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Reported speech /reported questions /reporting verbs

( Reported speech: tense and modal changes )

•        We use reported speech when we want to say what someone else said, e.g. Jason said he was going to buy a new pair of trainers.

•        If the reporting verb is in the past (e.g. said), we usually have to change the tense of what the person actually said.

Direct speech Reported speech Example
present simple past simple “I need a credit card,” said Tim. Tim said he needed a credit card.
present continuous past continuous “I'm taking Lizzie shopping,” said Tim. Tim said he was taking Lizzie shopping.
present perfect simple past perfect simple “I've bought Tom a present,” said Tim. Tim said he'd bought Tom a present.
present perfect continuous past perfect continuous “I've been thinking about buying a car,” said Tim. Tim said he'd been thinking about buying a car.
past simple past perfect simple “I spent six Euros,” said Tim. Tim said he'd spent six Euros.
past continuous past perfect continuous “I was hoping to find a new top,” said Tim. Tim said he'd been hoping to find a new top.
past perfect simple past perfect simple (no tense change) “I'd looked everywhere for my credit card before I found it,” said Tim. Tim said he'd looked everywhere for his credit card before he found it.
past perfect continuous past perfect continuous (no tense change) “I'd been looking for that book for weeks before I found it,” said Tim. Tim said he'd been looking for that book for weeks before he found it.
am/is/are going to was/were going to “I'm going to go shopping,” said Tim. Tim said he was going to go shopping.
will would “I'll need a credit card,” said Tim. Tim said he would need a credit card.
can could “I can take Lizzie shopping,” said Tim. Tim said he could take Lizzie shopping.
must/have to had to “I must go to the supermarket,” said Tim. Tim said he had to go to the supermarket.
may might “I may go shopping later,” said Tim. Tim said he might go shopping later.


• We do not need to make any changes to the verb tense or modal when we are reporting a scientific act or when something is still true.

“Most banks charge interest,” said Tim. Tim said most banks charge interest.


( Reported speech: pronoun and determiner changes )

• With reported speech, we also usually have to change some pronouns and determiners.

These changes include:

Direct speech Reported speech Example
my his/her “I've lost my credit card,” said Tim. Tim said he had lost his credit card.
this/that + noun the/that “I love this sweater,” said Tim. Tim said he loved the/that sweater.
this/ that+verb it “This is a lovely sweater,” said Tim. Tim said it was a lovely sweater.
these/those+noun the/those “I love those sweaters,” said Tim. Tim said he loved the/those sweaters.
these/those+verb they “These are lovely sweaters,” said Tim. Tim said they were lovely sweaters.
verb+these/those them “I'm going to buy these,” said Tim. Tim said he was going to buy them.


( Reported speech: time and place changes )

• With reported speech, we also usually have to change words and phrases connected to time and place. These changes include:

Direct speech Reported speech Example
here there “I usually shop here,” said Tim. Tim said he usually shopped there.
now/ /at the moment then/ /at that moment “I'm shopping at the moment,” said Tim. Tim said he was shopping then/at that moment.
tomorrow the next/ /following day “I'm going shopping tomorrow,” said Tim. Tim said he was going shopping the next/following day.
tonight that night “I'm going shopping tonight,” said Tim. Tim said he was going shopping that night.
next week/ /month/year the following week /month/year “I'm going shopping next week,” said Tim. Tim said he was going shopping the following week.
yesterday the day before / the previous day “I went shopping yesterday,” said Tim. Tim said he'd been shopping the day before/the previous day.
last week/ month/ year the week/month/ /year before/ the previous week/ /month/year “I went shopping last week,” said Tim. Tim said he'd been shopping the week before/the previous week.
ago before/previously “I went shopping two days ago,” said Tim. Tim said he'd been shopping two days before/previously.


• We do not need to make any changes to time words/phrases when the information is still true at the moment of speaking/writing.

“I'm going shopping tomorrow;” said Tim to Ben.

Ben immediately called Lizzie and said, 'Tim said he's going shopping tomorrow.'


( Reported questions )

• We use reported questions when we want to say what someone else asked.

e.g. Tim asked Tom if he wanted to go shopping with him.

• We use the same rules regarding tense, pronoun and time and place word/phrase changes with reported questions as we do with reported speech.

Direct speech Reported speech Example
have, do, be or modal (i.e. yes/no questions) use if or whether “Can you get me an ice cream, Tom?” asked Tim. Tim asked Tom if/whether he could get him an ice cream.
what, who, which, when, where, why and how what, who, which, when, where, why and how “Why did you buy these shoes?'” asked Tim. Tim asked me why I had bought those shoes.


• In direct questions we use the question form and question marks (Can you... ?).

• In reported questions we don't use the question form or question marks (asked if he could...).


( Reporting verbs )

• Different reporting verbs take different grammatical patterns. Some verbs can take more than one pattern. ✓ deny (verb + noun) Katie denied the accusation. ✓ deny (verb + that clause) Katie denied (that) she was a shoplifter. ✓ deny (verb + -ing) Katie denied stealing the chocolate biscuits. See page 197 for a full list of verbs and patterns.


A  Complete using the correct form of the verb in brackets.

1. Stewart said he didn’t want (not / want) any dessert as he was full.

2. Derek said that he and Belinda ……. (see) Adam recently.

3. When I called, Susie said she ... (give) the dog a bath so she asked me to phone back in half an hour.

4. Marcus said he ……. (try) to find a flat for ages before he finally foundone he liked.

5. Debbie says she ……. (decide) to quit her job but I don't believe her.

6. Our English teacher said that Shakespeare ……. (be) probably thegreatest writer in the English language ever.

7. Richard said he and Patricia ……. (be going to) invite her parents forthe weekend, but I don't know if they went or not.

8. Charlotte said last night that she really ……. (love) me, even if shedoesn't always show it.

9. Ollie said to Linda that he ……. (ask) me to be his best man on Mondaybut in fact he asked Grant.

10. Pete told Francis he ……. (bring up) by his grandparents but in fact hehadn't at all.


В If a word or phrase in bold is correct, put a tick (✓). If it is incorrect, rewrite it correctly.

1. On Monday, my boss said I can take Wednesday off, but he changed his mind today for some reason. could

2. The receptionist said that if I wanted to have breakfast, I will have to pay extra. ________

3. A lot of people at school have said that Andrew may get the lead in the school play. ________

4. Colin said he'd been planning to ask Rich to move in with him for ages. ________

5. Lucy says she would let us know as soon as she gets the tickets. ________

6. Jordan said that she has to get up at five thirty every morning. ________

7. Before he got his results, Philip said that he may have to retake some exams, but now he knows he doesn't have to. ________

8. Did Mrs. Morgan say why she'd called? ________

9. Paul said he should be here tomorrow night at about nine. ________

10. Dan said he must drive to Liverpool that night, but apparently he didn't go in the end. ________


С Write one word in each gap.

1. Tonya said her TV was broken and asked if she could come around to watch the football with us.

2. Your father said that ……. old newspapers in the garage might be collector's items.

3. Dana told the kids she had no option but to punish ……. .

4. Wendy said to thank you for the tomatoes and that ……. were the tastiest onesshe'd ever eaten.

5. Before he left, Carsen told his hosts that ……. had been a lovely evening.

6. As soon as he saw the jeans, Bob told us that he had to have ……. .

7. The Pattersons said that ……. eldest daughter has just got a job working at theWhite House.

8. Grandpa said that ……. picture over there was painted by his great-grandfather.


D   Complete each second sentence using the word given, so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence. Write between two and five words in each gap.

1. 'We'll be travelling round Europe next month', said Jerry.                             following

Jerry said that  the following month they would  be travelling round Europe.

2. 'I had Evan and Christie over for dinner last night', said Liz.                        before

Liz said that ….... had Evan and Christie over for dinner.

3. 'Daz came here two days ago and then suddenly left', said Barry.                gone

Barry said that Daz had …… and then suddenly left.

4. 'We're going on our yearly diet tomorrow/said Jessie and Sandy together.   starting

Jessie and Sandy said together that ….... yearly diet the next day.

5. 'I can pick you two boys up from school this afternoon', said their father

to George and Kevin.                                                                                          that

George and Kevin's father told his sons ..….. up from school that afternoon.

6. 'I'll buy these as they're so cheap!' said Toby.                                                 going

Toby said he ….... as they were so cheap.

7. 'You must study harder, Dave', said Dave's mum.                                         him

Dave's mum ….... study harder.

8. 'I think you may be coming down with flu', Greg said to me.                       thought

Greg said that ....... be coming down with flu.

9. 'I don't know why they haven't contacted me recently', said Jane.                been

Jane said she didn't know why ….... recently.

10 'Everything was different yesterday', said Ben.                                            been

Ben said everything ……. before.


E   Write one word in each gap.


The office was silent.'So, let me get this right (1) said Alison calmly. 'Not one of you is willing to donate some money towards Mr Bartlett's leaving present'. There was silence again for a moment, then Deidre (2) ….. up, saying that she (3) ..... love to give a donation, but unfortunately her house (4) ….. being painted that week and she (5) ...... not have any spare cash at all. Alec was next. He was very apologetic and said that he (6) ….. meant to bring some money to work (7) ….. morning, but had forgotten. Perhaps tomorrow? Betty said she (8) ….. completely broke at (9) ….. moment in time, and said she (10) ….. not give anything until she (11) ….. her pay cheque at the end of the week. Alison stared at them all. She (12) ….. them how disappointed she (13) …... with all of them, and that she (14) ….. remember their excuses when it was time for (15) ….. to retire. She slammed the door behind her as she left the room.


F   Rewrite as reported questions, beginning with the words given.

1. 'Have you had your ear pierced?'

My mum asked me if I had had my ear pierced.

2. 'Can I meet you there at six o'clock tonight, Doug?'

Julian wanted to know whether …..

3. 'Are you still moving to Blackpool next week?'

Fiona asked Rod and Jenny whether …..

4. 'Does Graham have to wear a suit to work?'

I asked Mrs Daley if Graham …..

5.'Do you want someone to feed your cat while you're away?'

Jan asked me if …..

6. 'Can you guess what I've given Lindsay for her birthday?'

Daisy asked Wendy if …..

7. 'Do you love me or not, Gloria?'

Fred asked Gloria whether …..

8. 'Will Simon be coming to the party tomorrow night'

Adrian wondered whether …..

9. 'Tell me if you were anywhere near 34 Aylesford Street last night!'

The police officer demanded to know whether Sykes …..


G   Rewrite as direct questions.

1. She asked me why I was thinking of quitting the gym.

       Why are you thinking of quitting the gym.

2. He asked her what the difference was between a refugee and an asylum seeker.

3. They asked us how we had got on with Peter three days before.

4. I asked them when they had last been on holiday.

5. She asked him which of them he preferred.

6. I asked you how you were going to get to Manchester tomorrow.

7. Carl asked Megan who she had been out with the weekend before.

8. Megan asked Carl what gave him the right to ask questions like that.


H   Complete using the correct form of the words in the box.

agree • apologise • ask • claim • deny • order • refuse • state • suggest • tell

1. If you want to ask me a question, put your hand up.

2. I ….. very clearly several times already that this government is notgoing to be blackmailed by terrorists.

3. The general …..the soldiers to retreat, which they did as quickly asthey could!

4. Isabelle ….. that story about the giraffe. I love that story!

5. Glenda still ….. to me for losing my CD player.

6. If you ….. to cooperate with the police, you would have been in bigtrouble!

7. I'd like ….. waiting a few more days before we make a final decision.

8. The politician ….. having done anything wrong, despite the evidence against him.

9. I ….. to help you with your homework, not do it all for you!

10. Some thieves ….. to be electricity meter readers so they can gain access to people's houses.


I   Circle the extra word in each line.


1 _______Someone told to me a few months ago that getting a mortgage would be easy. How

2 _______wrong they were! When I first went into the bank, I asked if them how much I could

3 _______borrow. They refused that to answer even such a simple question, saying that I had to

4 _______actually find a house before they could tell me whether they would have lend me the

5 _______money or not. I thought this was ridiculous and so told it a white lie, saying that

6 _______I had been already found a house. They finally said they would lend me the money, so

7 _______that was great. Then the problems started. A few weeks later a friend told me that about

8 _______a wonderful flat that was for sale. He suggested to our buying it together because it was

9 _______so large and I agreed. When I went back to the bank and said so I was planning to

10 _______buy a flat with a friend, the bank manager denied doing that he had ever said the bank

11 _______would give me a mortgage and claimed that he has had looked at my finances and knew

12 _______I wasn't earning enough to borrow money. I begged with him to have another look at my

13 _______records as I knew he was wrong. Finally, he agreed me to reconsider my case and

14 _______eventually sent me a letter which stated that the bank would was quite happy to give me

15 _______a mortgage. By then, though, it was said too late as someone else had bought the flat!



Unit 22                            Vocabulary

Money and Shopping

Topic vocabulary in contrast                                                                see page 195 for definitions

economic / economical discount/offer till / checkout
receipt /bill price / cost products/goods
make / brand change/cash refund / exchange
bargain / sale wealth / fortune fake / plastic


Phrasal verbs

bank on depend on sth happening give away give free of charge; reveal sth you are trying to hide come across find sth or meet sb by chance live on use as a source of money come by get sth, especially sth that is hard to get look round examine (a place) come into inherit make out write all the necessary information on a cheque, etc do without live without (sth you can't afford) make up for provide sth good, so that sth bad seems less important get by manage to survive (financially) put by save an amount of money for the future get through use all of;finish save up (for) save money little by little (for a specific purpose)


Phrases and collocations

amount an amount of sth; in large/small/etc amounts; amount to
charge charge sb (an amount of money); pay a charge; take charge (of sth/doing); in charge (of sth/doing)
debt in debt (to sb);get in/into debt; clear a debt; owe sb a debt of gratitude
demand in demand; on demand; a demand for sth
enough have enough (of sth); have enough sth (to do); enough is enough
expense at sb's/your own expense; go to the expense of; business expense; expense account
fortune make/earn/win/spend a fortune; cost (you) a fortune; make your fortune
increase an increase in sth (of a certain amount); a wage/price increase
least at least; at the very least; last but not least; to say the least
money make/earn/win/save/have money; spend money (on sth/doing); short of money; do sth for the money
notice notice sb doing/do; take notice of sth; at short notice; give sb notice of
profit make a profit (from sth)
save save money/time; save sth for later
shopping do the shopping; go shopping; shopping centre; window shopping


Word patterns

afford to do forget to do;forget doing;forget about sth/doing;forget if/whether
argue with sb;argue about sth/doing; argue that lendsth to sb; lend sbsth
begsb (for sth); beg sb to do paysb (for sth/doing); pay sth (to sb)
belong to sb/sth profit from sth/doing
borrowsth (from sb) savesb from sth/doing; save sth (for sth/sb)
chargesb (for sth/doing) spendsth (on sth/sb/doing)
demandsth (from sb); demand that  


Word formation

accept acceptance, accepting, (un)acceptable, (un)acceptably expense (in)expensive(ly), expenses poor poorly, poverty
assist assistance,assistant finance financial(ly), finances real unreal, really, realise, realisation, reality, realistic(ally)
day daily, everyday invest investment, investor value (in)valuable,(in)valuably, valueless, valuation
economy economic, economics(un)economical(ly), economist luxury luxuries, luxurious(ly) wealth wealthy
end endless(ly), ending, unending pay paid, payment, payable  


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