6 Classic Songs in English With Grammatical Errors

6 Classic Songs in English With Grammatical Errors

Although for the most part we stick to the grammar rules when we speak English, there are some cases where we might let the rules slip. This usually happens when we are speaking in a more colloquial manner. There are plenty of examples of this in popular music, young and old!

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Offending Lyric: I can’t get no satisfaction.

What it should be: I can’t get any satisfaction.

This is a very common mistake found in English music, for some reason double negatives just sound really cool in English music. The offending line I can’t get no satisfaction actually means that it would actually be possible for Mick Jagger and co to get some satisfaction, however I very much doubt that this was their intention. That said, I can’t get any satisfaction just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

Offending Lyric: ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone

What it Should be: There ain’t sunshine when she’s gone.

Another example of a double negative. Some of you may be unfamiliar with the word ain’t this is because it is what is known as a ‘slang contraction,’ which is usually only used in spoken English. Essentially it’s a very informal way of saying there isn’t/don’t have.

The strange thing is that when people use the word ain’t they do actually usually use it with a double negative. For example: I ain’t got no money (I don’t have any money)!

Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd

Offending Lyric: we don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control.

What it should be: we don’t need education, we don’t need thought control.

Yet another example of a double negative, a songwriter’s favourite grammar rule to break! Once again it’s a stylistic choice which definitely makes the song sound cooler, however for non native speakers it can be confusing… Well do we need education or not, Pink Floyd?

Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

Offending Lyric #1: You ain’t nothin but a Hound Dog

What it should be: You’re nothing but a hound dog.

Offending Lyric #2: When they said you was high class, that was just a lie.

What it should be: When they said you were high class, that was just a lie.

For a song with only 3 unique lines, Hound Dog by Elvis Presley is full of grammatical errors. Firstly we have yet another appearance from our new friend ain’t in another double negative clanger with he line: You ain’t nothin but a Hound Dog.

Secondly Mr Presley seems to have mixed up his moods and tenses in the line When they said you was high class, that was just a lie. A sentence like this would call for the subjunctive mood as it refers to something that isn’t true. So the line should be: When they said you were high class, that was just a lie.

Marvin Gaye & Tami Terrell – Aint No Mountain High Enough

Offending Lyric: Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no rive wide enough to keep me from getting to you.

What it should be: There ain’t a mountain high enough, there ain’t a valley low enough, there ain’t a river wide enough to keep me getting from getting to you.

As if we needed more evidence that songwriters love misusing double negatives here is yet another example! Once again it’s a cool lyric but it can be a bit confusing.

 

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da – The Police

Offending Lyric: De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

What it should be: ??????????

Probably the less said about this one the better…

 

How do you use ‘Though’ in a Sentence?

How do you use 'Though' in a Sentence?

Hi Guys!

Today we are going to be having a look at some different ways that we can use though in a sentence. 

Using 'Though' at the Beginning of a Sentence

Though I don’t usually drink coffee, I have had two cups of coffee today.

We use though at the beginning of a sentence where two opposite or contrasting pieces of information are introduced. In this context the speaker is saying that he doesn’t usually drink coffee so it is unexpected or strange that they have drunk two cups. Another example could be:

Though Malta is a very small island, It’s history is long and rich.

Or

Malta, though small has a long and rich history.

Using 'Though' at the end of a Sentence

Q: Would you like something to eat?

A: I already ate, thanks though!

In the above example we use though similarly to anyway, regardless or nonetheless. We can use it with thanks, usually as a polite way to reject somebody’s offer. For example:

Q: Would you like something to drink?

A: I’ve just had some water, thanks though!

Using Though in place of but or however

I don’t normally drink coffee, though I’ve had two cups today.

We can use though in the middle of a sentence after a comma like the example above. This shows that something you have said is less true than usual. We can also put though at the end of a sentence to add the same effect. For example:

I don’t normally drink coffee, I’ve had two cups today though.

 

I hope you found this blog post helpful, if you have any questions leave a comment below!

Giving Advice Using ‘If I Were You’

Giving Advice Using 'If I Were You'

Hello everybody!

Today we are going to look at ways we can give advice, specifically using the phrase If i were you…. 

Giving advice can be expressed in many different forms. Here are some of the ways in which we frequently offer advice: 

ShouldYou don’t look very well, you should go to the doctor  – Considered the correct thing to do

Had BetterYou haven’t been well lately, you’d better go to the doctor – Considered stronger than ‘should’ but weaker than ‘have to’. Should someone not take this advice, there may be negative consequences!

Must or Have toYou have to go to the doctor. You look awful – Considered the strongest and most emphatic advice.

I advise/would adviseI would advise that you go to the doctor. – Advice being given or offered in a formal manner. 

Why don’t you?Why don’t you go to the doctor? You don’t look too good”. – Advice being given as a suggestion. 

And finally….

If I were you..If I were you i’d go to the doctor – This is advice given in the 2nd conditional or the subjunctive mood

It is this final form that we are going to look at in detail on today’s post.

...So how to use it!

If I were you… is used when giving advice to another person if you were in the same, or a similar position to that person. You imagine yourself in their position or situation and how you would react or what you would do. For example:

  • If I were you, I would study more.
  • If I were you, I’d tell the truth.
  • If I were you, I’d learn English with Teachify! 

 

So why do we use if i were you rather then if i was you?

The reason that we use were instead of was is because we use the sentence in what is known as the subjunctive mood. We use the subjunctive mood for hypothetical situations, that is a possible situation, statement or question about something imaginary rather then something real. The subjunctive mood is used to explore conditions that are contrary (opposite) to the fact:

If I were Prime Minister I wouldn’t put up with this nonsense!. The fact is, I am NOT the Prime Minister. 

In the subjunctive mood we use  If + I/He/She/It + WERE for the verb to be 

  • If he were quicker he’d have made the Athletics team (but he is not quicker so he did not make the team).

We can also change the order of the sentence:

  • I’d learn with Teachify if I were you. 
  • I’d support Real Betis if I were you.

The Rolling Stones have a song that features the line “If I was a woman…” 

Sorry,Sir Mick (Jagger) and his loyal fans all over the globe, but this is grammatically incorrect.

It should be If I WERE a woman. This is because he is talking about a hypothetical situation of him being a woman. 

It is not real, it is just a situation in which an individual is imagining being a woman, so we would need to use the Subjunctive Mood here.

However, we can all hail Queen Bey (that’s Beyonce for the musically uneducated) as she got it right in her song If I were a boy. 

How to use Wish in a Sentence

How to use 'Wish' in a Sentence.

Hi guys!

In today’s blog post we are going to be having a look at how we can use wish in a sentence. Usually we use wish when we are speaking about imaginary or hypothetical scenarios (not to be confused with hope, you can find more information on this here.)

There are a few grammatical rules we must follow when using wish in a sentence.

Wishes About the Present & Future

When we are speaking about the present or future we use wish + past simple:

  • I wish I studied languages at school (I don’t study language at school)
  • I wish I could break up with my girlfriend but we are in quarantine together! (I can’t break up with my girlfriend because we are in quarantine together.

We can also use wish + past continuous to express a desire to be doing something else at a particular moment.

  • I wish I was sunbathing right now.
  • I wish I was working from the office instead of having to work from home

Wishes About the Past

We can use wish + past perfect to express a regret about the past.

  • I wish I hadn’t spent so much money this weekend.
  • I wish I hadn’t been so lazy at school.

 

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful, if you have any questions leave a comment below!

Using ING & ED Adjectives

Using ING & ED Adjectives

In today’s post we are going to have a look at the difference between adjectives which end in ED and ING and how we can use them both. This can be quite a difficult concept for non native speakers to understand which is why we frequently hear mistakes such as “I am very tiring” instead of “I am very tired.”

Clases de Inglés Sevilla

Oferta!

So what is the difference between them both?

Usually we use adjectives ending in ING to describe the characteristics of a person, a thing or a situation. Eg,

  • The journey was exhausting, 12 hours by bus!

We use adjectives ending in ED to describe a feeling or emotion. Eg,

  • He was frightened when he saw the spider.

Some other examples:

  • My nephew was amused by the clown.
  • We are going in a helicopter, how exciting.
  • I thought her new idea was absolutely fascinating.
  • I’m sorry I can’t come tonight, I’m completely exhausted.
  • It’s ok, it’s only me. Don’t be alarmed.
  • I was really embarrassed when I fell over in the street.

I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions, leave a comment below!