"I seen it" and other stupid mistakes


Hi. James from EngVid. I was talking to a friend the other day - actually I

was talking to two friends.

One was from Detroit, in the ghetto,

a really poor, poor area, and the other one was from down south.

We were having a conversation, and it was the three of us,

drinking lattes in Starbucks, and we were chatting about a movie.

It was "Green Hornet". I was saying,

"Green Hornet, it's on Netflix.

I'm going to go watch it." Netflix,

it's this thing in America.

You've probably seen it. You can get movies all over.

Anyway, I said, "I want to see this movie,

Green Hornet." Now, my friend who was from the ghetto,

he went, "Yo, man, it ain't that good.

It ain't that good. I wouldn't see it if I were you.

I wouldn't see it. It ain't that good." I was kind of confused.

So I looked at my friend from the south and I went,

"What does he mean?" He goes,

"I seen it. I seen it,

too. It ain't that good.

He's right." I was thinking to myself,

"I need some new friends." Now,

why? I'm going to explain, because in this particular lesson we call it,

"I seen it", and other stupid mistakes.

Now, I'm being unfair. But generally put,

"I seen it", and "it ain't good", and "if I were you",

"if I was you I wouldn't see it",

"if I was you", they are shown in movies and in music and they are

used as what we call stereotypes.

A stereotype is when we say,

anything like this, the rest is exactly the same.

So all the people from England drink tea and like Earl Grey and Poupon,

because it's a stereotype. All Canadians like beer,

eh? That's a stereotype. So, it's to say one thing,

one kind, all are the same.

In this particular case, in North American movies,

when they want to show someone as being uneducated or stupid,

meaning not intelligent, they usually make them use things like "ain't",

"She ain't my wife. She's my cousin",

or "seen". Usually in the south,

Arkansas and Texas, they make them say this,

because they want them to seem simple and nice,

or just simple and stupid.

In the ghetto, "Yo, man, I seen him with my own two eyes.

He ain't a good man." I'm giving you this background because I'm not saying this,

but if you start using it because you watch the movies and you see these

stereotypes and you think, "This is how they sound in America.

I will sound like this", they will think you're stupid,

and act accordingly. "Accordingly" meaning: treat you that way.

So let's go to the board and do some work.

Problem number one, "I seen it before".

The problem with, "I seen it" is,

what they mean to say is,

"I saw it". It's very simple.

It's the simple past. When we say the simple past,

we say, something was true.

Something happened. It happened before and it is true.

That's it. "Seen" is actually a past participle.

Past participle means something in the past,

yes. But it participates - participates.

When you participate, it means you're a part of something.

Yes? You've got it. You're part.

Well a past participle usually, unless we're speaking of speech - I forgot the speech

now. It'll come back to me.

Trust me. It usually participates by having a perfect form,

which would be "have", so "have had",

"has had", and "had had", believe it or not.

So, here there is no participle.

They just said, "I seen it".

They missed the perfect form.

You need to have the perfect form.

So, the problem is using the past participle,

"seen" when you should use the simple past.

Right? Easy enough, "saw" and "seen".

Solution number one, "you saw", just just "you saw".

"I saw the movie", "I saw you yesterday".

Simple past, it happened. It's done.

The next one we can use is PP.

Past participle has two words, so you should use two words.

"Have seen", "I have seen it",

"I had seen you", "He has seen you".

Done. Cool? Next stupid mistake. Problem:

you say "ain't". "I ain't doing it",

"She ain't doing it", "I ain't going to do it".

I lied a little bit.

There is one situation in which I would use it,

and friends would use it.

Mister E., I've been told, has used it.

When you want to be kind of sarcastic,

and you want to say to somebody,

"It ain't happening", "I ain't going to do it",

and I'm saying in kind of a sarcastic way,

not that I'm stupid. But I'm being simple here,

and this is the way it's going to happen,

and "I ain't going to do it",

simple as that. But usually it shows non- intelligence.

So, you have to see if I'm smirking which is sort of an arrogant smile

like, "I ain't going there", or "You ain't going there",

it means I'm being combative.

I know what I'm saying.

I don't care, it's bad grammar on purpose.

I'm trying to get you angry or set you off,

or let you know where I am.

However, if you're new to English and you actually think this is English,

or you're in part of those areas I talked about that speak this way,

you actually have to learn the verb,

"to be" in its negative form.

Yes. I'm sorry. You have to learn it.

There are two, "is not" and "are not".

The actually contraction is, "isn't" or "aren't".

"They aren't here", not "They ain't here".

"He isn't here" or "He is not here".

Please learn these forms. Okay? We got that? Cool.

Problem one and two, so we're cleaning up our language.

Right? "I have seen this before",

or "I saw it". "It ain't good" becomes,

"it isn't that good". Now, problem number three.

This is more a - well,

I don't know if we would call it a stupid mistake.

It's more, maybe a transition in the language.

People are doing this more and more every day,

but the formal, when it's written properly or spoken properly is this.

We do not say, "if I was you".

Do you remember we talked about "was" means a fact in the past,

something has happened? Well "if" and "wouldn't",

indicates imaginary. It hasn't happened.

So we have a problem.

You're saying here something happened, but you're using the imaginary saying,

"it hasn't happened". It's very confusing for my little brain.

Even Mister E. is having problems.

He thinks he's a moron.

"Moron" is another word for "idiot".

So how do we clear that up in English? I think I said to you

that we don't usually use the same form when we talked about "ain't",

because people usually say, "I ain't",

"she ain't", "they ain't". We change the verb forms.

This is a strange case in English where we use the same verb form for

everything, but in a specific case,

when we use the word, "if" and and we use the word,

"were", and sometimes even "if", "were",

and "would", because these tell us it's called the imaginary form.

So an easy way to remember this,

because this is more a grammar point,

and if you speak English, this is more your language,

if you see "if" there, "if" stands for "imagine",

"imaginary". "Imagine" starts with I.

That tells me if I see an "if",

then should use "were" instead of "was".

It's simple, "If I were you,

I would go back and do the lesson again".

See, "if", "I"? "Imagine", "were", don't use "was",

simple. If you have a problem with "is" or "was" think the S means for

"was", for "situation". You think, "Is this a real situation? No.

Therefore, I cannot use 'was', I must use 'were'." Easy enough? "If",

I for "imagine", "were". Easy, right? So these are stupid mistakes,

but we have easy ways to fix them.

Let's go over them quickly, okay? "Ain't",

"you can't do it because it ain't right".

We have different pronouns and you must have a different usage of verb form.

"Is" or I-S, for "he", "she",

and "it", and for plurals, "are",

"they are", "we are". Easy enough.

"Seen", well, (joking) you didn't "seen" it. "You done saw it, son."

Sorry, "You saw it." No. People in the south,

don't get mad at me.

I just watch the movies and I'm saying what they would say.

Okay? All right? Then we have a lesson on "all right".

Okay, "I seen it" becomes, "I saw it".

If I want to say, "seen" because I really want to,

I remember the simple rule of PP.

Past participle has two words because it participates.

So I have to say, "have seen",

"had seen", "has seen". Those three are okay.

By the way, this lesson is for Mary Alice.

Mary Alice, thank you very much.

Thank you. Thank you. You were on Facebook and you asked us to do that,

and that "seen" part is specifically for you.

Oh, and the part I forgot was passive speech.

When we say, "It was eaten by",

passive speech for past participle.

Told you I'd get back it.

You didn't believe me, did you? You ain't believing me.

You ain't believing me. But you seen.

You seen with your own eyes.

Sorry. Okay. Before I finish, "if I was",

"if I was a millionaire, I would be doing this wrong".

"If" tells me I for "imagine",

then I have to use "were".

Right? If I were you, I would get up off that couch and write down

this address. Or better yet, save it, right? You can tell your friends you seen

it before, but now you know you saw it and your English is much better.

At, where? www.eng- as in English,

because we ain't teaching French - vid - as in video,

which I'm sure you've seen before,

.com. www.engvid.com. I bet you wish you were the first one to see it.

Have a good day. I ain't seen it before.

That's good. I've got to call my friends up, damn idiots.

Learn English for free www.engvid.com

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