Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about expressions for talking to kids. I've prepared this lesson with parents in mind, but if you have kids in your life and you want to practice English with them, these are a few expressions that you can use to do that. Let's get started.
I want to begin this lesson by talking about requests. So, I've made a simple list of a few regular things you might need to ask children to do. These are kind of requests for maybe, elementary school or maybe junior high school-level students, but I think that the pattern that I'm using here is quite simple, so you can create your own request. Of course, depending on how you're feeling, you might use "please" before the request, but these are some very common examples like I took from my childhood, for example.
So, "Please clean your room."
"Please help me with dinner."
"Please help me make dinner."
So, this is one you would use if you're a parent or if you are just another person connected to the child and you want to ask for help. Of course, you could change this person, like…
"Please help your dad make dinner."
"Please help your mom make dinner."
"Please help your grandpa make dinner."
"Please brush your teeth."
"Brush your teeth."
Another common one…
"Please take off your shoes" and "Please take out the trash."
So, as you can see, these are all common household chores. This is a common theme for a lot of these points today, chores. So, "chores" is the word that we use to mean small household tasks, everyday household tasks like washing dishes or doing laundry. So, these are tasks that, at least in the U.S., young children are expected to be able to do themselves. They're...these are like kid's responsibilities to take out the trash or to wash the dishes or to clean their rooms. So, these are all examples of chores. Maybe, brushing your teeth is a hygiene point, but these are some common chores.
Then, I want to move on to request to stop a behavior. So, these are requests to do something, but if you want to tell a child to stop something, we'll use a pattern like stop plus the verb in the -ING form. So we do this because it's something that the child is doing now. It's something that's happening now, so we use the progressive or the continuous form.
So, common examples…
"Stop kicking…," progressive.
"Stop kicking your sister."
"Stop kicking your brother."
"Stop hitting your sister."
"Stop hitting your brother."
"Stop fighting," is another one, if you have a couple of children involved.
"Stop shouting."
"Stop shouting."
"Stop creaming."
"Stop yelling."
You can use all of those, again, in the progressive form.
Or, "Stop running around."
"Stop running around."
So, this is one that my parents would use if, maybe we were going to, like a polite event. We were going to something a little more formal. Usually, they would make this request before we go to the event. So, my brother and I were pretty well behaved, I think. They would usually say like, "Try to be quiet and calm" like, "Let's be polite," that kind of expression.
So, I've used that here, this, "let's be polite," as kind of the followup to this. So, we'll often use these expressions when we're in a place where it's rude to be noisy or it's just a problem for a kid to make a lot of noise or to cause a scene or something. So, this is a good expression to use to follow up like…
"Stop running around. Let's be polite."
"Let's be polite."
So this here, this "let's" point, this leads into a larger topic I want to discuss. So I introduced these points for making a requests and I said these are kind of, for like elementary or junior high school-level students, perhaps. But, when talking with very young children, like they're just learning to speak, so maybe, preschool or kindergarten, like very early elementary school, they're still learning, their, maybe, native language and you want to practice an English with them, you can use patterns that parents use and other adults use for very young children and that's to use "let's" with "our" or "let's" with a 3rd person. So, by this I mean, we're using "let's" to mean, let's do something together or I want you to participate with me.
So for example, "Let's clean our room."
So, up here, I made a request, "Please clean your room." So, this would be from a parent to a child who can understand the request. When we're talking to very young children though and we're trying to do something together, we'll use a pattern like this, "Let's clean our room."
So maybe, it's not your room, it's the child's room, but you want to do it together or you want to show like this is a responsibility, let's begin this together. We'll use this…
"Let's clean our room."
"Let's clean our room."
"Let's help grandpa with dinner."
So this is how we would change this sentence. So I mentioned "help me with dinner," we can change this person here to another person and by adding "let's," it sounds like together we're going to help grandpa with dinner. So, this is what I mean by this 3rd person here.
"Let's help grandpa with dinner."
"Let's take off our shoes."
So, for example, if you arrive some place and together, you want to take off your shoes, you can say this…
"Let's take off our shoes."
So, this sounds more gentle and like we're doing something together then, please take off your shoes.
So, final example…
"Let's brush our teeth."
So maybe, if you brush your teeth with your child, you can use an expression like this. So, as I said, we tend to use these for very young children, and when the child gets older, we use more formal request patterns to ask about chores and things.
Okay, let's continue on then to some information questions. So, you'll notice, I've used this "have you," have you, have-you pattern for a lot of these. So these are questions that you can use to follow up on your request here, so relating to chores or to homework. For example, "Have you done..." or "Have you finished your homework?"
"Have you done your homework?"
"Have you finished your homework?"
You could say too…
"Did you finish your homework?"
That's okay. That's fine as well.
"Have you done your homework?" is also okay to use. Parents use both of these.
Another one…
"Have you done your chores?"
"Have you done your chores?"
This is a great example of a common question we use. You'll notice, I've used "chores" here, so chores means not just one task, but all the tasks that are the child's responsibility. So for example, when my brother and I were growing up, we had to wash the dishes and like vacuum the house and like take out the trash, I think, something like that. Those were our chores, so those three things, those were our responsibilities. So when my parents ask us, "Have you done your chores?" we had to answer about all of those responsibilities, chores. So, if you want to be specific, you could say…
"Have you washed the dishes?"
"Have you vacuumed the house?"
Or to ask about everything, you can ask…
"Have you done your chores?"
Again, you could change this to "finish."
"Have you finished your chores?" or "Did you do your chores?" is also okay.
You can use a simple past tense there too.
Another example…
"Have you cleaned your room?"
"Have you cleaned your room?"
Or again…
"Did you clean your room?"
That's also fine to use.
If you want to ask an information question about something maybe the child doesn't have a responsibility for, you can use something like this, like…
"What did you learn in school today?"
"Who did you hang out with last weekend?"
So you can use this WH patterns to ask very simple past tense questions.
"Where are you going this weekend?"
So, these are probably for older children, I think.
Finally, I want to end this by introducing some encouragement expressions that we use. These four are great and clear and I was always very happy to hear these expressions. So, they are "good job" and "great job," "awesome" and "that's cool," that's cool. So, if I've made something, I draw a picture or I created some things with, I don't know, I, I like to do kind of creative things, then, when my parents or when my relatives say like "Wow! That's cool!" I felt so happy. They would say "That's cool!" or "Awesome!" Or, if I've finished my homework, my parents would say "Good job!" or "Great job!" So, these four phrases, just, they always made me feel so, so happy. So I would recommend these words, if you want to give encouragement to kids.
Also, if you do need to express disappointment in something, of course, you can use this pattern like to stop doing something. If you want to express disappointment, so giving encouragement or expressing disappointment, you can use a couple of different expressions, yes, but the one that always made me feel the most, I guess, sad about my behavior was…
"I'm disappointed."
"I'm disappointed."
So, I would suggest, if you want to use English to, with your child or with a child in your family, I would suggest using this expression sparingly. That means just a little bit, maybe only in serious times. So, if my mother or father said, "I'm disappointed" or "I'm disappointed in you," it was because I did something seriously wrong. I made a really bad mistake. So, maybe like I broke something valuable or I didn't take care of a very important responsibility, or like, I just, I did something and I did not tell them or I told a lie or something. They would say, "I'm disappointed in you." So, of course, that made me feel very sad and like I didn't want to do it again. In other situations, just using this stop pattern was enough really.
"Stop doing that" or "Stop touching me."
So, this was was a pretty good one and I don't, I didn't like hearing that very much. So, again, try to use it just in the serious times. "I'm disappointed" or "I'm disappointed in you." Of course, you could change that to, "We're disappointed," meaning your mother and I or your father and I are disappointed in you. That one is also okay.
All right, so I hope that this helps you get some expressions that you can use for talking to kids. Of course, if you have any questions or comments or want to practice making some sentences, please feel free to do so in the comment section below this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!