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 Rizal Kuswandi. Hi again, Rizal. Rizal says, "Hi, Alisha. What's the difference between 'think' and 'thought?' And, when do we use them? Thanks." Okay. So, I'm going to focus on the verb uses of these words. So, the simple answer is that "think" is present tense and "thought" is past tense. We use "think" when we're talking about our opinions or ideas for things that are always true. So, for example, "I think summer is the best season," or, "I think tea is delicious." We use thought to talk about our past ideas and opinions, yes, but we use thought to talk about actions or activities that have been completed, and we want to refer to our opinions of those things. So, for example, I thought the movie was great." "I thought dinner was expensive." So, sometimes we want to talk about a past situation, so, something that happened before and we want to share our opinion of it. But, we don't use present tense, "think." We use "thought" to refer to that. So, "I thought dinner was expensive last night," or, "I thought the movie was great." So, the activity has ended but we want to share our opinion of that. So, when we're talking about our regular opinions and ideas, like things we think are delicious always or things we enjoy or things we hate always. We use present tense, "think," to do that. We would not use "think" for a completed action. Like, "I think the movie was great last night." We would not use that. We use past tense to do that. So, I hope that this helps you understand the difference between "think" and "thought." Thanks very much for the question.
Okay. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from Maria. Hi, Maria. Maria says, "Hi. Could you tell me which one is correct? Have a shower, or take a shower. Thank you." Both are correct. The difference here is really just that "have a shower" is, perhaps, more commonly used in British English. We tend to use "take a shower" in American English. Some other expressions you might hear related to bathing and English are "hop in the shower" which implies a very short shower. Or "hop in the bath," "hop in the tub" as well, where "tub" refers to bathtub. Or, "have a rinse," maybe. You might also hear "take a rinse" which sounds like you're just rinsing your body off, maybe after a jog, for example, rinsing sweat off of the body or, maybe, rinsing some dirt off the body after doing some gardening or something. So, we have a few different shower and bathing related expressions but the most common one in American English is "take a shower." "Have a shower" is okay to use too. It's just more commonly used in British English. 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 Faridjilham Nur. Hello, Faridjilham. Faridjilham says, "Hi, Alisha. What is the difference between 'had,' 'have,' 'can,' and 'could?'" This is a really big question. Let's start by looking at "have" and "had." Their uses and the meanings, it really depends on the situation. So, first, we can use "have," in present tense to refer to owning something. "Had" is the past tense form of that verb. We can also use "have" and "had" to make perfect tense sentences, perfect tense statements and questions. So, "have" is used for present perfect tense, "had" is used for past perfect tense. We also use this in responsibility expressions, like "have to" and "had to" in present tense and in past tense, respectively. So, let's look at a list of example sentences that show us how each one of these is used. "I have a cookie." "I had a cookie at lunch." "I have had a cookie today." "I had had four cookies by the time I left the office yesterday." "I have to eat all these cookies." "I had to eat so many cookies yesterday." So, these example sentences show us the variety of ways that we can use "have" and "had," sometimes together to make a lot of different statements.
Moving on to the second part of your question about "can" and "could." These two words also have quite a lot of different uses. We can use "can," in present tense, to talk about our abilities and to make requests and offers. We can use "could" to talk about our past abilities and to make polite present tense requests and offers. We also use "could" to talk about unreal situations and this includes impossible situations in the past. "I can speak Spanish." "I could speak Spanish when I was a kid." "Can you help me with my homework?" "Could you please help me with my homework?" "If I had a lot of money, I could buy a house." "Was that Davey? No, that couldn't have been Davey. Davey's at the office." So, "can" and "could" is also a very big topic. I hope that this very quick introduction at least shows you some examples of how we use these different words. Thanks very much for your question.
Okay. Let's move on to your next question. Next question comes from WaiHin. Hello, WaiHin. WaiHin says, "What is the difference between 'do you' and 'are you?'" "Do you" begins questions that are asking for help, that are asking for information, or, maybe, making requests and offers. We follow "do you" with the present tense form of the verb, just a simple infinitive form of the verb. Some examples, "Do you know where my keys are?" "Do you have a pen?" "Do you want to get a coffee?" "Do you go to the gym every week?" "Are you" begins a question asking about someone's condition. We follow "are you" with a verb in the progressive tense, with a noun phrase, or with an adjective. Some examples, "Are you a doctor?" "Are you okay?" "Are you coming to the office today?" "Are you at home?" So, this is a good guideline that you can use when you're trying to decide between "do you" and "are you" questions. What kind of information do you want to know? If it's a condition question, you can probably use "are you." If you're looking for information or trying to make a request, you might use "do you," instead. 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 Sridhar reddy. Hi, again, Sridhar. Sridhar says, "Hi, Alisha. What's the difference between 'it's okay' and 'that's okay?'" Not much, really. In most cases, we use them interchangeably, but there are a couple cases where we do use just one. So, for example, when you're making a sentence that uses an if-pattern, you always want to use "it's okay," not "that's okay." For example, "It's okay if you can't finish this today," or, "It's okay if you're running late." So, we would not use "that's okay" in that situation. "That's okay if you're running late," or, "That's okay if you can't finish it today." We would use "it's okay" if you're making an if-sentence and if-clause sentence. So, in many cases, especially in my case, I tend to use "that's okay" when someone apologizes to me for some kind of small mistake. So, if someone bumps my shoulder or if somebody forgets something, I don't know, I could say "That's okay" to mean no problem. You could use "it's okay" in this case too, but I feel like "that's okay" might be a little bit more common. Also, when you are in close proximity, so that means when you have a very close relationship, either physically or emotionally, to another person and you're talking about an issue and you want to present a situation and you want to make the other person feel at ease, like everything's fine, you can use "it's okay." So, for example, person A might say, "Oh no. I deleted an important file from my computer." B says, "It's okay. I made a backup yesterday." So, in that situation "it's okay" precedes or comes before the solution to the situation. In those cases, using "it's okay" might sound a little bit more natural than "that's okay." But, as I said, in most cases, we use them interchangeably and it doesn't really cause a communication problem. But, I hope that those are a few situations that you can use in daily life and that you can use these two expressions a little bit more naturally. So, thanks very much for the question. I hope that that helps.
Okay. That is everything that I have for this week. Thank you, as always, for sending your questions and remember to 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 time. Bye-bye!

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