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A song for the English class

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English language learning song: modal verbs.

Song - I WOULD IF I COULD

I would if I could

 Some people like me always have to be late
We can never be there when we should;
We’re never on time, we make everyone wait,
It just seems to run in our blood!
Yes everyone tells me “You ought to buck up!
You’ll be left right behind if you don’t!?
But I tell you it's not just as easy as that,
I would if I could, but I can’t !
He would if he could, and he knows that he should
But there’s something that tells him he can’t!
He would if he could, and he knows that he should
But there’s something that tells him he can’t!

Last Monday my Mum said she’d suffered too long
“You should go to the doctor’s?, she said.
“There’s just a small chance he can find out what’s wrong,
He might wind up the clock in your head!?
So I got an appointment for a quarter to four,
But I got there at twenty to eight.
And all I could see was a note on the door,
Saying “Sorry, I just couldn’t wait?.
He would if he could, and he knows that he should
But there’s something that tells him he can’t!
He would if he could, and he knows that he should
But there’s something that tells him he can’t!

I really would like to stop being so slow,
It ought to be easy they say!
I know I could try to have another go;
And quite frankly, I think that I may.
I’ll see if I can’t make that clock in my mind
Start to work at the speed that it should,
And perhaps I’ll be able to do things on time,
But I don’t know if I ever could!

He would if he could, and he knows that he should
But there’s something that tells him he can’t!
He would if he could, and he knows that he should
But there’s something that tells him he can’t!

Words and music © Linguapress
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Language points

This song allows students to practice modal verbs. It is also written in very natural English, with a number of idiomatic expressions:  it seems to run in our blood  / you ought to buck up /  you'll be left right behind /  I got an appointment  /  I could have another go  /  quite frankly.
What do these expressions mean?  If students learn the song, they should take the opportunity to make sure that they understand it all.

Originally published in Freeway, the Intermediate level English newsmagazine.


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Words and music © Linguapress, Andrew Rossiter. Renewed  2017

Multi-copying of this resource is permitted for classroom use. In schools declaring the source of copied materials to a national copyright agency, Linguapress intermediate level resources should be attributed to "Freeway" as the source and "Linguapresss" as the publisher.
Multicopiage en France: en cas de déclaration CFEDC par l'établissement, document à attribuer à "Freeway", éditeur "Linguapress"..




 


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