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Hey, 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 Nurayuhidayah. I hope I said that right.
Hi, Nurayuhidayah!
Nurayuhidayah says…
“What's the difference between home and house?”
Okay, a “home” is a place where you live. A home can be an apartment building. It can be a tent, it can be a boat, it can be a trailer, it can be any place where you live. The place where you maybe come back to at the end of every day is the place that you call your “home.”
A “house,” on the other hand, is a type of building. A “house” is not attached to anything else. A house is standing by itself, it's alone. It's one unit, usually for one family. So a house can be a home, but a home does not necessarily have to be a house. So this for example, we cannot call a house. If we returned here though, we could say…
“This is my home ” or “This is where I live” if you wanted to tell your friend about your building, but we would not say, “This is my house.”
So when we want to talk about the place where we live, we can say, “This is my home,” but we only use “house” if it's specifically this type of building, if it's specifically a stand-alone building.
There's one other use of the word “house” that's much less common, unless you watch like really, really big, epic stories, so, for example, Game of Thrones has a really good example of this. House Stark, for example or House plus last name refers to all the family members that have that last name and that means all the family members living or dead, so that can mean the ancestors of that family. So in House Stark, for example, that means all of the family members in the Stark Family, so alive, dead, whatever, everybody. So this use of “house” is quite uncommon. As I said, it may be more commonly used in like fantasy stories. Game of Thrones is a great example of this, but we don't use this in everyday English today.
So, I hope that this helps your understanding of the differences between “home” and “house.” Thanks very much for the question.
Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Zeina.
Hi, Zeina!
Zeina says…
“What is the difference between to fill in and to fill out?”
Okay, if you're talking about a form like paperwork, an application for example, then there is no difference between “to fill in” and “to fill out.” For example…
“Please fill in this form.”
“Please fill out this form.”
They mean exactly the same thing. I would say, perhaps in American English, “fill in” is less common than “fill out.” I think we use “fill out” more commonly in American English. “Fill in” might be a little more commonly used in British English.
If, however, you are not talking about an application form or some other type of form, there are different meanings for “fill in” and “fill out.” So, let's look at “fill in” first. To fill in for someone means to act as a substitute for someone. So, if we can imagine we're at a rehearsal for a play, for example, you might say…
“I filled in for a dancer who was injured.”
“We need someone to fill in for the lead role in today's rehearsal.”
To fill in for someone means to act as a substitute for someone, to fill in. So, this use is quite different from the meaning of writing something on a form.
Now then, let's compare this or let's contrast this rather, with “fill out.” To fill out means to get larger usually as a person in terms of like your weight gain. So, to fill out means your body or your face becomes larger. So, this can be used in positive and in negative situations. For example…
“He was very sick last year, but he's recovering now and his face has filled out nicely.”
“You've filled out a lot since the last time I saw you.”
So again, this use of “fill out” is quite different from the meaning of “fill out” that's relating to application forms and other types of writing.
So I hope that this answer helps you understand the differences between “fill out” and “fill in.” Thanks very much for sending this question.
Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Eddy.
Hi, Eddy!
Eddy says…
“Hey, Alicia! I am French and I have been learning English for a while. When should I use do not and when should I use don't? Thanks!”
Okay, basically “do not” sounds more stiff and more formal than “don't.” In everyday speech, we use “don't.” Don't do this, don't do that. We use “do not” in more formal situations, like when we're giving a speech, for example, or perhaps, when we're writing an academic paper. When you want to sound more formal, more polite, use “do not.”
You'll also see “do not” used for official rules.
For example…
“Do not throw away trash here.”
“Do not smoke.”
If you use “do not” in everyday conversation, it might sound kind of dramatic or maybe even mysterious. So for example, say, “Do not be afraid” sounds kind of mysterious and dramatic. But if we say, “Don't be afraid,” it sounds a little bit more friendly. So, if you want to sound friendly and normal, please use the reduced form. If you want to sound dramatic or if you need to sound more formal, please use “do not.” In most cases, this means you should choose “don't,” so I hope that this answer helps you. Thanks very much for the question.
Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Sergio.
Hi, Sergio!
Sergio says…
“What's the difference between others and anothers?”
Okay, first let's take a quick moment to review a past episode of Ask Alisha where I talked about a very similar question. I think it's important for review. What's the difference between “others” “the others” and “another?” How do I use them in the correct situation? Yeah, this is tough.
Okay, let's begin by introducing a sample situation. Look at this picture.
“This is my sister.”
“This is my other sister.”
“The others are my parents.”
“Now, let's look at another picture.”
So here, I introduced “other” with my other sister. In the second sentence here, I said “This is my sister.” Third sentence was, “This is my other sister.” So, I introduced “sister” in the first sentence, “other” then refers to like the addition to something that's already known, so it's kind of like there's a very close relationship between those two sentences; “This is my sister,” “This is my other sister” shows that there's like an addition to the thing I just said.
Then when I say, “the other,” the other refers to like the remaining known things. So, if I'm looking at this picture and I know that there are four people in the picture and two people are the speaker’s sisters, there are two people remaining and I say “the other people”, that means the remaining people in the picture that I don't yet know. So, the other people in the picture are my parents. Then I say, “Let's look at another picture” so, “another” refers to an addition or something extra from outside the existing situation.
Okay, so let's expand on this by looking at your question words, “others” and “anothers.”
First of all, “anothers” is not a word, so don't practice that word, don't use that word, don't think about it. “Another” is okay but “anothers” is not a word, so please don't worry about that.
Let's focus on the word “others.” In this example that I just showed you, I used the expression, “the others” or “the other people.” I said, “The other people in the picture are my parents” or “The others are my parents.” So, “the others” refers to people in a situation, remaining people in a situation that is known.
If you want to use “others,” however, without that article, we need to create slightly different situations. For example…
“Many people in the office want different snacks. Others are happy with the snacks we have now.”
So “others” in that sentence, in the second sentence matches with many people, the subject of the first sentence. So, the subject of the first sentence was many people in the office. This is one group of people in the office. “Others” then refers to people of a different group that are inside the same office. So, many people in the office have opinion A. “Others,” in this case, the plural because there's more than one person have opinion B. So, we're matching “others,” plural, to many people which is referring to a number of people. So, we can use others in this way to talk about a different group within, like, the same category or in this case, the same building or the same office. So “others” can be used in this way.
If you like, you could say, “Other people in the office are happy with the snacks we have now.” That's fine as well, but “others” is just a little bit shorter than “other people,” so it might be more efficient to use. So, I hope that this helps your understanding of the differences between “other,” “others” and “another.” Thanks very much for the question.
Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Raymond.
Hi, Raymond!
Raymond says…
“When and how do we use with, before or after a sentence?”
Okay, first, let's talk about using “with” at the end of a sentence.
So, many people who are very strict about English grammar think that it's incorrect or it's not proper to end a sentence with the word “with” which is a preposition.
So, let's look at an example…
“Who are you going to the beach with?”
This sentence is, in strict grammar rules, not considered correct by many people because it ends with the preposition “with.”
The perfectly, technically correct version of this sentence would be…
“With whom are you going to the beach?”
So, although this sentence is grammatically correct, it actually sounds pretentious to some people. Pretentious means something that sounds more important or more valuable or grander than it actually is. So, you might sound a little bit pretentious if you use this style of speaking, even though yes, it is grammatically correct. In everyday speech, most people don't actually use this pattern, this “with whom” pattern.
In everyday speech, we tend to use “with” a lot at the end of a sentence, as in the original example. So maybe you've noticed that my second example sentence here begins with “with,” so…
“With whom are you going to the beach?”
This is a sentence that you would use if you need to be extremely grammatically correct, but as I've said, in most cases, in, at least, modern American English, we don't use this style of speaking. This is an example of one way to use “with” in the starting position. We can use it along with “what” or with “whom.”
For example…
“With what camera are you going to take photos?”
“With whom are you going to dinner.”
So these sentences again, although grammatically correct, and beginning with “with,” sound a bit unnatural in most cases in everyday American English. We actually sound a little more natural if we place that preposition at the end of the sentence as in…
“What camera are you going to take photos with?”
“Who are you going to dinner with?”
So these are a couple of examples of how you can use “with” at the beginning and at the end of a sentence. I hope that this helps answer your question. Thanks very much for sending it along.
Okay, let's move on to your next question.
Next question comes from Kobechan.
Hi, Kobechan!
Kobechan says…
Hi! Which of these two sentences is correct? “Waiting in the lobby” and “Waiting at the lobby.”
Okay, in a sentence like “Waiting in the lobby” as in I'm waiting in the lobby, “in the lobby” is correct. “At the lobby,” while used occasionally, is not used anywhere near as often as “in the lobby.” Please be careful though, if you're talking about a specific location inside the lobby, you will use “at” before “the lobby” and then you'll follow that with specific noun.
So for example…
“I'm waiting at the lobby desk.”
“I'm waiting at the lobby bar.”
“I'm waiting at the lobby entrance.”
In those cases we're talking about a specific location inside the lobby, so desk, bar, or entrance and we use “at” for that. To talk about the general area of a lobby; however, we use “in.”
“I'm waiting in the lobby.”
So, I hope that this helps answer your question. Thanks very much.
All right, 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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