Song with Dependent Clauses, Collocations +++

Hello Everyone!

Well, I’m back from my French adventure but I will leave the details of my French language studies for a future post. For now, how about getting back to grammar in a song? … Good! I thought that’s what you would want!

For this post, I’ve chosen a song that I’ve loved for a long, long time so I hope that you enjoy it. It’s a love song. You may not know all the vocabulary, but after you check the meanings, you will find the story of the song easy to understand. The name of the song – “If we try” tells you a lot. The singer, Don Maclean, is saying that if ‘she’ just tries a little, she might fall in love with him, because he is falling in love with ‘her’.

First, check the meanings of words you don’t know. I have linked some to www.learnersdictionary.com. This is a wonderful online English dictionary that gives definitions, sentence examples, and pronunciation.


Next, check the collocations in this song:

♥ I lose my concentration = I can’t think clearly

♥  creates anticipation = causes a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen

♥ it’ll work out = it will be successful

♥ state of mind = a temporary way of  thinking

♥ signs of affection = showing a feeling of love
       ∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼ 


Now, listen to the song a few times (Youtube video below) while reading the lyrics and singing along. 

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Now, let’s have a look at the lyrics and grammar explanations.
      ∗   Independent Clauses are underlined.
      ∗   Dependent Clauses are colour-coded:  Adverb Clauses,
                                                                             Relative Clauses,                                                                                                     Noun Clauses.

Song: “If We Try” by Don Maclean

When I see you on the street, I lose my concentration.
Just the thought that we might meet creates anticipation.
Won’t you look my way once before you go
and my eyes will say what you ought to know.

Well I’ve been thinking about you day and night
and I don’t know if 
it’ll work out right
but somehow I think that it just might if we try.

 Faces come and faces go in circular rotation
But something yearns within to grow beyond infatuation.
Won’t you look my way once before you go
and my eyes will say what you ought to
know.
Well you’ve got me standing deaf and blind
’cause I see love is just a 
state of mind
and who knows what it is that we might find if we try.

You’re walking a different direction from most people I’ve met.
You’re giving me signs of affection I don’t usually get.
I don’t want you to pledge your future.
The future’s not yours to give.
Just stand there a little longer and let me watch while you live.

‘Cause when I see you on the street, I lose my concentration.
Just the thought that we might meet creates anticipation.
Won’t you look my way once before you go
and my eyes will say what you ought to
know.

Well I’ve been …  

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

1. There are examples of Adverb Clauses

a. When I see you on the street,

b. before you go

c. if we try

d. ’cause I see 

e. while you live

 

2. There are a couple of Reduced Relative Clauses.

f. {that/ whom) I’ve met

g. (that/ which) I don’t usually get

 

3. There are several Noun Clauses.

h. that we might meet

i. what you ought to know.

j. that it just might

k. what it is that we might find

l. (that) love is just a state of mind

m. if it’ll work out right

∗ There are only three types of Dependent Clauses: Adverb Clauses, Relative Clauses, and Noun Clauses. We call them Dependent Clauses because they ‘depend on’ an Independent Clause to complete a sentence. Look at the Adverb, Relative, and Noun Clauses above. Is it obvious to you that they need help? If you say (or sing) to someone, “When I see you on the street,” … Do they reply or do they wait for you to finish what you’re saying? It’s not a complete sentence is it?

Question: How do we help a Dependent Clause so that it is part of a complete sentence?
Answer: We add an Independent Clause! 

Look at the song lyrics, and you’ll see that the Dependent Clauses – Adverb Clauses, Relative Clauses, and Noun Clauses – are in sentences with Independent Clauses:

♦ When I see you on the street, I lose my concentration.

♦ Won’t you look my way once before you go

♦ who knows what it is that we might find if we try

♦ Well you’ve got me standing deaf and blind ’cause I see love is just a state of mind

 let me watch while you live

 You’re walking a different direction from most people I’ve met.

 You’re giving me signs of affection I don’t usually get.

 Just the thought that we might meet creates anticipation.

 my eyes will say what you ought to know.

Now, you may be wondering why I have underlined three Noun Clauses (they are Dependent Clauses aren’t they?) It should be only the Independent Clauses which are underlined?!  Can you work out why I’ve underlined Dependent Clauses?

 who knows what it is that we might find      

♦ my eyes will say what you ought to know.     

♦ somehow I think that it just might

One important thing to remember about Noun Clauses is that they are nouns, so like ordinary nouns, they can be subjects, objects, or complements in a sentence. In the above three sentences, the noun clauses are the objects. As objects, they are part of the Independent Clauses.

♦ what it is that we might find is the object of  who knows

♦ what you ought to know is the object of  my eyes will say

♦ that it just might is the object of  somehow I think

(These three clauses are examples of Reported Speech. When we report what someone knows, or says, or thinks, we are using Reported Speech and Noun Clauses.)

This song is a good, clear example of how to put Complex Sentences together. It shows you:

♦Dependent Clauses with Independent Clauses – joined by Subordinating Conjunctions: when, before, if, because, that, what, while, who,

♦   Independent Clauses joined by Co-ordinating Conjunctions: and , but.

For more information click on: 

Adverb Clauses,
Relative Clauses,                                                                                                   Noun Clauses.

That’s all for now! If you’ve read down to here, you’re doing very well! As usual, if you have any questions, you can write to me via ‘Contact Me’ at the top of this page.

 It’s time for a well-deserved cuppa!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Songs, TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s