When You Say Nothing at all- Ronan Keating


  • Look at the title. What do you think the expression means? What do you think this song will be about?
  • Predict the words you will hear. Read the sentences and try to fill in the gaps with words that make sense.  


Listen to the song several times BEFORE you fill in the missing words. When you feel comfortable, try to fill in the gaps



These include: discussion and writing questions, pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.



quiz created by Michelle Morissette


Fiil in the missing words 


It's amazing how you can speak right to my

Without saying a word, you can light up the

as I may, I could explain. 

what I hear when you don't say a


The smile on your
lets me know that you me.
There's a truth  in your
saying you'll neve me.
The of your hand says you'll me wherever I fall.
You say it best when you say at all.

All day long I can hear people out loud (oooh).
But when hold me near, you drown out the
Try as they may, they can define
what's been said between your and mine.


The on your face
lets me know that you me.
There's a in your eyes
saying you'll never    me.
The of your hand says you'll catch me wherever I 
You say it best   (you say it best) when you say at all.


The smile on your
lets me that you   me.
There's a truth in your   eyes 
saying you'll never   me.
The touch of your says you'll me wherever I fall.
You say it (you say it best) when you say nothing at all.

(You say it best when you say nothing at all.
You say it best when you say nothing at all.)



the smile on your

the truth in your

the of your hand  

let's me know that you me

You say it when you say at all .

You it best when you say at all.





a)   Copy or print out words, or pay attention to which words are stressed in each line. Mark

      each main stressed word a LONG __________.

b)  Listen again. Put a slash ( / ) each time the writer pauses or slows down. This is called

     phrasing. When you practice singing or speaking with correct phrasing, your fluency will

     increase a lot.

c)  Before you sing the song, try speaking the words out loud as the same speed as the

     singer does. As you do this, put the stress on the correct words and pause in the same

      place as the singer does.

d)  SING ALONG with the video as many times as possible and as loudly as you can. This is

      an excellent way to improve your pronunciation in a fun way.

      This is  an easy song to memorize because there are only three verses. The rest is





 One of the best ways to learn and remember new vocabulary is to learn "phrases", "word chunks".  These are groups of words that English speakers naturally use together.

A word by itself has very little meaning. But, when you use that word with other words like English speakers do, you start to sound like they do - natural and fluent.  Best of all , you can also remember "phrases" much better than  single words, is much better than sounding like your are translating, or simply un-natural and non-English.

This is a good song to help you practice this because many of he phrases in the song are natural word partners.


 MATCH:   Match the words and phrases below with their beginnings 


without saying a     

light up                   

the smile on           

don't say               

truth in                  

the touch of          

hear people          

you'll catch me     



your eyes

whenever I fall


a thing

your hand

the dark

on your face

                                                                                                                                GRAMMAR ANALYSIS:  



1.       Why does the writer use the modal "can" ? What does "can" mean here?

2.         Why does he use "could " in "could never explain" 

3.        What main verb tense does the writer use in the song? Why does he use this  

          tense?   What "meaning" does this verb tense communicate?


PART 2:  Read through the first three verses of the song and identify 

SIX               noun clauses  (that, WH, reported speech)

THREE       adverb clauses ( time, place) 

TWO        reduced adjective clause ( adjective phrase)



1.       What do you think the writer means when he says he can "hear when she doesn't say  

          a thing?"

2.       Have you ever been in a relationship in which you can hear  what the other  person 

          says  when he/she doesn't say a thing? How does this happen?

3.       Do you know anyone else in the situation above? How long did it take? What does this             imply about the relationship?

4        The writer implies that it is important to have someone who needs" you in your life. Do

          you agree or disagree?  How does this affect your life in a positive way or negative


 5.      What does the writer mean when he says "You'll catch me hen I fall?"  Explain.

 6.        Is it important to have someone who catches you when you  fall?  Explain the    

             reasons  for your answer.


7.      Tell a story or write a composition a about a situation or an incident in your life when

           someone was there to catch you when you fell.

  • What happened?
  • How did they catch you?
  • How did you feel?
  • What was the final result? 
  • How do you feel about it now?


The scenes in the video come from from the famous romantic fifilm  Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. I strongly recommend that you watch it if you like both comedy and romance.

The singer Ronan Keating  is a well-known British singer who is both a solo artists and a long time member of the successfull Irish boy bankd BOYZONE which still gets together once in a while to perform concerts.  



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