topics video from this channel and you listen to me or Michael or Davey, you can hear us saying something, listen to that just one sentence or two sentences is okay, then record yourself and try to say it exactly the way you heard it. Then, listen to your recording and compare it to the original recording and see what's different. Is there a vowel sound that you're not pronouncing the same way as the native speaker? Is there a consonant sound that's difficult to hear? Is it the connection of words? So, when you can find the places that are different in your speech, that are like different from the way the native speaker says them. Then, you can focus in on those sounds and work on improving those sounds first. Over time, you'll gradually gained more and more practice with making these specific sounds. And, to work on those specific sounds, you can try searching for some videos. We have a few pronunciation-related videos on our channel but you can look for some information about how to more clearly pronounce vowel and consonant sounds online. So, I hope that that helps you.
Regarding your second question about using our lessons for your kids, I would say that it might be a little bit challenging for very young kids because the content, the lessons that we make on this channel are kind of intended for people who have studied some English before in their home countries or they're at a bit of an intermediate level. So, I think lessons like maybe the whiteboard videos or these videos would be very difficult for young kids to understand. But, I think because they have a parent who is learning English as well, you could choose some of the phrase based Top Words videos. So, when I say phrase-based, I mean, the kids have the opportunity to learn like a full question or a full pattern and you can help them to fill in the blank. So, I would say you can choose phrase videos and practice together with your kids or you can choose videos that have like a lot of everyday information like maybe food-related vocabulary videos, those might be good as well too. So, I think that if you practice with your kids and use videos like those, it could be a fun way to begin using English around your house. So, thanks very much for the questions. I really hope that that helps you. Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Ruban. Hello, Ruban. Ruban says, "What is the usage and meaning of, 'I am supposed to do something' and 'I am not supposed to do something?' Please explain." Okay, so, "I am supposed to do something" refers to an expected behavior. So, that means it's something that like your friend, your family member, your co-worker, your boss expects you to do, it's an expected behavior. So, examples, "I'm supposed to call my parents every Sunday," "We're supposed to finish work at 8:00." So, the idea with supposed to is that if that behavior does not happen, someone might be upset, someone might be angry. So, supposed to reflects an expectation somewhere. "Not supposed to" is used to refer to a behavior someone expects us not to do, we should not do that behavior. Someone expects, "I will not do that behavior. If I do that behavior, I will be in trouble." So, again, this is from someone outside me, my family member, my co-worker, my boss. They expect me not to do something. For example, "I'm not supposed to stay out late," "He's not supposed to eat junk food." So, in situations like the second example there, it's kind of because like that activity or that behavior could be harmful somehow. So, in some "supposed to" is for behaviors we expect, "not supposed to" is for behaviors that we do not expect and are probably not good ideas to do. So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
Okay, that is everything that I have for you, guys, 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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