Without You – Beginning Listening/Grammar Practice

For ESL levels 2 and up.

This song is from a musical play called Rent. It is about a group of friends in New York City in the 1990s. A man and a woman sing this song together. All of the verbs in “Without You” are in the present simple tense. This chart shows how to make present simple verbs:

Present Simple Verb Chart

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

Some students are confused about some of these subjects. I will explain a little.

  • We use “they” for all plural nouns (people or things).
    – brothers = they
    – telephones = they
    – teachers = they
    – cities = they
  • We use “it” for singular and noncount nouns (things only). We sometimes use “it” for animals (when we don’t know if the animal is male or female).
    – telephone = it
    – city = it
    – grass = it
    – coffee = it
    – dog = it
  • We use “he” and “she” for singular people. We sometimes use “he” and “she” for animals (when we know an animal is male or female, like a pet). We RARELY use “he” or “she” for things.
    – brother = he
    – sister = she
    – teacher = he (man) or she (woman)
    – dog = he (male) or she (female)

The subject of each verb is in italics. You must decide how to write the verb – with s or without s. Click here to print the song.

Without you,
The ground _________________ (thaw),
The rain _________________ (fall),
The grass _________________ (grow).

Without you,
The seeds _________________ (root),
The flowers _________________ (bloom),
The children _________________ (play).

The stars _________________ (gleam),
The poets _________________ (dream),
The eagles _________________ (fly)
Without you.

The earth _________________ (turn),
The sun _________________ (burn),
But I _________________ (die)
Without you.

Without you,
The breeze _________________ (warm),
The girl _________________ (smile),
The cloud _________________ (move).

Without you,
The tides _________________ (change),
The boys _________________ (run),
The oceans _________________ (crash).

The crowds _________________ (roar),
The days _________________ (soar),
The babies _________________ (cry)
Without you.

The moon _________________ (glow),
The river _________________ (flow),
But I _________________ (die)
Without you.

The world _________________ (revive),
Colors _________________ (renew),
But I _________________ (know) blue, only blue,
Lonely blue,
Within me, blue.

Without you.

Without you,
The hand _________________ (grope),
The ear _________________ (hear),
The pulse _________________ (beat).

Without you,
The eyes _________________ (gaze),
The legs _________________ (walk),
The lungs _________________ (breathe).

The mind _________________ (churn),
The heart _________________ (yearn),
The tears _________________ (dry)
Without you.

Life _________________ (go) on,
But I _________________ (be) gone
‘Cause I _________________ (die)
Without you.

Without you
Without you
Without you

Now listen to the song.

What questions do you have?

  • Do you have questions about the vocabulary in the song?
  • Do you have questions about present simple verbs?
  • Do you have questions about subjects – I, you, we, they, he, she, it?

Ask your teacher or leave a comment!

Talk to me!

  • Did you like this song? Why or why not?
  • Do you want more music on the blog?
  • Do you want more grammar on the blog? What do you want to learn?

Leave a comment, and tell me how I can improve the English Language blog!

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