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  • Hi, everybody.

  • Welcome back to www.engvid.com.

  • I'm Adam.

  • Today's video is about the prepositions: "under", "below", "beneath", and "underneath".

  • Now, I know that some people have a problem distinguishing or knowing which one to use

  • in what context, so we're going to look at all of them and see which situations call

  • for which prepositions, and which situations you can mix them up.

  • Because in many cases you can use "under" or "beneath", for example, or: "under" or

  • "below".

  • So, some situations you can mix them; other situations you can't.

  • So let's start with "under".

  • When do I use "under"?

  • When we talk about a lower level or a lower layer, in terms of space, like...

  • So, "spatial" is the adjective of "space", so when we're comparing space, one is lower

  • than the other.

  • Okay?

  • But, so...

  • "The ball rolled under the car."

  • Generally, when we have some sort of movement, we're going to use probably "under", although

  • we can sometimes say: "The ball rolled beneath the car."

  • We're going to look at the difference between "under" and "beneath" after.

  • So, in this case, you can use: "under", you can use other ones.

  • But in a situation...

  • Now, when I say: "situation" or "condition", it's usually about people.

  • Okay?

  • When somebody is feeling a particular thing or is in a particular condition or state of

  • mind, we're going to use "under".

  • So: "He's under a lot of pressure", means it's the weight of the condition is making

  • him down or is heavy on top of him.

  • Okay?

  • So: "He's under a lot of pressure."

  • Numbers.

  • When we talk about age or quantity, we're going to use: "under", not the other prepositions.

  • "This bar is popular among the under-40 crowd."

  • Basically, "under" means less than or fewer than-right?-when we're talking about numbers.

  • In terms of quantity: "Under 20 people actually showed up to the party", means less than;

  • fewer than 20 people showed up.

  • We can also use "under" as a prefix, means we can add it to under...

  • Other words.

  • Sorry.

  • We can use it to under...

  • Other words...

  • Not "underwear"; I have underwear on my mind.

  • Other words, and basically mean make them less; weakened, or less than, or other situations.

  • So: "underweight".

  • If someone is underweight, they are less than the healthy weight.

  • Right?

  • So this is the...

  • What you should be, and if you're underweight, you're pretty thin.

  • Right?

  • You should eat more.

  • If you "underestimate"...

  • So, you notice I can use it with a noun or with a verb, or adjective.

  • I'll give you other examples after.

  • If you underestimate something or someone, means you don't give them enough credit; you

  • don't appreciate them or it at the place where it should be.

  • So, again, not enough.

  • "Under" can also mean not enough.

  • Now, let's look at "below".

  • So we looked about lower level, etc.

  • When we use "below", we're still talking about relation of two things; one is lower than

  • the other, but it's important to remember that usually it's on the same plane.

  • Now, "on the same plane" means the same spot in space.

  • So if something is here and something is here, we don't say: "This is below that."

  • We can say: "It's under this", in terms of the rankings-okay?-but we don't say it's below.

  • So, the word "below" is written below the word "under", because why?

  • We're on the same plane; we're looking at the whiteboard.

  • It's the same space and I have the same line, so this is below that.

  • Okay?

  • It's not under it; it's below it, in terms of the plane.

  • We also can use "below" when we look at a reference point; in relation to a reference

  • point.

  • Now, what do I mean by "reference point"?

  • Here's the point where things get compared to.

  • For example, average.

  • "Average" is a reference point; it is not the highest, it is not the lowest.

  • It is a combination of all the things on the spectrum or whatever, whatever you're comparing,

  • and we take the average spot which is technically between highest and lowest.

  • So, if we're talking about cars and I'm looking at buying a new car, and I'm looking at all

  • the different makers, like Mercedes, I'm looking at Toyota, whatever - I look at all the prices,

  • I add them all up, divide by the number of cars, and that's the average price of a new

  • car.

  • So, now, do I want to spend somewhere below average or somewhere above average?

  • So we use "below" with the reference point.

  • More than this point, less than.

  • "Below standards", so every company or every product has a certain standard; it must be

  • at least this good.

  • If it is below standard means it's not very good; it needs to be fixed, or replaced, or

  • just thrown out.

  • Okay?

  • Now, another...

  • Going back to the same plane, I forgot to mention: "The apartment below".

  • So if I...

  • Talking about my neighbour: "below".

  • Why?

  • Because we're on the same plane in the building.

  • Right?

  • We're in the same line, and he is below me; there is a space between us.

  • Okay?

  • Okay.

  • Sometimes...

  • Sorry.

  • I just will say, you can say: "The people in the apartment underneath", but we're going

  • to talk about "underneath" in a second.

  • Let's talk about "beneath" first.

  • In many cases, "beneath" and "under" can be mixed; are interchangeable.

  • You can use either one.

  • "Beneath" is just considered more formal than "under".

  • It's a little bit prettier, it's a little bit more sophisticated; they mean the same

  • thing.

  • But generally speaking, when we're talking about something is a lower level, but it is

  • touching, then we're going to use "beneath", if there's a certain touch.

  • Or if we're talking about the surface and something is under that surface, we're going

  • to use "beneath".

  • So: "Beneath the sea".

  • Beneath...

  • The wire for this microphone is beneath my shirt.

  • It's also under my shirt; we can use either way.

  • But, generally, if it's under a surface or if it's touching, we use "beneath".

  • Something...

  • Like something that is masked, like we're talking about, again, people, they have emotions,

  • their feelings - they have...

  • They're hiding them, and what they have in the front for people to see is like a mask.

  • Okay?

  • That's why I said: "mask".

  • So when we're talking about: "What's behind the mask?" we generally use "beneath".

  • "There's a sad person beneath that happy face."

  • Sometimes you can use "behind", sometimes you can use "beneath" because it's really

  • under the skin; beneath the skin, beneath the surface.

  • Okay?

  • And when we're talking about level in terms of status.

  • So, I am a politician and somebody accuses me of doing something, and I think that is

  • such a crazy accusation, I'm not even going to answer.

  • That's beneath me.

  • It's beneath my social level.

  • If I go beneath my level, that means I'm coming to that person's level, which is really bad.

  • So if something is beneath me, it is beneath my social level.

  • If something is beneath contempt, or beneath my dignity, or beneath dignity, it means it

  • is not worth my time; not only to answer it, or to even think about it.

  • I'm not...

  • I'm not even going to get angry at the accusation because that's...

  • That would make me as guilty as the person who made the accusation.

  • So, this is a very common use of "beneath".

  • Now, "underneath" is not a combination of "under" and "beneath".

  • It's basically a more formal way of saying "under"; it is more emphatic.

  • Okay?

  • So if I say: "The ball rolled under the car", I could say: "The ball rolled underneath the

  • car", but I wouldn't normally.

  • People don't use "underneath" as often as they use "under".

  • Okay?

  • Now, you can say underneath, something is touching, so: The puppy or the...

  • I have a puppy and he jumped on to my bed, and: "Oh, where is he?

  • I can't find him.

  • Oh, he's underneath the blanket."

  • Okay.

  • "He's under the blanket" also works.

  • It's a bit more formal.

  • So, now that we have the general idea of when to use these words, let's look at some sample

  • sentences where you can mix them up.

  • Okay, so we're going to look at a few sample sentences.

  • Now, what I want you to see is that these words are sometimes interchangeable; and I

  • can write many, many more samples, but they will all basically say the same thing.

  • So: "He has five layers on under that jacket/beneath that jacket/underneath that jacket".

  • So imagine you're in...

  • Living in Canada in the winter, you have a jacket, under the jacket you have a sweater,

  • under the sweater you have a turtle neck, under the turtle neck you have a t-shirt,

  • under the t-shirt you have a tank top.

  • In Canada, you have to layer; you have to have many layers to keep all the heat inside.

  • So: "He has five layers under that jacket", because it's underneath/beneath/underneath.

  • All of them mean basically the same thing; you can use any one you like.

  • "Beneath/underneath" more formal; this one, a little bit more emphasis.

  • "The people in the apartment underneath", means directly underneath because it's touching;

  • or: "The people in the apartment under us", because technically it's lower level; "The

  • people in the apartment below us", because we're on the same plane - we're on the same

  • area in terms of space...

  • Vertical space.

  • So: "The people in the apartment underneath us are so noisy."

  • Any one of these will work.

  • And, again, the key is to remember that it's about the person who is listening to you,

  • or the person who is reading what you're writing.

  • As long as they understand it, there's no such thing as right or wrong answer.

  • "Did you deliver the message clearly?

  • Yes or no?"

  • That's what you need to worry about.

  • So, if you use either one, in this case, you're okay.

  • "Tom is below Jane in the rankings."

  • Now, notice I only used "below".

  • Can I say: "under", can I say: "beneath"?

  • No.

  • In this case, rankings is basically a socially ranking; or in terms of sports, it's a placement.

  • So in this case it's "below" because they're on the same list; they're on the same plane.

  • Okay?

  • Where are we?

  • "You might find the book under that pile of laundry/beneath that pile of laundry/underneath

  • that pile of laundry".

  • So, here's the laundry, all piled up, and under it or beneath it because it's touching,

  • or underneath it because it's touching, are the books.

  • Go digging, and you'll find them.

  • So, again, in most cases, you can interchange.

  • If you want to be very, very precise and very, very specific, figure out which situations

  • calls for which situations, which prepositions, and use those.

  • So, I hope this was all very clear, and I hope you understood it and liked this lesson.

  • If you did, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

  • And if you have any questions, please go to www.engvid.com.

  • There's a forum there; you can ask me all the questions you have and I'll be happy to

  • answer them.

  • There's also a quiz on the engVid site where you can test your knowledge of these words.

  • And yeah, come back again; see us soon, and we'll learn some more English together.

  • Bye-bye.

Hi, everybody.

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 plane jacket touching level reference space

PREPOSITIONS in English: under, below, beneath, underneath

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    Summer posted on 2020/07/30
Video vocabulary