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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 Mohammed AL-Daly.
Hi, Mohammed!
Mohammed says...
“Hi, Alisha! When writing in any academic exam like some kind of criticism or literary analysis, is it better to use "I" or "we" , like if the speaker wanted to talk about his opinion?”
Ah, okay. If you're writing about your personal opinion, your individual opinion, use “I.” If you are writing to represent a group of people like a company or a laboratory or a research group or a team of some kind, use “we.”
So if it’s your opinion, use “I” like…
“I disagree with…”
Or
“I strongly believe that…”
If you’re writing for a company like you might see in company emails, for example, you can use “we” like…
“We appreciate your continued business.”
Or
“We deeply apologize for the misunderstanding.”
So use “we” if you’re representing a group, use “I” if you’re talking about your personal opinion.
I hope that this helps you. Thanks for the question!
Okay, let’s move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Noor aldeen.
Hi, Noor!
Noor says...
“Hi, Alisha! I have a question. What is the difference between “specifically” and “especially?”
Nice question
Okay, first let's look at two example sentences.
1. “I love music! Especially jazz.”
2. “I'm a singer! Specifically, a jazz singer.”
Okay, so in the first sentence which uses “especially,” we see a category introduced, music. The speaker says “I love music.” Then, when they say, “especially,” it’s like they’re highlighting, they’re focusing in on this one kind of music they really, really like. So the speaker saying, “I love music” generally and inside this category, there’s one thing that’s extra special to me. I used “especially” or we used “especially” to communicate that highlight there. So, the other things are great also, but “especially” means I have kind of a special place for that thing.
In contrast then, part two, we have this opening sentence, “I’m a singer.” Then… “Specifically, I’m a jazz singer.” So, we can think of this, again, as like a category, so “I’m a singer.” Singer is the job here, “Specifically, I’m a jazz singer.” So this means, the other types of singers do not apply, so this person is not a pop singer, not a rock singer, not a blue singer, a jazz singer.
So in contrast with the especially point which is like everything is okay and there is this one thing that’s extra great, the jazz singer here is saying, I’m a jazz singer only. So all these other things don’t apply to me, I’m a jazz singer. We use specifically to narrow something down even more. So we have this broad category, it gets even more narrow, like we have a very, like, clear understanding of exactly what type of singer the speaker is. So, if you want to show like a highlight in something, like…
“I love desserts. Especially gelato.”
So, you can use it to talk about those sorts of categories and something special inside that category, that’s what especially is for. Specifically is used to make a very narrow distinction.
So, 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 Mustafa jawad.
Hi, Mustafa!
Mustafa says…
Hi, Alisha! My question is what’s correct? “He and me are going to school,” or “he and I are going to school?”
The correct answer is “He and I are going to school.” So, a rule that you can follow is if you’re using this “person and I” or “person and me” structure, when you’re using it as the subject of a sentence, use the “...and I” pattern like…
“He and I are going to school.”
“She and I are best friends.”
“He and I left early.”
When you’re using it as the object of a sentence; however, use the “...and me” pattern, so person and me, like…
“My parents bought my brother and me presents.”
“The manager told my colleague and me that he was quitting."
So in sum, if you’re using this as the subject, use the “...and I” pattern. If you’re using it as the object, use the “...and me” pattern.
In your original sentence, “...and I” is correct. I hope that this helps you. Thanks for the question!
Okay, let’s move on to your next question.
Next question is from… Saurav.
Hi, Saurav!
Saurav says…
“Hi, Alisha! I’m from India. I want to know the difference between will and would.”
Okay, quickly, will is used to make a decision in the moment of speaking. A great example is when you’re at a restaurant and you look at the menu and you think…
“Okay, I’ll have a salad.”
Or
“I’ll have a beer.”
So, we use will a lot to talk about like decisions we make in the moment. We also use will to talk about things we’re not sure about, for the future, like when you make a guess about something far in the future, like…
“In 1000 years, I think humans will all be gone.”
Or
“Next week, I think I’ll see a movie.”
So, you’re not so sure about your plans. You can use will to talk about that.
Then, would is used to talk about unreal situations. A great example is like, if I were you, I would do something, like...
“If I were you, I would find a new job.”
Or
“If I were you, I would get a hobby.”
So, would expresses an unreal situation. We use it a lot in something like advice. So, would is unreal and will is used to kind of make a guess about something. We don’t use “will” for, like, advice. We use “would” to give, sort of, these ideas about like suggestions, recommendations, you’re sharing some kind of information. Will is more like you’re talking about maybe a decision that you might make or maybe a guess that you have.
So, these are a few differences between will and would. For a couple more points, you can check out the will and going to video on our channel for some more information about will and you can also take a look at this video about would that’s on the channel too. So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks very much for the question!
All right, let’s look at our next question.
Next question comes from Iqbalpreet Kaur.
Hi, Iqbalpreet!
Iqbalpreet says…
“Hi, Alisha! I want to know how to use the word apparently in conversation?”
Okay, we typically use the word apparently at the beginning or at the end of a sentence. It has the meaning of "it seems." For example…
“Apparently, I left my laundry outside in the rain.”
Or
“We have to go to a company meeting today, apparently.”
So, this means the speaker did not get this information directly. The speaker learned it from some other source. So, it’s often like a surprise or like it seems something is happening or it seems I did this. So, if the speaker does not use apparently, it’s like a report, you know.
“I left my laundry outside in the rain.”
But using apparently, means someone else told you that information, or maybe, you found out about it somehow. So, it sounds kind of a little bit sarcastic in some situations or it’s like you learned it somehow and you’re kind of surprised about it. So, this is how we use apparently in situations. Think of it as like, it seems, but for a whole situation like, “it seems I left my laundry outside,” or “it seems I’m at the end of this episode.” So, this is how we use apparently in everyday conversation.
So, 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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