16) Second Conditionals “If I could…, I would….” Reply

This is a page devoted to understanding how we use the second conditional in English. Watch the following video to learn all about this form which is used to make comments about wishes and regrets. Then sing the song If I could keep time in a bottle...” sung by the late Jim Croce, a singer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who settled in San Diego at the end of his life (there is a famous restaurant in San Diego called “Croce’s” that was started by his wife)  to practice your pronunciation and  to better assimilate this form. Of course this page wouldn’t be complete without hearing the progressive song  If I Had A Hammer (words and music by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays written in 1949) which is an excellent way to practice your contractions “I’d”….Finally…as they are added…  do some online exercises to make sure you’ve understand the important points. Good luck!

Watch the following videos to understand how the second conditionals are used in English. Then study the examples and practice saying them.

Now see a more authentic demonstration of the second conditionals in this extract of the American series The Big Bang Theory:

IF I COULD SAVE TIME IN A BOTTLE…BY JIM CROCE

Here’s his song:

And of course the classic folk song If I Had A Hammer sung by beloved American folk trio “Peter, Paul and Mary”. They made this song a classic during the 60’s folk revival (the lyrics are below):

Lyrics:

If I had a hammer,
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening,
All over this land
I’d hammer out danger,
I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
If I had a bell,
I’d ring it in the morning,
I’d ring it in the evening,
All over this land
I’d ring out danger,
I’d ring out a warning
I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
If I had a song,
I’d sing it in the morning,
I’d sing it in the evening,
All over this land
I’d sing out danger,
I’d sing out a warning
I’d sing out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
Well I got a hammer,
And I got a bell,
And I got a song to sing, all over this land.
It’s the hammer of Justice,
It’s the bell of Freedom,
It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
It’s the hammer of Justice,
It’s the bell of Freedom,
It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Hallelujah!

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