Stuart Mill English

How to Learn, How to Teach English

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Yes, it’s summertime and many students and teachers are on vacation. August is the time to relax. No stress. No problems. But you and your students don’t want your English to disappear. Here are six relaxing ways to study English in the summer.

Watch TV TV is a great way to learn English. Find a show you like in English and watch all the episodes. Normally, you should turn off the subtitles, but this is a relaxing way to learn, so keep the subtitles on and watch all the episodes of your favorite show.

Watch Movies And movies too. Good movies, bad movies, any movies. Use the extra time you have in the summer to watch all the movies you want to watch during the school year.

Go to a bar (or a coffee shop) Making friends who speak English is always the best way to learn and practice. It’s hard, but go to the bar (or coffee shop) in your area where the foreigners hang out. You don’t even need to say hello, you can just relax and listen. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and meet a new friend.

Make some food But do it in English. Search the internet for recipes of a food you want to try. Get the ingredients and make yourself a great summer meal.

Read an easy book OK. So reading a book isn’t very relaxing if it’s hard, but it doesn’t need to be hard. Go to the bookstore and choose a really easy English book. Children’s books can be fun and interesting. Young adult novels are cool too. Don’t worry about challenging yourself. Just pick a fun one.

Sing a song Do you like to sing? Sing at home. Sing at karaoke. Sing while you walk. All in English, of course.

And above all, have a great summer!

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Studying Strategies | , , , , | Leave a comment

How to listen to this song: Jealous Guy

How to listen to this song: Jealous Guy by John Lennon

Use this song to practice Past Continuous

You can also listen here, here, or here.

First Listen to the song

Second Answer this question: What is a “jealous guy”? What are three things a jealous guy might do?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the past continuous verb tense. The form is was/were plus the –ing form of the verb. For example: I was watching TV. They were sitting alone.

We use the past continuous to talk about actions that happen over a period of time in the past. We can also use the past simple, but it changes the meaning a little bit. Compare:

I ate rice on Saturday.

I was eating rice on Saturday.

I ate rice makes it seem like the action happened at one time. I was eating rice makes it seem like it happened for some time. Both are true. Saturday is one time and Saturday is a period of time. “I ate rice on Saturday” makes it sound like at one point in time on Saturday (for example 2pm), you ate rice. “I was eating rice on Saturday” makes it sound like you ate rice several times on Saturday (for example 10am, 2pm, and 6pm).

We need to use the past continuous for interrupted actions. For instance, I was eating rice when you called. You stopped the action when you called, so I should use past continuous.

For more information, please click here.

Fifth Look at the lyrics in the song.

I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure
You might not love me any more
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eyes
Thought that you was trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy (watch out)

I’m just a jealous guy (look out babe)

I’m just a jealous guy

Sixth Answer these questions:

Why does he say that his heart was beating fast? When does your heart beat fast?

What reason does he give for hurting her? (Why did he hurt her?)

Why was he feeling insecure?

What does “I was swallowing my pain” mean?

Answers

What is a “jealous guy”? What are three things a jealous guy might do?

A jealous guy is a guy who is too protective of his girlfriend/wife. For example, a jealous guy feels bad when the girl he likes does something without him (especially if she is with other men).

A jealous guy might (1) tell his girlfriend not to meet other men, (2) get angry if his girlfriend doesn’t tell him where she is, (3) tell his girlfriend not to do things without him.

Why does he say that his heart was beating fast? When does your heart beat fast?

His heart was beating fast because his emotions were crazy. Our hearts beat fast when we exercise, when we are very nervous, etc.

What reason does he give for hurting her? (Why did he hurt her?)

He’s a jealous guy.

Why was he feeling insecure?

He thought that she might not love him anymore.

What does “I was swallowing my pain” mean?

It means he was trying to hide his pain. He didn’t want to show her that he was feeling bad.

February 10, 2011 Posted by | How to listen to this..., Using Songs to Teach Grammar | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

American Culture: Songs and Purposes

American Culture Songs and Purposes

Do you want to learn more about American culture? Here are five songs that can help.

Green Day “Jesus of Suburbia” This song is full of references about life in the American suburbs during the last ten years. Lyrics are here: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greenday/jesusofsuburbia.html

Billy Joel: “We didn’t start the fire” This song references events from the 1950s into the 1980s. Go here for more information: http://www.teacheroz.com/fire.htm

Don McLean: “American Pie” This song is about America from the late 1950s and 1960s. Go here for more information: http://understandingamericanpie.com/index.htm

Woody Guthrie “This Land” A song that describes many traditional parts of America. Full lyrics here: http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/this-land.shtml

Ice Cube “It was a Good Day A song that describes common activities and concerns for many black men in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Lyrics here: http://artists.letssingit.com/ice-cube-lyrics-it-was-a-good-day-fzcs8pw

February 5, 2011 Posted by | Studying Strategies | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to listen to this song: Neutron Star Explosion

Listen to the song “Neutron Star Collision” by Muse. Then read explanations below.

You can also listen here, here, or here.

I was searching, you were on a mission
Then our hearts combined like a neutron star collision
I had nothing left to lose
You took your time to choose
Then we told each other with no trace of fear that

Our love would be forever
And if we die, we die together
Well I, I said never
Cause our love would be forever

  • I was searching sounds like he was searching for meaning in life and/or love.
  • On a mission means working very hard to do something.
  • A neutron star is the heaviest kind of star.
  • A collision is when two things hit each other.
  • I had nothing left to lose means that he could take risks because everything was already gone.
  • You took your time is from the idiom “to take one’s time”. It means to go slowly.
  • A trace is a small amount.
  • No trace of something means there is none of that something. (Here, there is no fear.)

So…there are two young people—a boy and a girl. He is searching for something and she is working hard. They meet and it is very good. He wants to be with her, but she needs time. Then, without fear they decide to be together forever. They will love each other forever. They will even die at the same time.

The world is broken, and halos fail to glisten
We try to make a difference but no one wants to listen
Hail the preachers—fake and proud
Their doctrines will be cloud
Then they’ll dissipate like snowflakes in an ocean

Love is forever and we’ll die
We’ll die together
Well I, I said never
Cause our love, could be forever

  • The world is broken means that the world has big problems.
  • A halo is a ring of light. Usually a halo is above the head of an angel.
  • To glisten means to sparkle or to shine. Think about what water looks like when light hits it. A lake glistens in the morning light.
  • To make a difference means to make things better.
  • Hail means to respect something and do what it wants.
  • Preachers are religious leaders, they are like priests.
  • Fake means not real.
  • Proud means you think too nicely about yourself.
  • Doctrines are systems of belief
  • To be cloud is not a normal expression, but it probably means that it won’t be solid.
  • To dissipate is to break into many parts and go away.

So…The world has many problems, but their love is strong.

Now I’ve got nothing left to lose
You take your time to choose
I can tell you now without a trace of fear

That my love will be forever
And we’ll die, we’ll die together
And I, I will never
Cause our love will be forever

So…This last part makes it seem like he’s still waiting for her to choose or maybe she left and he wants her back. We know because instead of saying “our love” he says “my love”.

January 18, 2011 Posted by | How to listen to this... | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to listen to this song: “I Believe in You” by Don Williams

How to listen to this song: “I believe” by Don Williams

If the above link doesn’t work, you can also listen here, here, or here.

First Listening Questions

What is this song about?

Second Listening Questions

What does “I believe in you” mean?

What else does Don Williams believe in?

Now read the lyrics

Don Williams “I Believe”

I don’t believe in superstars,
organic food and foreign cars.
I don’t believe the price of gold;
the certainty of growing old,
that right is right and left is wrong,
that north and south can’t get along,
that east is east and west is west,
and being first is always best.

But I believe in love.
I believe in babies.
I believe in mom and dad.
And I believe in you.

Well, I don’t believe that heaven waits,
for only those who congregate.
I like to think of God as love:
He’s down below, He’s up above.
He’s watching people everywhere.
He knows who does and doesn’t care.
And I’m an ordinary man.
Sometimes I wonder who I am.

But I believe in love.
I believe in music.
I believe in magic.
And I believe in you.

Well, I know with all my certainty,
what’s going on with you and me,
is a good thing.
It’s true, I believe in you.

I don’t believe virginity
is as common as it used to be,
in working days and sleeping nights,
that black is black and white is white,
that Superman and Robin Hood
are still alive in Hollywood,
that gasoline’s in short supply,
the rising cost of getting by.

But I believe in love.
I believe in old folks.
I believe in children.
I believe in you.

I believe in love.
I believe in babies.
I believe in mom and dad.
And I believe in you.

Third Listening Questions

“To believe” means to think it is true. In the song, Don Williams says “I don’t believe…” about many things. For example, “I don’t believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate.” Can you find more examples of things Don Williams doesn’t think are true.

“To believe in” is different from “to believe”. Let’s look at the difference. To believe in means to (1) trust it or (2) think it’s a good idea or (3) have hope for its future.

Find an example of (1), (2), and (3).

(1)

(2)

(3)

What is organic food?

What does “I don’t believe [in] the certainty of growing old” mean?

“Right is right and left is wrong” is about politicians. Do you know of any “right” politicians? How about a “left” politician?

What does “Heaven waits for only those who congregate mean”?

a) Only people who believe in God go to heaven

b) Only people that go to church go to heaven

c) Only some people go to heaven

Does he think there are more or fewer virgins these days? a) more b) fewer

Do you know who Superman is? How about Robin Hood?

What does “folks” mean?

a) People

b) Dogs

c) Cars

Third Listening Answers

“To believe” means to think it is true. In the song, Don Williams says “I don’t believe…” about many things. For example, “I don’t believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate.” Can you find more examples of things Don Williams doesn’t think are true.

He doesn’t believe that we will certainly get old, that right is right, that left is wrong, that east is east and west is west and being first is always best, that heaven waits for only those who congregate, that virginity is as common as it used to be, that Superman and Robin Hood are still alive in Hollywood, or that gasoline’s in short supply.

“To believe in” is different from “to believe”. Let’s look at the difference. To believe in means to (1) trust it or (2) think it’s a good idea or (3) have hope for its future.

Find an example of (1), (2), and (3).

Answers may be different, but for example.

(1) Mom and Dad

(2) Love

(3) Children

What is organic food? Food without chemicals added to it.

What does “I don’t believe [in] the certainty of growing old” mean? It means that we might die before we are old. (For example, maybe a bus will hit us.)

“Right is right and left is wrong” is about politicians. Do you know of any “right” politicians? How about a “left” politician? George Bush is “right”. Barack Obama is “left”.

What does “Heaven waits for only those who congregate mean”?

a) Only people who believe in God go to heaven

b) Only people that go to church go to heaven

c) Only some people go to heaven

Does he think there are more or fewer virgins these days? a) more b) fewer

Do you know who Superman is? How about Robin Hood? They are imaginary heroes.

What does “folks” mean?

a) People

b) Dogs

c) Cars

December 18, 2010 Posted by | How to listen to this... | , , , , | Leave a comment

tefltunes.com

Website Review: tefltunes.com

In short: £10GBP (~$15) gets you a one-year subscription to lesson plans built around songs. As of today, there are 42 plans on the site, 8 of those are free. The free ones are certainly great plans that will ensure exciting, memorable, and educational lessons. The site is well organized and easy to use.

For students: If you want to find some songs to help you improve your English, this is a great place to go. You can search for songs using level, theme, task, or artist. You’ll need to study them by yourself, though.

For teachers: Consider asking your school to pay the £20GBP (~$30) so everyone at your school can use these great materials.

October 18, 2010 Posted by | Website Reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to listen to this song: “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog

Rainbow Connection

Use this song to practice asking questions in Present Simple, Past Simple, and Present Perfect.

First Listen to the song “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog. If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, or here.

(Also, the lyrics are a little different, but you can also hear Jason Mraz’s version here and The Carpenters’ version here.)

Second Answer these questions: What is a rainbow? What is a connection? What do you think a “rainbow connection” is? (Hint: There isn’t just one answer. It’s an opinion.)

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth There are three main questions in the song. They are:

Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered, when wished on the morning star?

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?

The first question uses present simple. That’s a question about things that are always true.

The second question uses past simple. That’s a question about something that happened one time in the past. When it happened in the past is important.

The third question uses present perfect. That’s a question about something that started in the past, but is important for now.

Go to this site to learn more about asking questions in different verb tenses.

Fifth Answer these questions:

What does the singer think about rainbows?

He says that the rainbow connection is “the lovers, the dreamers, and me”. What do you think? What is the connection between lovers, dreams, and him? How are they the same?

He asks “what’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?” It means, why do people keep looking at the stars. Why do you think people enjoy looking at the stars?

What is “the sweet sound that called the young sailors”?

Lyrics

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered, when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it’s done so far.
What’s so amazing that keeps us star gazing,
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
It’s something that I’m supposed to be.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

La da da di da da do. La da da da da di da do.

Answers

There aren’t exact answers to these questions. These answers are just opinions.

What does the singer think about rainbows?

He thinks they are amazing. They make him dream and wonder about how everyone is the same. He thinks everyone is connected.

He says that the rainbow connection is “the lovers, the dreamers, and me”. What do you think? What is the connection between lovers, dreamers, and him? How are they the same?

Maybe he thinks lovers, dreamers, and he are the same. They all think softly about life. They are connected because everyone is connected. They all look at rainbows and dream.

He asks “what’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?” It means, why do people keep looking at the stars. Why do you think people enjoy looking at the stars?

Maybe everyone feels the same when they look at the stars. They dream about their future and their place in the world. Stars make us feel peaceful.

What is “the sweet sound that called the young sailors”?

It something that’s in a young sailor’s heart. Sometimes young people just want to get away and travel.

Do you have questions about this song? Do you have different opinions? Post in the comments:)

September 21, 2010 Posted by | How to listen to this..., Using Songs to Teach Grammar | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to listen to this song: “All My Loving” by The Beatles

How to listen to this song: “All My Loving” The Beatles

Use this song to practice the Future Simple verb tense.

First Listen to the song “All My Loving” by The Beatles. If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, here, or here.

Second Answer this question: What do you think this song is about?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the Future Simple verb tense. Future Simple is “will + the verb” For example: “I will go tomorrow” (or “I’ll go tomorrow”). In English, we use Future Simple for predictions about the future.Click here for more information, and practice exercises.

Fifth Look at the lyrics in the song. How many times can you find uses of Future simple? What predictions are there?

Sixth Answer these questions:

Why does he sing: “Tomorrow I’ll miss you.” Why will he miss her?

“I’ll always be true” means that he will not get a different girl. Do you believe him?

He sings: “I…hope that my dreams will come true.” What are his dreams? How can they “come true”?

Lyrics

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you.
Tomorrow I’ll miss you.
Remember I’ll always be true.
And then while I’m away,
I’ll write home every day,
and I’ll send all my loving to you.

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing,
the lips I am missing,
and hope that my dreams will come true.
And then while I’m away,
I’ll write home every day,
and I’ll send all my loving to you.

All my loving, I will send to you.
All my loving, darling I’ll be true.

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you.
Tomorrow I’ll miss you.
Remember I’ll always be true.
And then while I’m away,
I’ll write home every day,
and I’ll send all my loving to you.

All my loving, I will send to you.
All my loving, darling I’ll be true.
All my loving, all my loving ooh,
all my loving, I will send to you.

Answers

Why does he sing: “Tomorrow I’ll miss you.” Why will he miss her?

He’ll miss her because he is leaving tomorrow.

“I’ll always be true” means that he will not get a different girl. Do you believe him?

Yes I do, because… OR No I don’t, because…

He sings: “I…hope that my dreams will come true.” What are his dreams? How can they “come true”?

He hopes to kiss her and be with her. To “come true” means to be true in the future. For example, if my dream is to live in France and I move to France, then my dream came true.

September 14, 2010 Posted by | How to listen to this..., Using Songs to Teach Grammar | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to listen to this song: Halo by Beyonce

How to listen to this song: “Halo” by Beyonce

Listen to the song three times. (You can listen here, here, or here.) After each time, there are some questions you should try to answer. Before you listen the third time, read the lyrics. Also read the lyrics while you listen for the third time. At the end, you can find the answers. Enjoy.

First Listening Questions

What is this song about?

What is a “halo”?

Second Listening Questions

What does “I can see your halo” mean?

How does Beyonce feel about the man?

Is this a new or an old relationship?

Now read the lyrics.

Remember those walls I built
Well, baby they’re tumbling down
And they didn’t even put up a fight
They didn’t even make up a sound

I found a way to let you in
But I never really had a doubt
Standing in the light of your halo
I got my angel now

It’s like I’ve been awakened
Every rule I had you breakin’
It’s the risk that I’m takin’
I ain’t never gonna shut you out

Everywhere I’m looking now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can see your halo
You know you’re my saving grace

You’re everything I need and more
It’s written all over your face
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won’t fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo

Hit me like a ray of sun
Burning through my darkest night
You’re the only one that I want
Think I’m addicted to your light

I swore I’d never fall again
But this don’t even feel like falling
Gravity can’t forget
To pull me back to the ground again

Feels like I’ve been awakened
Every rule I had you breakin’
The risk that I’m takin’
I’m never gonna shut you out

Everywhere I’m looking now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won’t fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
Halo, halo

Everywhere I’m looking now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can see your halo
You know you’re my saving grace

You’re everything I need and more
It’s written all over your face
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won’t fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo

Third Listening Questions

“Remember those walls I built” means emotional walls. What are emotional walls? Why are they “tumbling down”?

How does Beyonce feel when she is near her man? How do you know?

She says “every rule I had I’m breaking”. What rules do you think she had in the past?

What does “think I’m addicted to your light” mean?

She says “swore I’d never fall again”. “Swore” is the past tense of swear. To swear means to promise. So, she promised to never fall again. Do you know what two words normally follow “fall”?

What does “you’re my saving grace” mean?

A Little Extra

Go ahead and check the answers below. If you’d like to work with this song a little bit more, here are three things you might do.

Can you find all the times in the song where there is no subject in the sentence?

What examples of non-standard English can you find?

First Listening Answers

What is this song about? This song is about a girl who really likes a boy.

What is a “halo”? A halo is a ring of light above someone’s head. Usually, angels have halos.

Second Listening Answers

What does “I can see your halo” mean? It means that she can see and feel how special he his. He’s like an angel. He’s a very good guy.

How does Beyonce feel about the man? She loves him.

Is this a new or an old relationship? She doesn’t say, but probably it’s a new relationship because she talks about being awakened and some other things.

Third Listening Answers

“Remember those walls I built” means emotional walls. What are emotional walls? Why are they “tumbling down”? Emotional walls stop us from becoming close to another person. Like saying “I won’t share my feelings because I don’t want to be hurt.” They’re tumbling down because she is getting close to him. Tumbling means falling.

How does Beyonce feel when she is near her man? How do you know? She feels very good. For example, she says “I got my angel now” and “You’re everything I need and more”.

She says “every rule I had I’m breaking”. What rules do you think she had in the past? We can’t know for sure, but probably her rules were about not becoming close to someone. For example, maybe she said that she would never tell some secrets. Or she would never become too close to someone.

What does “think I’m addicted to your light” mean? It means that he is so good that she can’t stop loving him.

She says “swore I’d never fall again”. “Swore” is the past tense of swear. To swear means to promise. So, she promised to never fall again. Do you know what two words normally follow “fall”. In love. The full expression is to fall in love.

What does “you’re my saving grace” mean? It means that he saved her.

Do you have more questions about this song? Ask in the comments!

September 7, 2010 Posted by | How to listen to this... | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to listen to this song: If a Song Could Get Me You by Marit Larsen

How to listen to this song: “If a Song Could Get Me You” by Marit Larsen

You can also listen here, here, and here.

First Listening Question

What is this song about?

Second Listening Questions

Just guess. Who do you think ended the relationship? The girl or the boy?

What would she do to get him to be with her again?

Now read the lyrics

If A Song Could Get Me You Lyrics

I could try you with a waltz
I could try rock and roll
I could try it with the blues
If a song would do

I could sing it high or low
When I let you go you know
I thought it was for the best
Now it is so obvious

So here it is, here it goes
I could try it rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

I could run for miles and miles
I’d take off and I’d start flying
I could cross land and sea
If you just believe me

I should not have hurt you so
This old house is not a home
Without you here, there’s no use
I’ve got no time left to lose

So here it is, here it goes
I could try it rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

If a song could get me through
I’d sing my way, right back to you
Tell me how, to make it right
Tell me now, I’ll start tonight
I know I could make it last

I swear to you that if I knew
What I was getting myself into
I wouldn’t answer to my fears
I’d never leave you standing there

Just look at me

If you’d only see me
I would prove my love for you
I could swallow half the moon
Just tell me where, tell me when
I will have you back again

Yeah, here it is, here it goes
I could try rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

Yeah, here it is, here it goes
I could try it rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

Third Listening Questions

The main line of the song is “If a song could get me you”. This is half of a conditional sentence. How might you finish it? (Hint: There are many examples in the song.)

When do we use conditionals like this?

Who ended the relationship? How do you know?

What three types of music does she mention in the song?

Other than writing a song for him, what are some other things she says she would do?

A Little Extra

What things would you do? Try and write another verse to the song to help Marit get her boyfriend back.

First Listening Answers

What is this song about? This song is about a girl who wants to write a song to get her boyfriend to come back to her.

Second Listening Answers

Just guess. Who do you think ended the relationship? The girl or the boy? She says exactly in the lyrics, but right now, you should just guess. How does it feel to you?

What would she do to get him to be with her again? She would probably do anything, but she’s thinking about writing whatever kind of song would work.

Third Listening Answers

The main line of the song is “If a song could get me you”. This is half of a conditional sentence. How might you finish it? (Hint: There are many examples in the song.) She finishes it with lines that start with “I would” or “I could”. For example, she says: “I could try you with a waltz” and “I would prove my love for you”.

When do we use conditionals like this? This conditional is pretty rare. The form is [subject+past modal+base form of verb, if+subject+past modal+base form of verb]. We use it to describe what we would do in future impossible situations. She thinks it’s impossible for him to return, but if it were possible, she would write him a song.

Another example would be: I would study hard, if I would get an A. It means that an A is impossible, so I won’t study hard. But, if an A were possible (in the future), I would study hard (in the future).

Who ended the relationship? How do you know? She did. “I let you go” means she ended the relationship. She sings:

When I let you go you know
I thought it was for the best
Now it is so obvious

I swear to you that if I knew
What I was getting myself into
I wouldn’t answer to my fears
I’d never leave you standing there

What three types of music does she mention in the song? Waltz, Blues, and Rock and Roll.

Other than writing a song for him, what are some other things she says she would do?

Sing it on the radio

I could run for miles and miles
I’d take off and I’d start flying
I could cross land and sea
I could swallow half the moon

Do you have more questions about this song? Ask in the comments!

August 24, 2010 Posted by | How to listen to this..., Using Songs to Teach Grammar | , , , , , , | Leave a comment