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 Oussama Mazouz. Hello, Oussama. Oussama says, "Hi, Alisha. Can I know what the difference is between 'just,' 'already,' 'still,' and 'yet?' Regards." Yeah, sure. So, let's start by talking about the word, "just." I'm going to focus on using "just" to talk about recently finished actions and actions which are planned for the near future. So, when you use "just" to talk about something that happened very recently, you use "just" with either the simple past tense or you'll sometimes hear it with past progressive tense. For example, "I just finished my homework." "I was just talking with Risa." So, these are examples of very recently finished actions. You can also use "just" to talk about actions you have planned for the very near future. You can use this with "about to." Sometimes, you'll hear "was just about to." Or, for things that are definitely planned, you'll hear it without "was." For example, "I was just about to leave." "She was just about to give us the information." So, for more about how to use "just" for past actions and for future actions, please take a look at these two videos that are on the channel already.
Next, I want to talk about using "yet" and "already."
Let's start by talking about "yet." We use "yet" for actions that we expect will finish. We're expecting they are going to complete but they have not finished. So, it's for some kind of expectation. We often use "yet" with the present perfect tense and we often use it in a negative sentence. We can also make questions with "yet." And, please note that in most cases "yet" comes at the end of the sentence in modern English. For example, "I haven't finished my homework yet." "He hasn't come home yet." "Have you seen him yet?"
So, on the other hand, "already" is also used to talk about actions that we expect are going to be finished. But, we use "already" to talk about actions that are complete. So, we're not waiting for the action. It's an action that we expected would be finished and it has finished. So, again, we use present perfect tense with this sometimes. We might also use simple past tense with this. And, yes, you can use "already" to make questions just as with "yet." Some examples, "I've already eaten lunch." "She already called me back." "Have you already sent that file?"
So, if you want to know more about how to use "yet" and "already," please have a look at this video which is on the channel.
Finally, the word "still," similar to "yet" is used to talk about an action that we expect is going to finish or that we expect is going to be completed, but it's something that has not happened yet. When we want to communicate surprise or shock or something similar, we can use "still" to talk about that. For example, "I still haven't seen that movie." "You still haven't eaten lunch?"
So, I hope that this helped you understand the differences between "just," "yet," "already," and "still." And, please take a look at the other videos on our channel for more information about these points. Thanks very much for the question. Okay. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Pizdah Yebanaya. Hello, Pizdah. Pizdah says, "Hi, Alisha. How are you getting on? I'd like to know what does 'it isn't that good' mean." Okay. First, let's imagine an example situation. So, let's imagine you baked a cake and your roommate or your family member sees the cake and they say, "Oh, you made a cake." And, you say, "It isn't that good." So, this is something that means it's not great but I can eat it. That's the feeling in this situation. So, to break this expression down into pieces, "it" means the cake, "isn't" is the reduced form of "is not." So, that refers to the cake. So, "the cake is not." And then, "that" is used as an emphasis word, like "very" or "so." "Good" in this case means delicious. So, it isn't that good. That's probably the kind of voice we would use when we talk about this cake in this situation. So, it isn't that good. Another way to say this would be "The cake is not very delicious." But that's not something natural. We would not typically say a sentence like that. Rather, we would say something like "it isn't that good." So, "good" is a very general adjective. You can apply this expression to anything like movies, music, TV shows, concerts, whatever. If you have an opinion about something and it's a little bit negative, you can say, "It isn't that good." Or, in past tense, "It wasn't that good." 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 Hussam. Hi, Hussam. Hussam says, "What is the difference between 'decline' and 'reject,' please?" Okay. I'm going to focus on the meaning that these two verbs share, which is to refuse. Let's look at an example situation or two example sentences. First, "I declined the offer." Second, "I rejected the offer." So, these two communicate the same idea, the speaker refused an offer, yes. But, the word, "decline," is much more polite. We use the word, "decline," when we're refusing an official invitation to something, like an event invitation. Or, we want to sound polite as in a business situation, you want to politely say "no" to something. Like, "I declined the offer." That sounds very polite.
On the other hand, the verb reject, "reject," sounds much more negative and it does not sound polite. To reject an offer, yes, does mean to refuse an offer. But, it sounds like the offer is being refused and thrown away or, perhaps, the person who made the offer has a bad relationship with the speaker. So, there's some kind of negative feeling there. You might also hear "reject" in social situations. For example, if person A asks person B on a date and person B refuses, person A might say, "Ah, I got rejected." So, we don't often use the verb, "reject," directly to the person we're refusing. We often use "reject" when we're telling the story to someone else later. Like, "Ah, I rejected that offer. It was terrible." But, in polite situations, face to face, we might say, "I must decline the offer." So, "decline" is a much more polite word. "Reject" can sound kind of strong and aggressive. I hope that this helps you understand the difference. Thanks very much for the question. Okay. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from TIPU. Hi, TIPU. TIPU says, "Some words end with -ed, like 'respected,' 'based,' 'affiliated,' and 'closed.' What is the use of these words? Do we use these for past tense? Sometimes these words are not used with subjects. They're mostly used alone, like, 'based on a true story,' or 'respected sir.'" Great question. Yeah, words that end in -ed are not necessarily simple past tense verbs. Actually, depending on the positioning in the sentence, words that end in -ed can function as an adjective or as a verb. In your example, the phrase, "based on a true story," uses "based," yes, which ends in -ed. But here, because of the positioning of the word, we know that "based" is acting as the past tense form of the verb, "base," like to have a foundation in something. We know that it's not the adjective because of the placement of the word. Similarly, in a phrase like "respected sir" or "respected colleague," we know that "respected" is not the past tense form of the verb, "respect," because its preceding. It's coming before the word, "colleague." So, it's acting as an adjective there.
Let's compare this to another situation, like "We enjoyed a history-based discussion." In that sentence, "based" is acting as an adjective. A history-based discussion. It's modifying the word, "discussion," there which is a noun. So, we know that it's acting as an adjective. In another sentence like "I respected him as a colleague," "respected," spelled the same way with an -ed ending, is acting as the past tense form of the verb, "respect." We know this because of the position of the verb in the sentence. So, these are a few ways that you can kind of get a feel for how the word should be understood. Look at the position of the word. Look at the words around the word. And, try to think about the context as well. This is how you can understand the part of speech that each word is taking. I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for an interesting question. Okay. Let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Shykh Rahil. Hello, Shykh. Shykh says, "Hi, Alisha. Grateful for your work. My question is what is the difference between 'say,' 'ask,' and 'speak?'" Okay. We use "say" for a simple report of speech. We're just sharing something that someone else said. "My parents said they're coming over for dinner." "Did I say something strange?"
We use the verb, "ask," when we're requesting something from someone or when we're talking about someone else's request, as in a book, for example. "He asked me to create a proposal." "'Do you want to get a coffee?' she asked."
Finally, "speak" is used just like we would use the verb, "talk," to explain communication between two people. But, "speak" sounds more formal than "talk." So, we don't use this so much in everyday speech, with the exception that we use the verb, "speak," to talk about our language abilities, like, "I speak English." "I speak Spanish." "I don't speak Chinese."
Other examples, "I talked with my friends this weekend." More formally, "I spoke with my friends this weekend." For more about these points, please take a look at the videos on our channel that talked about the differences between these verbs. Thanks very much for the question and I hope that that helps you.
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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