The Conditional means using the word “If” inside a sentence.
There are three kinds of Conditionals:
1. the Real Conditional
2. the Unreal Conditional
3. the Past Conditional
Here are the patterns to use each of them:
1. If + present simple, will
2. If + past simple, would
3. If + had p.p., would have
Today we’re going to concentrate on the second type: the Unreal Conditional.
And we are going to study it through a song.
There is a very simple and lovely song that can teach you the second type of Conditional.
The title of this song is “If I Had a Million Dollars” by the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies.
This song is very simple in both words and treatment. In fact, it has never been a real single and it doesn’t have any accompanying music video.
Nevertheless, this song is one of the band’s most popular songs. And it has become an icon of Canadian culture.
|This photo by TheHYPO is available at <a ref=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Barenaked_Ladies_miming_golf.jpg">under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ph/"> Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0|
If you look at the words of this song, you will see the second type of Conditional being used all throughout.
Because the Unreal Conditional (Type 2) is used to talk about either impossible or improbable situations. In other words, it is used to talk about imaginary things.
In fact, you might’ve already encountered examples of this Conditional. The most common are:
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
If you were president, how would you run your country?
I wouldn’t do that if I were you. (But I am me and you are you.)
Although the structure of the sentence is in the past simple, please don’t misunderstand because its meaning is not past at all.
This construction is similar to how we make sentences using the word “wish.”
Here’s a video of the song:
If I Had a Million Dollars…
Here are selected lyrics from the song which show how to use the Conditional:
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a house.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you furniture for your house. / Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a K-car. / A nice reliant automobile.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy your love.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d build a tree-fort in our yard.
· If I had a million dollars, you could help. / It wouldn’t be that hard.
· If I had a million dollars, maybe we could put a little tiny fridge. / In there somewhere / We could just go up there and hang out / Like open the fridge and stuff / And there’d all be foods laid out for us.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a fur coat. / But not a real fur coat, that’s cruel.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you an exotic pet. / Like a llama or an emu.
· If I had a million dollars, we wouldn’t have to walk to the store.
· If I had a million dollars, we’d take a Limousine ‘cause it costs more.
· If I had a million dollars, we wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner. / But we would eat Kraft dinner. / Of course we would, we’d just eat more.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a green dress.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you some art. / A Picasso or a Garfunkel.
· If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a monkey. / Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?
· If I had a million dollars, I’d be rich.
I hope you practice making the second Conditional like this.