The second conditional is one of the most important grammar topics in the ESL classroom. It is important because it is very common in conversation and therefore should be learned by anyone who wants to speak and understand English.

An example of how this grammatical structure is so popular is that it is found in many songs in English. Music is a great way to teach the second conditional.

Here is a list of the top 5 songs that use the second conditional.

1. BeyoncĂ© – If I were a boy

This is the best song for many reasons. The entire song is a story about what it would be like if BeyoncĂ© were a boy. This is a great example of how the second conditional is used for unreal or hypothetical present situations. The letter uses the modal would to show these hypothetical situations. The lyrics are also grammatically correct because it says “if I were a boy” and not “if I were a boy”. Using “were” is the correct structure, but it’s not always done in other songs.

Also, this song is new and popular. Students enjoy the lesson more when the music used is something they really know and like.

2. Naked Ladies – If I Had a Million Dollars

This is a song by a Canadian band that is not that popular all over the world. However, it is excellent for teaching the 2nd conditional. The reason it’s so good is because it uses the grammatical structure many times throughout the song. It shows the hypothetical situation of what the singer would do if he had a million dollars.

The song is also great because the singer talks about all the things he would buy, which helps practice nouns. Students can learn about different types of cars, clothing, furniture, and more.

3. Katie Melua – If You Were A Sailboat

This song is like the first two because it has many examples of the grammatical structure. Many times in the lyrics, the singer uses “If you were a __________, I___________”. That’s why it’s another excellent song to show how this conditional is for hypothetical situations.

4. Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time

This is an old song, but it’s still a classic. Students will probably have heard it before, so they will be able to relate to it and enjoy it. Although not as full of conditional sentences as the first three, the chorus provides some good examples. It’s also nice because it uses “could”, which isn’t always that common. Students can practice the “could” modal as it is used for skill.

5. Lyle Lovett – If I Had a Boat

This song also has a lot of examples of the second conditional, so it’s great practice. The added benefit here is that it’s about country music, which is often something ESL students don’t know much about. Therefore, it can also work well with a country music theme, as students can learn about a type of music that is very popular in many English-speaking countries.

These songs are clearly not the only examples of the second conditional in music. However, they are the top 5 and can be used in the ESL classroom.

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