The National Monument of Scotland

To help you practice reading in English, we’ve written another article! Read all about one of Edinburgh’s top places, and then try our quiz below to test yourself.

The National Monument of Scotland is one of the most famous attractions in Scotland’s beautiful capital city – Edinburgh. It’s situated on Calton Hill, which is in the city centre, slightly east of the popular Princes Street (the most important shopping street of Edinburgh). Calton Hill can be seen from all over the city, which means that the National Monument is one of the most recognizable sights to see.

It was designed during 1823-6 and based on the world-famous Parthenon in Athens, Greece. However, after construction started in 1829 the project very soon ran out of funds and so it was left unfinished. While there have been many ideas since then about how to finish the work, it has been left in its original state because of the cost and also primarily a lack of local enthusiasm.

The monument is Scotland’s national memorial to the soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic wars. However, because of it’s strange unfinished appearance and iconic status, it’s much more famous nowadays for being a fantastic place to take incredible photos of the picturesque city, enjoy a walk with friends or chill out on a sunny day. For anyone visiting Edinburgh, the monument should be at the top of their to-do list, along with the other attractions on Calton Hill such as the Nelson Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument and the Robert Burns Monument.

calton hill monument in the edinburgh snow

Have you read it all? Now see if you can remember all the information by taking our quiz:

After reading this text, click here to take the test and check your comprehension!

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! http://scrambledeggsinglese.it/adele-teaches-phrasal-verbs/

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:

5 Different Ways To Say ‘Cold’ In English

Winters in Milan can get really cold, but are you able to describe the different temperature levels in English? Scrambled Eggs has prepared 5 useful adjectives to help you chat about cold weather, so you can practice and improve your English. After all, the weather is the number 1 topic of conversation in Britain!

Crisp winter morning

Crisp weather? Sounds nice! It might not be the most ideal when it comes to weather, but for the most part we look at it with a positive light. What about when it’s a little colder though:

It’s still not too bad when it’s nippy, but things are getting progressively colder when compared to “crisp.” So why don’t we kick it up a notch and make things even colder, with “chilly”:

Hot drink weather

OK, now we start getting serious. And what is even colder than the discomfort of chilly? Probably as cold as it gets here in Milan:

Very cold weather in Milan

And finally, for the coldest days of the year, when you just long for summer, even if here in Milan it gets so hot that it’s torture:

Freezing weather synonyms

And there you go! Now you can chat with any native speaker and compare the weather in Milan with the weather abroad!

Leave a comment below describing the weather today if you want to practise, and check us out on Facebook and Instagram: @scrambledeggsenglish