Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

English Grammar Through Songs

As many of you know, I am a big fan of using music as an enjoyable way to practice and test your knowledge of English grammar, listening and vocabulary. 

 An additional bonus is that this kind of focused listening  to "natural English"  will help you to remember the vocabulary and grammar much better than if you use a  vocabulary or grammar book.

The following activity is the first of a series of  GRAMMAR THOUGH SONG posts and a fun way way to practice and test your grammar, vocabulary and listening skills. 

Below, you will find video clips of popular English songs. Each of the songs contains a specific grammar structure. 


Step One: Make a note of  the grammar  point you need to pay attention to in each song.

Step two:  Play the video clip and carefully listen to the song WITHOUT looking at the lyrics. Get a feel for the whole song, then words and phrases. Try to listen to the specific grammar phrase  indicated for in the activity. 

Step Three:  Listen to the song as many times as you want without looking at the lyrics.  Write down as many phrases as you can hear that contain the required grammar expression as well as any new or "interesting" vocabulary expressions.  .

Step Four: If you have trouble hearing the phrases, look at the lyrics to complete each exercise.

Step Five: Check your answers

Step Six:  Sing along until you feel you have the rhythm and stress of the song.

Step Seven: Try to rewrite the lyrics while singing WITHOUT the music. How many of the expressions, and special vocabulary phrases do you remember?

Look for answer keys at the bottom 

#1 Tom's Diner By Suzanne Vega
Listen to and write all the PRESENT CONTINUOUS VERBS you can hear 

# 2 The Logical Song by Supertramp
Listen and write as many ADJECTIVES and ADVERBS  as you can hear

# 3 Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion
Listen and write as many PAST TENSE VERBS verbs you can hear. 

#4  Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For  by U2 
Listen to and write all the PRESENT PERFECT TENSE VERBS you can hear

#  4 We are the Champions by Queen
Listen to and write all the PRESENT PERFECT VERBS you hear. Write any new PHRASES or EXPRESSIONS you hear.  

# 5 Next Year Baby by Jamie Cullum
Listen to and write the FUTURE TENSE VERBS you hear ( both GOING TO and WILL)   Note how going to becomes GONNA.  

Answer Key and song worksheets 

I am sitting, I am waiting, She is looking, He is shaking, They are kissing, I'm pretending, I'm turning, I'm feeling, I'm watching, I'm lying

Adjectives: TOTAL NUMBER ( 19) 
wonderful, beautiful, magical, sensible, logical, responsible, practical, dependable, clinical, intellectual, cynical , radical, liberal, fanatical, criminal, acceptable, respectable, presentable, simple   
New Vocabulary: every adjective you don't know. They are ALL useful to know  Go to 

Adverbs: (3) happily, joyfully,  playfully

stood, made, brought,made, found, held, let, saw, was,, saw, lifted, gave, believed, loved, gave, made, touched, lost, gave, stood, had, gave, was, loved, were, carried, were 

I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done my sentence, I’ve…committed no crime, bad mistakes I’ve made a few, I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, I’ve come through, I’ve taken my bows and my curtain calls, it’s been no bed of roses
We Are the Champions by Queen (lyrics + worksheet  with many activities)

I have climbed, I have run, I have crawled,I have run. I have scaled, I still haven't found,  I have kissed, I have spoken, I have held    
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For


gonna change, gonna drink less, gonna pull up my socks, gonna clean,
not gonna live,  gonna live , gonna read more , gonna keep up, gonna learn,
[ spend less, pay, drink, call ], will I do, gonna say, gonna tell

Idioms: pull up my socks, keep up with

How did you do? 

Let me know in the comment box. I appreciate all your comments. Remember you DO  NOT have to be a member to comment)


  1. Dear Michelle, thank you for adding my blog to your blog roll( I've added yours to mine). I am a relatively new blogger and I need all support and encouragement. Keep up with your excellent work. Your blog is very informative and well-organised!:)

  2. Dear Michelle, thank you for adding my blog to your blog roll( I've added yours to mine). I am a relatively new blogger and I need all support and encouragement. Keep up with your excellent work. Your blog is very informative and well-organised!:)

  3. It is really an ideal thing that our children will have to learn all the basics of English language. It's because, this is the most number one thing that we will have to use for further communication.

    esl teacher

  4. This is really declarative and well explained lesson. Thanks for sharing such a nice post. Do you have a post for Be Going to Grammar . It will be a great help.


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