A Song with First Conditional, Imperatives, and Collocations

Image result for dua lipa don't start now album cover

Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now

Dua Lipa sings a song, Don’t Start Now, in which she tells an ex boyfriend very clearly that their relationship is finished and she is not interested in seeing him again. Her life is so much better without him. Her message to him is clear: If you don’t want to see me with another man, don’t look!

Click on the above picture for the official YouTube video. For the YouTube video with lyrics, click here.

Sentences starting with ‘If” are usually conditional sentences, and Dua Lipa is telling her ex what not to do in the future if he doesn’t want to see her with another man. Because she is referring to possible future situations, the sentence structure is First Conditional. Because she is warning him about possible future actions, she uses Imperatives:

Walk away!


Don’t show up;

Don’t come out;

Don’t start caring about me now.

Walk away;

› › › › › › › › ›

You may have studied First Conditional with WILL + Base Infinitive. If you would like to revise the rules for First Conditional with WILL, click here. Today, however,  I’m focusing on First Conditional with Imperative Verbs.

 

♥ The chorus is one long First Conditional sentence:

If you don’t *wanna see me dancing with somebody;            *want to
If you *wanna believe that anything could stop me,
Don’t show up;
Don’t come out;
Don’t start caring about me now;
Walk away; you know how;
Don’t start caring about me now.

Conditional Sentences are Complex Sentences, which means that they include at least one Dependent Clause (blue print) and at least one Independent Clause (green print). The chorus includes two Dependent Clauses and five Independent Clauses.

 

                                            ♥ Note the Imperative Verbs

https://unsplash.com/photos/QL0FAxaq2z0

Imperatives


Don’t show up

 Don’t come out

 Don’t start

 Walk away

 

♥ The song provides numerous Collocations, here in bold:

Did a full one-eighty …
But look at where I ended up.
I’m all good already;

So moved on, it’s scary.
I’m not where you left me at all,
Don’t show up;
Don’t come out;
I’m better on the other side.
Walk away.

Can you work out the meanings of the above collocations? Look at what you can understand. She is telling someone: ‘Don’t … Don’t … Don’t … Don’t … I’m all good … I’m better …”   When Collocations are idioms, you can often work out the meaning if you know the context.     

Did a full one-eighty … 

To do a one-eighty (180°) is to change your thinking and/or actions completely: to think or do the opposite. The singer thinks about the way she was before and the way she is now – from heartbroken (maybe) to ‘all good’.

But look at where I ended up.

To end up is to eventually finish, to end a situation. The singer was possibly heartbroken but at the end, she was ‘all good’. For more examples of ended up, click here.

https://unsplash.com/photos/zdSoe8za6Hs

I’m all good!   I’ve moved on!


I’m all good already

She is not just ‘good’; she is great, completely okay. Don’t worry! (‘Already’ means ‘sooner than expected’.)

 ♦ So moved on

To move on from a relationship means to accept that the relationship is over, finished, and to be ready for a new relationship, a new life.

So … , it’s scary.

So + adjective/adverb, it’s scary, means that something (or someone) is so bad / wonderful / clever etc. that it is hard to believe. The singer has moved on and recovered so quickly and easily from the relationship that it is impressive and hard to believe – it’s scary.

I’m not where you left me at all

Literally, where you left me, means the last place you saw me. However, here it means that she is not the sad, rejected person he said ‘goodbye’ to. She has moved on.

Don’t!

     ♦ Don’t show up

To show up means to arrive. For example, All the employees were expected at the Christmas party but fewer than half showed up.

      ♦ Don’t come out

Meaning: Don’t leave your house. Stay at home. If you don’t want to see me with another man, don’t leave your house!

 the other side

I’m better on the other side. Her life is better now after the end of the relationship. The experience has been like a journey and she has come through to the other side. She is no longer in the journey or experience. She is at a distance from it: the other side.

Walk away.

To walk away from someone or something means to leave or abandon the person or situation. She tells him to walk away, leave her. She reminds him that he knows how to walk away because he had abandoned her more than once. 

For more examples of walk away, click here.

Click here for a free idioms and phrases dictionary. 

      

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

1 Response to A Song with First Conditional, Imperatives, and Collocations

  1. Pingback: A Song with First Conditional, Imperatives, and Collocations — Mary’s English Blog – Online English Learning Boutique

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.