ESL Music Ideas - Katie Melua - "If You Were a Sailboat"

Katie Melua is a popular singer from Georgia. She had her first big hit with Nine Million Bicycles. This song is a new song that is relaxing and romantic. The English grammar that it uses is the 2nd Conditional. The title of the song is a conditional sentence. If You were a sailboat, I would......The idea of the song shows how the 2nd conditional is about unreal situations. Obviously the man she sings about is not a sailboat.One interesting grammar point is the way the lyrics use If you were but also If I was. If I was is grammatically incorrect. With the 2nd Conditional, all subjects take the verb were. This means:If I were, If you were, If she were, etc.However, it is common in spoken English to make this grammar mistake. A good song that shows the correct use of the grammar is Beyonce's If I Were a Boy. Listen to the video for If You Were a Sailboat and try the listening exercise. Remember that verbs that follow modals are always base verbs.

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