Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about some expressions we use for rules in English. Some of this will be a review, some of these will be some special phrases that we use almost always for rules and regulations. So, let's get started.
Okay, let's start with this first group up here of three expressions. The first one I think is a review point. We can use this as "please" or "please do not." So, we contract this "do not" to "don't" as well. Try to use this contracted form when possible. But, we use this as kind of just like a basic request. So, this is kind of a simplest, most basic way to express a rule or something you want someone to do or something you do not want someone to do.
Some examples. "Please remove your shoes." So, here you see, "please" is used before the verb, "remove." So, "Please remove," in this case, we follow it with a verb. Let's look at a negative example then. "Please don't," here, I've used the reduced, "don't" instead of "do not." "Do not" is okay but "don't" will sound a little more natural. "Please don't feed the animals." So, here, again, I have a verb following my expression, "Please don't feed the animals." "Feed" means give food to. So, "Please don't feed the animals." These are very common expressions that are kind of soft, they are more like requests in some cases.
Okay, let's go on to the second one, also may be a review point. "Subjects," so, we'll see this in the plural form. Whatever the subject is will be plural. "Must" or "must not." So, as we saw with "please," we can use this as a positive or a negative. So, when we use "must," it means something that the subject has to do, there's a requirement. On the other hand, using "must not" means it's something that the subject absolutely should not do, like it's illegal or it's something that they need to make sure it does not happen. Let's look at some examples of this. First, "Visitors must check-in." "Visitors must check-in." So, here, I have my plural subject, "visitors," so for example, "visitors to a company" or "visitors to a museum." "Visitors must check-in." So, here, I have my verb, to check in somewhere, it's like to announce that you are there, to meet at the reception. Here's another example in the negative though. Again, I have the plural form, "visitors" but this time "must not be" is my verb. "Visitors must not be unattended." "Unattended" means alone or without an escort, without someone to help you somewhere. So, we can use "must" to show something that we're responsible to do and something that absolutely "must not" happen, something that we should not do, we use "must not" to talk about this. So, if you like, you can check, I think we have videos on the channel about using "must" and "must not." You can check those for some more information about "must" and "must not."
Okay, let's go on to the next expression. This is kind of a set phrase, not so much a grammar pattern but a set phrase. "we ask that you please." So, here, this "we" is like an organization. You'll see this for a company or maybe a hotel, "we" means our group. So, "we ask," meaning a request from us, a request from our company, "that you please." So, again, we're putting this "please" here before some request. Let's look at an example. "We ask that you please remain seated." So, for example, on an airplane. "We ask," would be like the airplane staff or the company perhaps. "We ask that you please remain seated." So, this means, in other words, please stay in your seat. This makes it a little bit more formal like a rule, kind of, but it's phrased as a request.
Okay, so, let's go on to a couple more that are a little more complex. The first one is this expression, "subject" or "subjects" is or are two plus a verb. So, we use this in more formal situations actually. "This is to" or "are to pattern." Let's take a look at some examples. First, "You are not to leave before the exam has finished." "You are not to leave," here we see subject, "you." "You are not to," plus our verb, "not to leave." So, this means don't leave or you must not leave. This is the feeling here. We use this perhaps in like an examination, a test taking situation but it's quite formal, there are lots of rules. So, "you" here means you, the student or you, the test taker or you, the group of test takers as well. So, this might appear on like an examination guideline sheet. Let's see one more example. "Visitors are not to enter. Staff only area." So, here we see the same thing. This time it's plural, "Visitors, "are not to enter" is my verb, "are not to enter. Staff only area." So, again, this is the negative, "are not to" which means visitors must not enter, staff only areas. So, you'll see this in like formal regulations or formal rules like school rules, university rules, test-taking rules, maybe company rules as well. Contracts, legal stuff too. So, "are not to" or "is not to," depending on your subject.
Okay, so, let's take a look at the next one then. Another kind of similar pattern. Here, we'll see, "know something is or are to be," plus the past participle verb. So, we see this same "to be" pattern that we saw here. But, we'll use this to talk about something we cannot do or will use this to talk about an object or some kind of noun phrase at the beginning here. So, let's take a look at some examples. It's kind of hard to imagine. Here's one. "No food is to be brought into the theater." This means don't bring food to the theatre. Here, so we begin with "no," and then, this is my--the thing that I'm like banning, in this case. I'm saying don't bring this thing. So, "No food is to be brought into the theater." So, okay, I'll introduce one more example and then explain why we might use something like this. Let's follow this up with, "Phones are to be turned off." So, in this sentence, I removed "no," so we might not begin with "no." So, "Phones," plural, "are to be turned off." So, here, again, "are to be" and my verb, "turned off." So, why would we use this? You notice here, there's no person involved. In my other examples, I said, "you" or "visitor" or "visitors" whatever. "Please remove your shoes," for example. In these sentences though, there's no person, there's no actor. So, it's kind of soft in that you're not actually saying "who," like who is this rule for. You don't say, "Please, you should not bring something in," as we'll talk about later. But this sounds a bit more formal and there's no guidelines for exactly who this rule is meant for. So, this sounds kind of stiff, kind of formal and we would use this in public spaces. This example is common for a movie theater or another concert hall-type space. So, this means it applies to everyone in general. So, this can mean visitors, it can mean guests, it can mean people just moving through the building so this applies to everybody. So, you'll see this "to be" pattern in more formal situations and for more legal rules.
Okay. Let's move along to the next one. The next two actually both use this word, "prohibited." Let's look at the sentence first. Here I've used "guests." "Guests are prohibited from something-something -ing." So, we'll use this "-ing" form of a verb here. "Guests are prohibited from -ing." Depending on where you live, you may see this used as "prohibited to" and then the regular, the dictionary form of the verb. "Guests are prohibited to do something." In my research, I found that "from" and the "-ing" form tends to be a little bit more common. But, I have seen that both are used. So, for your information. But, how do we use this? For example, "Guests are prohibited from using the pool." So, we see this commonly--I've used "guests" here because we see this commonly for hospitality situations. We might see it in a hotel or when using a building a facility of some kind or perhaps we would see it on an airplane, passengers maybe too could be applicable here. So, "Guests are prohibited from using the pool." This part, "are prohibited from" means, "guests," this part right here, "guests cannot" is what this means. Guests cannot use the pool, that's what this means. So, prohibited is a strong word. It's a strong word that means you cannot do something. Prohibited from doing something. So, let's look at another pattern now. This one uses "prohibited from using." Let's see another way to use "prohibited." This one. "Something, something is or are," depending on your subject, "strictly prohibited." So, in this case, instead of using a person as the subject here, we'll use some kind of noun phrase like an object. So, here's an example. "Photos are strictly prohibited." This is a very common example. So, "photos," taking pictures, "photos" plural, "Photos are strictly prohibited." So, "strictly" means like we're very strong about this rule. "Strictly prohibited," means photos are something that absolutely must not be taken. You absolutely must not take photos. "Photos are strictly prohibited." Another example, "Entering the temple," here I have a noun phrase. "Entering the temple is," so this is a singular noun phrase. "is strictly prohibited," you absolutely must not enter the temple. So, "strictly prohibited," you can understand as absolutely must not. So, a very strong rule. So, pay attention to this when you are traveling. If you see something that says, "prohibited" or "strictly prohibited," it means you should be really, really careful not to do that thing.
Okay, let's continue on to some more grammar points. Let's go back to some grammar. I've got the next one in parentheses here. It's not so much a pattern, just a reminder. We can use command form for rules. So, the command form typically makes very short, quick sentences but they're very clear. They're very direct, though, so please be careful. These are useful in guidelines or if you're talking maybe to students or you're you just need to communicate very quickly and effectively, you can use command form. Examples, "Go to the lobby," "Pick up your ID card." So, you notice here, there's no "please" or "we ask that you" or "students must," nothing like that. We've just got this very short quick command form verb. So, this is just the simple present tense. So, "Go to the lobby," "Pick up your ID card." These sounds direct. So, they're useful when talking about rules or when giving someone directions to.
Okay. One more that's similar here. "Subject should," verb. So, this is a very open pattern for sure. Let's look at examples. What do I mean here? "Students," is my subject. "Students should be at school by 9:00." "Students" says my subject, "should be" is my verb, "Students should be at school by 9:00." So, this means students ought to be, so it's best if students are at school by 9:00. So, "should" sounds a little bit soft. So, in most cases, in other words, students should be at school by 9:00 but perhaps there are some cases where students are not at school by 9:00. This is kind of like a soft rule, we should try to follow the rule though there may be some exceptions perhaps. One more example. "Customers should make a line." This is something you might see at a retail store or a department store, for example. So, "Customers should make a line." Again, this is kind of like a soft suggestion for a rule. You won't get in trouble, customers will not get in trouble if they do not make a line but it's a good idea to, it's best for everybody to do this thing. So, you'll see this "should" for kind of softer rules.
Okay, let's look at the last two here. Very similar. I'll read them together, actually. First is "avoid" plus a verb in the "-ing" form. "Avoid -ing," and "refrain from something-something -ing." Again, the same verb form. These both mean please don't, please don't do this thing. Let's look at the examples first. "Avoid running in the halls." And, "Refrain from taking photos." Okay, so, I said that these both mean please don't but there are some small differences between these. "Avoid" doesn't actually mean "please don't." It means as much as possible, please don't. So, in this case, "running in the halls" is the activity that we're saying please avoid. So, that means, as much as possible, do not run in the halls. If maybe there's an emergency, someone might run, okay, perhaps. But, avoid it. "Avoid running in the halls." Try not to do this thing as much as possible. This one, however, "refrain from," this one means do not. Do not take photos. "Refrain from taking photos" means do not take photos. "Refrain from," sounds more polite than do not take photos. So, these are a quick reference, I guess a quick reference list for some rules, some expressions related to rules. When you travel, please pay attention to these kinds of things. These are often posted at travel spots or places that tourists like to visit a lot. You'll see them in hospitality situations, hotels, airplanes and so on. So, do pay attention. Please do pay attention to these rules because they can help you better communicate and work together with the people in that area wherever you're visiting or wherever you're staying. So, this is a quick reference point. I hope that it's helpful for you.
Of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let us know in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye!


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Sruthi Priya
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Useful lesson, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚