Like this lesson?  Share it with the buttons below:
Brian McKnight is a
popular R & B
singer.  He had a hit
with his song
"Shoulda, Woulda,
Coulda".  This song
uses the
3rd
Conditional.

Try the lesson and
listening exercise
below.

"Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda"
Brian McKnight

Learn English grammar with these popular songs:
Listening Exercise
Fill in the spaces with the correct words

Baby, can you put them down
Just wait hold on for a minute
Gotta say a couple things before you go
Even though I know that we're

I don't want you to leave without knowin'
Just where I'm comin' from, babe
I just wanna say I made a big
And now I gotta face the fact that I

Shoulda been a better man
The kinda man that you needed
Woulda been better off
If I done right by you

I coulda done this, I coulda done that
But I know I can't go back
Cause now it's just too late
I'm sayin' shoulda woulda coulda, yeah

I can tell by the look on your
You ain't tryin' to hear what I'm sayin'
Maybe you done heard all of this before
To her this ain't no game that I'm playin'

This may be the last chance I ever have
To talk to you before you go
So I gotta say I made I big mistake
Girl, you know it's killin' me that I

Shoulda been a better man
The kinda man that you needed
Woulda been better off
If I done right by you

I coulda done this, I coulda done that
But I know I can't go back
Cause now it's just too late
I'm sayin' shoulda woulda coulda, yeah

I should have done my best to you, baby
I should have placed no one above you
And now it's killin' me more than you know
Letting you, that's why I...girl,
I know that I shoulda

Shoulda been a better man (Coulda been a better man to you, baby)
The kinda man that you needed (Shoulda been there for you every time you needed me)
Woulda been better off (Every time you called me)
If I done right by you (And you know that I coulda done this)

I coulda done this, I coulda done that (Coulda done that, yeah)
But I know I can't go back (You know I can't go back, baby)
Cause now it's just too late (All I know need to know is, girl, all I need to know is)
I'm sayin' shoulda woulda coulda, yeah (Do you love me like you used to, baby)

I know I shoulda, yeah
I know I woulda, yeah (All the things I coulda done)
I know I coulda been a better man (All the things I shoulda done)
Said I shoulda woulda coulda, yeah (Sayin' shoulda woulda coulda, yeah)

Would you like more music by the same artist?

Listening Comprehension Activity

This conditional is used for regrets in the past. To talk
about these regrets, use these:
  • Should have
  • Would have
  • Could have

Here are some examples:        
  • I failed my exam.  I should have studied.
  • If I had studied, I would have passed my exam.

These conditional statements are often shortened in
conversation. The reductions are:
  • Shoulda
  • Woulda
  • Coulda

Example:        
  • I shoulda studied.

Brian McKnight uses this relaxed English pronunciation in
his song. He uses the third conditional to talk about his
regrets.

Listen to the song and pay attention to the examples of
the third conditional. Below the song, you can try a
listening comprehension exercise.
This file is not intended to be viewed directly using a web browser. To create a viewable file, use the Preview in Browser or Publish to Aabaco Web Hosting commands from within SiteBuilder.