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 Reza
Hi, Reza!
Reza says...
“Hi, Alisha!. What's the difference between in the beach, at the beach, and on the beach? Are they all correct?"
Okay, first, “in the beach” is not used. “At the beach” and “on the beach” are both okay. We use “at the beach” when we want to talk about the general location. We use this when we’re sharing pictures of ourselves visiting the beach, when we want to talk about a place to meet and so on. So if you, for example, take a photo and you want to post it to Instagram, you might use the caption…
“Here I am at the beach!”
“Today, I’m at the beach with my friends.”
We use “at the beach” to talk about the specific location where something is happening.
“We had a barbecue at the beach.”
And so on.
On the other hand, we use “on the beach” to talk about activities that happened on the surface of the beach. So, this is activities like lying in the sand to get a tan for example, or looking for shells on the beach. So, these are things that happen on the surface of the beach, like you play volleyball on the beach. These are things that happen like on the sand. You can think of it as the surface of the beach. So, when you want to talk about a specific location, use “at the beach.”
“Let’s meet at the beach.”
Or “I saw my friend at the beach.”
When you want to talk about an activity that you do on the surface of the beach, you can use “on the beach.” For example…
“I found this beautiful shell on the beach.”
“I’m going to lie in the sand on the beach."
So, at the beach, okay; on the beach, okay; in the beach, not used. I hope that that helps you. Thanks for the question.
Okay, let’s move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Sabina
Hi, Sabina!
Sabina says...
“Hello, Alisha! I would like to know the difference between come back, get back, and go back, if there are any.”
Okay, first let’s talk about “come back.” So, “come back” means to return to a place you were just at, but we use this when we’re talking from the perspective of a person who remains in the original location. So, if I am here in front of the camera and suddenly, our camera person leaves, I might say…
“No! Come back!”
Meaning, please return to the place you were just in. I’m still in this place, but I don’t want you to go. I want you to come back, return to the place you were just in. So come back, in this way, means to return to a place you were at originally.
Please keep in mind this is different from comeback which does not have a space. To make a comeback means to return to a place of former glory or a former, like kind of celebrity status. So for example an actor or an actress who has not appeared in movies or TV for quite some time might try to make a comeback and appear in something big and exciting in order to regain their former status. That is spelled comeback with no space. To come back; however, has a space between come and back. So that's an important distinction between these words.
Now let’s talk about get back. Get back can have a couple of different meanings. To get back can have the meaning of “to take revenge.” We use this in a situation where someone has done something wrong or something has happened that is bad to us and we want to get revenge on that person. We use the expression to get back at that person like...
“I'm going to get back at my roommate for destroying my day.”
“I'm going to get back at my coworker for ruining my meeting.“
So, to get back at someone means to take revenge on someone, so like, to return a bad action, to get back. We can also use get back as a warning. So this means like step away from a dangerous place. So imagine, for example, you are near the edge of a cliff or you’re near a river that's very dangerous. If you’re near the river, very close to the edge of the river and it looks really dangerous, someone might say to you, “get back” which means move away from the edge of the river. Move away from this dangerous position. You might hear this in movies a lot like in action scenes, especially. One character might say…
“No! Get back!”
Meaning, move your body physically in a backwards motion or in a backwards direction from this dangerous thing. So, get back also has this meaning.
And then one more point about the expression “get back,” you might know this expression from like the famous Beatles song. They say…
“Get back to where you once belonged.”
This has a similar meaning of come back like I talked about earlier. So to get back to a place means to regain your position somewhere. Like if you’re playing a video game and you die and you have to like continue the game again, to get back to the position you were at, you would use that verb. We do not use comeback in that way because we use comeback for like celebrity status or like fame, that kind of thing, to make a comeback. We might also use that in sports.
When we want to talk about going back to a position we were at before, but it’s not like a super cool position, you’re just kind of regaining lost time, you can use to get back.
So, the last word in your list is go back, go back. So, to go back to something is used in very specific situations. It’s usually used in like presentations like PowerPoint presentations or like, if you’re showing someone photos or something like that and you want them to return to the previous page or to the previous item. So, if you’re doing like a PowerPoint presentation, for example, and someone in your audience says like…
“Oh, can you go back to the last slide?”
It means, can you return. So, this go back means return.
We can also use go back to mean return to a physical place we were in like I talked about with come back at the beginning of this answer. But we use go back when we’re the person that’s returning. So in my earlier example about the camera person leaving the room during the shoot, the camera person might say…
“I’m going to go back into the room.”
So, go back can have a few different uses. Come back, go back, and get back are all quite different though, so please try to keep this in mind.
Okay, I hope that that helps you understand the differences between these words. Thanks very much for your question.
All right, let’s move along to your next question.
Next question comes from Dewi Cita again.
Hi, Dewi!
Dewi says…
“What does take someone or something for granted mean?”
Okay, so to take something or someone for granted means to assume or to expect that someone or something will always be there to support you, like you forget to show appreciation for something. So, a good example is like…
“My boyfriend/my girlfriend took me for granted.”
That means my boyfriend or my girlfriend assumed I would always be there to support them, to help them, to give them what they need, to do whatever it takes to assist them in some way. So, this has a very negative meaning about it because each person chooses who to support and in what way to support those people. And so, when we don’t get appreciation, we may feel very bad about that. So, if I say, “my boyfriend took me for granted” or “my girlfriend took me for granted,” it would show that I have a negative understanding or a negative view of that situation. That person did not express appreciation for my support and so I feel upset about that. So, to take someone for granted is not a good thing. To take someone or something for granted is considered a negative thing, so please don’t do this, okay.
The reason that this seems quite negative is it’s almost like the person who is taking someone else for granted is like expecting a free service, almost. So, if I say, “oh, my boyfriend took me for granted,” it’s like he’s just expecting me to, for example, cook for him or to support his work or something like that without showing any appreciation or any kind of recognition.
To avoid this kind of situation, you show your appreciation to the people who supports you. This is a pretty easy way to make sure that you never make someone feel like they have been taken for granted.
So, I hope that this helps you with the understanding of this phrase. Thanks very much for the question.
Okay, let’s move along to your next question.
Next question comes from Tram Nguyen.
Hi, Tram!
Tram says…
“Dear Alisha, I hope you’re fine.I’m a fan of your podcasts. Could you please give me some rules or tips for pronouncing proper nouns such as human names, geographical names, and so on. It’s hard to say these names properly if you haven’t heard them before. Thanks!"
Yeah, really good question. I would suggest using YouTube. Especially if you’re looking for a famous place or if you’re looking for a famous person, I would suggest searching YouTube to find some videos about that place or about that person. So, in many cases, you can just find like a presentation or you can find maybe something about tourism in that area and that would give you the correct pronunciation of that place’s name or that person’s name.
Keep in mind though that even though there are words that are spelled the same in English, they don’t always have the same pronunciation. This is especially true with names. A great example is my name. It’s spelled A-L-I-S-H-A. I pronounce it Alisha. Some people might choose to pronounce it "uh-LISH-uh." So that’s up to personal preference. You have to ask the person what they want to be called in those cases. So, it’s up to you to ask that person. So, those are kind of specific cases with names. If it’s a famous name or a famous place, you should be able to find a resource on YouTube if you really want to be sure about your pronunciation.
If; however, you’re just reading a name in a book and it’s a character in a book, I would say make your best guess. This happens with native speakers all the time, especially in like fantasy novels where the names of characters are kind of strange, they’re unusual kind of fantastic. If you can’t read the name and you’re not sure about the pronunciation, that’s totally okay. Just choose a name, choose an understanding or choose a pronunciation that works for you to understand the story. This is what native speakers do as well and then in conversations, we compare our pronunciations if there is anything that happens like that. If there is like a character name that we don’t know, we ask each other…
“How do you say this name?”
“How do you say this person’s name?”
And then you can kind of decide on the correct pronunciation in your group, in that case.
So in sum, check YouTube for famous places. Talk to people individually if you have questions about their name pronunciation, but if it’s just something you’re reading in a book and it doesn’t really affect other people, if you just need to know a character name pronunciation, make your best guess.
So, I hope that this helps you. Thanks for this question.
Okay, let’s move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Douglas Otavio.
Hi, Douglas!
Douglas says…
“Hi, Alisha. I saw the phrase let's hope in a movie. What does it mean? (P.S. The movie was The American Assassin.”
Yeah, so let’s hope is usually said after a desired outcome. So, for example, speaker A might say…
“This restaurant is really popular, but I think we can get a reservation.”
And speaker B might say…
“Mmm, let’s hope.”
So, let’s hope is short for let’s hope for that outcome that you just mentioned. So you have to go back to the previous sentence in the conversation. In this case, “I think we can get a reservation,” that’s the thing that the speaker wants. That’s the desired result. Speaker B is agreeing with speaker A by saying, “Let’s hope,” which means I also want that outcome. I hope that we can achieve that outcome. So, let’s hope connects to the thing that was previously said.
So, let’s look at one more example that uses this phrase. Speaker A might say…
“The sun is going down, but I think we can finish our hike by sunset?”
Speaker B could say…
“Let's hope."
Meaning, I hope that we have the ability to finish our hike by sunset. So, it connects to the previous phrase in the conversation.
So, I hope that this helps you understand the expression, “let’s hope.” Thanks very much for sending it along.
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!