Songs to help you learn the English 3rd conditional

As we know, most songs are stories. Hence, the majority deal with events that happened in the past. When discussing regrets or how we wish things had turned out in the past in English, we usually need to utilise the 3rd conditional.

Listen for some examples in these songs:

Grace Jones – Everybody Hold Still

Let’s start with the iconic Grace Jones. Check out the 1st lines of this song:

I knew I shouldn’t have left the apartment
I knew I should’ve stayed in watching TV

And later on we find an even better example:

I could’ve left all my cash and taken a credit card
I should’ve said, “Don’t wear no jewelery you’re looking fine”
If I’d ran back for the phone…

Adele – Rolling In The Deep

Who doesn’t love Adele? I bet you can’t find a single person who doesn’t start tapping their feet when this song comes on… and guess what? There are some great examples of the 3rd conditonal!

We could’ve had it all
We could’ve had it all (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Adele – If It Hadn’t Been For Love

Yeah it’s more Adele, but just look at that song title – a perfect 3rd conditonal example! And the song is absolutely stuffed with them. Adele’s trying to sound as American as she can here, hence her use of “woulda” instead of “would have”.

Never woulda hitch hiked to Birmingham
If it hadn’t been for love
Never woulda caught the train to Louisiana
If it hadn’t been for love

Check out another of our Adele articles if you’re fan of her music!

Taylor Swift – Should’ve Said No

Another real heavyweight of modern music, Taylor ended her argument with Spotify back in 2017 and we’ve been listening ever since. Third conditional in the title? Check. Third conditional examples in the song lyrics? Check. Sit back, listen and enjoy:

You should’ve said, “No”
You should’ve gone home
You should’ve thought twice before you let it all go
You should’ve known that word, about what you did with her, would get back to me

The Hollies – Why Didn’t You Believe

Taking a step back in time, here’s an example from British pop/rock group the Hollies who were incredibly famous in the 60s and 70s.

He asked for you to love one another
You turned your back and played on with your games
If you had listened, you would have discovered
The Bible would have told a different story

Journey – It Could Have Been You

Formed in San Francisco in 1973, Journey are best know for their smash hit song ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’. However, there’s so much more to the band than just that one hit. This one’s a classic, and pretty useful for our English grammar purposes too!

I…can’t wait all my life, on a street of broken dreams
It could have been you my love (where are you now)
Oh I…still wonder if you remember the night
It could have been you (where are you now)
Should have been you my love (where are you now)
It could have been you my love, (where are you now)

Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive

If someone tells you they don’t know this song, then either they’re deaf or a liar. It’s listed on both Rolling Stone magazine’s “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and Billboard magazine’s “All-Time Hot 100”. While it involves only one example of a third conditional, this song’s just too good to be exclused from our list:

I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me

So there you are! Proof that music is good for languages as well as for the soul. If you want more examples of how you can use music to help you with conditionals, check out these other pages from your Scrambled Eggs team:

Scrambled Eggs Inglese first conditinal
Scrambled Eggs Inglese second conditional

Business English: 5 Espressioni utili per una chiamata di lavoro

Tenere una conversazione in inglese a volte può risultare difficile, soprattutto se si è di fronte a un madrelingua che parla velocemente, o a stranieri con accenti da tutto il mondo. Per non parlare dei vari accenti della lingua inglese!

Ora, pensiamo al problema e alla fatica di parlare inglese in queste situazioni e immaginiamo di doverlo fare in un ambiente rumoroso, con una connessione Internet debole e l’impossibilità di leggere il labiale del nostro interlocutore. Le conversazioni al telefono sono una grande sfida, soprattutto quando si tratta di Business English, dove la posta in gioco è alta.

Con l’articolo di oggi vogliamo fornirti alcune espressioni chiave in inglese da cui attingere per la tua prossima telefonata di lavoro.

Iniziamo quindi con la prima espressione, fondamentale da avere sottomano quando si è al telefono:

Spesso, ci capita di rispondere quando la persona che ci sta chiamando in realtà sta cercando qualcun altro. Questa espressione permette di chiudere velocemente e con eleganza la conversazione, senza dover quindi perdere del tempo prezioso. Se lavori in un ufficio a Milano, sicuramente non hai tempo da perdere!

Ecco allora la seconda espressione:

Diversamente dalla prima, questa è estremamente importante in tutti gli ambiti della lingua. Risulta perfetta per chiudere una conversazione telefonica o un’email, ma può anche essere un modo molto gentile e cortese per porre fine a una conversazione faccia a faccia.

Inizi a temere un po’ meno le conversazioni telefoniche?Eccoti la nostra terza espressione:

Di sicuro, passare tempo in attesa al telefono non è molto piacevole. Assicurati quindi di pronunciare questa espressione perfettamente, in modo da alleggerire la tensione di chi sta chiamando!

Ti è mai capitato di sentire la pressione durante una chiamata in inglese? A volte è facile che ti dimentichi di chiedere le domande più semplici. Usa quest’espressione e non avrai più problemi a parlare con gli inglesi madrelingua!

E ultimo, ma non per importanza:

Questa espressione è sicuramente una delle più utili se lavori per una società molto grande. Assicurati che il tuo interlocutore capisca le tue intenzioni e impara queste espressioni a memoria!

E per oggi è tutto da Scrambled Eggs. Trovi difficile parlare inglese al telefono? Lasciaci un commento e dicci quali argomenti vorresti trovare nel nostro prossimo articolo!

Phrasal Verbs for your New Year’s Resolutions

Apparently about 60% of people make new year’s resolutions, however only around 8% are successful in achieving them. Here are some useful verbs from your Scrambled Eggs team to help you describe what you’re trying this year.

Firstly, how about starting something new this year? Maybe something you’ve wanted to do for a long time?

learn new skills by accident

How do you feel about picking up something new? Too busy? Then try this one:

practice and improve old skills

If you’re too lazy to improve or develop talents, then there’s always Netflix for when you have some free time:

catch up on missed episodes of Netflix

Some people are more organised than others, and possibly tidier than them too, but everyone has to face the same problems of junk at some point in the year:

get rid of the junk in your apartment or office

Now let’s have a look at one of the most common new year’s resolutions – starting a diet:

cut down on activities for the new year

New year = new you? Then how about focusing on the way you interact with other people around you:

get along better with colleagues

What do you think about starting a diet? If it seems like a good idea now, just remember that you can’t quit after just a few weeks:

See new year's resolutions through to the end

And there you go! 7 new phrasal verbs for you to use when you speak English. Think you can use these verbs in conversation? Try chatting with a friend about your new year’s resolutions, or leave a comment below about what you’re trying this year!

If you want to practice them a bit more, have a go at the quiz below:

Phrasal verbs for new year's resolutions

Test your knowledge of the phrasal verbs!