Reported Speech (Indirect Speech)

When we report someone’s words we can do it in two ways. We can use direct speech with quotation marks (“I work in a bank”), or we can use reported speech (He said he worked in a bank.)

In reported speech the tenses, word-order and pronouns may be different from those in the original sentence.11

Present simple and present continuous tenses

  • Direct speech: “I travel a lot in my job” Reported speech: He said that he travelled a lot in his job.

The present simple tense (I travel) usually changes to the past simple (he travelled) in reported speech.

  • Direct speech: “Be quiet. The baby’s sleeping.” Reported speech: She told me to be quiet because the baby was sleeping.

The present continuous usually changes to the past continuous.

Note:

  • “I work in Italy” Reported speech: He told me that he works in Italy.

It isn’t always necessary to change the tense. If something is still true now – he still works in Italy – we can use the present simple in the reported sentence.

Past simple and past continuous tenses

  • Direct speech: “We lived in China for 5 years.” Reported speech: She told me they had lived in China for 5 years.

The past simple tense (we lived) usually changes to the past perfect (they had lived) in reported speech.

  • Direct speech: “I was walking down the road when I saw the accident.” Reported speech: He told me he’d been walking down the road when he’d seen the accident.

The past continuous usually changes to the past perfect continuous.

Perfect tenses

  • Direct speech: “They’ve always been very kind to me”. Reported speech: She said they’d always been very kind to her.

The present perfect tense (have always been) usually changes to the past perfect tense (had always been).

  • Direct speech: “They had already eaten when I arrived” Reported speech: He said they’d already eaten when he’d arrived.

The past perfect tense does not change in reported speech.

Other word forms also sometimes change:12

Adverbs and adverbial phrases of time change as follows:13

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.

Although Thanksgiving celebrations dated back to the first European settlements in America, it was not until the 1860s that Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a national holiday.

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

Follow this link and watch a video History of the Thanksgiving

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a meal with family and friends. For many Americans, the Thanksgiving meal includes seasonal dishes such as roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

thanksgiving-dinner-in-usa

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

The Thanksgiving Turkey float  during th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Winds Through New York City

Pilgrims

Pilgrims is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States, with the men commonly called Pilgrim Fathers.

The Pilgrims’ leadership came from the religious congregations of Brownist English Dissenters who had fled the volatile political environment in England for the relative calm and tolerance of 16th–17th century Holland in the Netherlands. Concerned with losing their cultural identity, the group later arranged with English investors to establish a new colony in North America.

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The colony, established in 1620, became the second successful English settlement (after the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607) and later the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in what was to become the United States of America.

The Pilgrims’ story of seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States.

To find out more about Pilgrims, follow this link http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/magazine-articles/pilgrims
There you will find an audio lesson about Pilgrims and some follow up activities to check new vocabulary.

If you want to learn even more, visit History Channel website http://www.history.com/topics/pilgrims

Conditional sentences exercises

1. Complete these sentences. Use the first conditional.

  1. If I ……………… (go back) to the shop on Saturday, I …………………(take) the printer with me.
  2. I ………………………(not go) to the party if you …………………..(not come)
  3. If everyone…………………. (help) we ………………….(finish) more quickly.
  4. If the phone ………………… (ring) I ……………………(not answer) it.
  5. ………………………. (you pay) for the coffee if I ………………..(buy) the cakes?
  6. Pete …………………… (come) to the cinema if he ………………..(can) choose the film.
  7. If we ………………. (not hurry) we …………………(miss) the first part of the film.
  8. If we ……………… (tell) them the truth, they …………………..(not believe) us.

2. Complete these sentences with the second conditional.

  1. If the weather ……………… (be) better, we ………………….(go) to the beach, but today it’s very cloudy.
  2. Harry ……………….. (come) if you …………………(ask) him.
  3. If it …………………… (snow) in summer, we …………………(ski) in August.
  4. If I …………………… (have) money, I ……………………(travel) more.
  5. Bella ………………….. (be) happier if she …………………(have) a better job.
  6. The boys ………………… (agree) if you …………………..(ask) them.
  7. I …………………. (not say) that to Ann if I ……………………(be) you.
  8. What …………………… (you do) if you ………………….(find) a lot of money?

3. Complete these sentences with the third conditional.

  1. If you ……………………. (not watch) that horror film, you ……………….(not be) so scared!.
  2. I ……………………….. (tell) you about the party if you …………………..(ask) me.
  3. The club …………………… (be) more popular if it …………………(be) in the city centre.
  4. If you …………………… (come) with us, you …………………..(have) a good time.
  5. You …………………… (meet) her if you …………………(leave) so early.
  6. If they …………………… (show) me the tickets, I ………………….(not believe) that they were going to Mexico.
  7. I ……………………. (go) to see him if I ………………(have) time.
  8. They …………………. (not miss) the last bus if they …………………..(leave) earlier

4. Complete these sentences with the first, second or third conditional form.

  1. You ………………………. (get) a pneumonia if you ………………….(not change) your wet clothes.
  2. She was sent to prison because she refused to play the fine; if she ………………….. (pay) the fine she ……………………(not be) sent to prison.
  3. If I …………………. (have) lots of money, I …………………(drink) champagne with every meal.
  4. Unless Tom ……………….. (take) his library book back tomorrow he ………………(have) to pay the fine.
  5. If the film …………………. (not be) so boring we ……………….(not leave), but the film was terrible.
  6. They ………………….. (miss) the connection if the flight ………………….(not leave) on time.
  7. If the band ……………………. (give) a concert here, all my friends ……………..(go). But no one has said a word about it yet.
  8. You ……………………. (get) tickets unless you ………………(get) to the stadium early.
  9. You are a bit fat. If I ……………….(be) you I ……………….(exercise) more.
  10. Why didn’t you tell me? If I …………………… (know) you were in hospital I ………………….(visit) you.

Conditionals

Conditional Sentences are also known as Conditional Clauses or If Clauses. They are used to express that the action in the main clause can only take place if a certain condition is fulfilled. Conditional sentences have two clauses – an ‘if clause and a main clause – that are closely related.

There are two kinds of conditional sentences: real and unreal. Real Conditional describes real-life situations. Unreal Conditional describes unreal, imaginary situations. Conditional sentences are often divided into four different types. These four types are normally referred to as the zero, first, second and third conditionals

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Zero conditional

We use the zero conditional to talk about things that are always true.

  • If you heat water, it boils.
  • When the sun goes down, it gets dark.
  • It lights up if you push that button.

The present simple is used in both clauses.

First conditional

We use the first conditional when we talk about real and possible situations.

  • I’ll go shopping on the way home if I have time.
  • If it’s a nice day tomorrow we’ll go to the beach.
  • If Arsenal win they’ll be top of the league.

In first conditional sentences, the structure is usually if + present simple and will + infinitive. It’s not important which clause comes first.

Second conditional

The second conditional is used to talk about ‘unreal’ or impossible things. It is possible but very unlikely, that the condition will be fulfilled.

  • If I won a lot of money I’d buy a big house in the country.
  • Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
  • If you didn’t smoke so much you’d feel a lot better.

The structure is usually if + past simple and would + infinitive. It’s not important which clause comes first.

Third conditional

Third conditional sentences describe the past. They describe something that didn’t happen.  It is impossible that the condition will be fulfilled because it refers to the past.

The main uses of the third conditional are for speculating about the past, expressing regrets, excusing our own actions and criticising others.

In third conditional sentences, the structure is usually if + past perfect and would + perfect infinitive (e.g. have done). It’s not important which clause comes first.

  • If I’d studied harder at school I would have gone to university.

He didn’t study very hard and he didn’t go to university.

  • We wouldn’t have got lost if you hadn’t given me the wrong directions.

She wasn’t given the correct directions and she didn’t find her way.

  • She might have finished the exam if she’d had more time.

She didn’t finish the exam and she didn’t have more time.