Indirect speech. Exercises (Косвенная речь. Упражнения)



Exercise 1 Indirect speech: statements

Note applying to all indirect speech exercises

When the speaker says you, and the person spoken to is not identified, it is good practice for the student to assume that the remark was made to himself, you will then become I/me or we/us. (Answers in the key will be given in first person forms.)

You can phone from the office,’ he said.

He said I could phone from his office.

This must not, of course, be done when the person spoken to is identified:

You can phone from my office, Ann,’ he said.

He told Ann that she could phone from his office.

Note that when you stands for one, it is reported unchanged:

You can’t bathe in the rivers,’ he said, ‘they’re full of piranhas.’

He said that you couldn’t bathe in the rivers as they were full of piranhas.

Put the following statements into indirect speech.

1 I’m going out now, but I’ll be in by nine,’ he said. (Omit now.)

2 I’m working in a restaurant, and don’t much care for it,’ she said.

3 I can’t live on my basic salary,’ said Peter. ‘I’ll have to offer to do overtime.’

4 My young brother wants to be a tax inspector,’ said Mary. ‘I can’t think why. None of my family has ever been a tax inspector.’

5 We’re waiting for the school bus,’ said the children. ‘It’s late again.’

6 I’ve made a terrible mistake!’ said Peter.

You’re always making terrible mistakes,’ I said. ‘You should be used to it by now.’

7 We make £450 a week,’ said one of the men, ‘and send most of it home to our wives.’

8 It’s lonely being away from our families,’ said another, ‘but we earn three times as much in this factory as we would in our own country.’

9 We’ve been here for two and a half years,’ said the man who had spoken first, ‘and we’re going to stay another six months.’

10 ‘I’ve got a job on an oil-rig,’ said Paul.

That’ll be very hard work,’ I said.

I know it’ll be hard,’ he replied, ‘but I don’t mind hard work, and it’ll be a good experience.’

11 The ice will soon be hard enough to skate on,’ said Тоm.

I’ll look for my skates when I get home,’ Ann said.

12 I’m living with my parents at present,’ she said, ‘but I hope to have a flat of my own soon.’

13 I’m leaving tomorrow,’ she said, ‘by the 4.30 from Victoria.’

We’ll come and see you off,’ we said.

14 I’ve just bought a car,’ said Peter, ‘but it’s not insured yet so I can’t take you for a drive.’

15 I’d like to speak to Susan,’ said Mary, ‘but I’m bathing the babies and they will drown if I leave them alone in the bath while I go to the phone.’

16 Mary has just received a postcard from Ann, beginning, ‘I’m coming up to London next week. I hope you and Jack will meet me for lunch one day.’ (Imagine that Mary is reading this card to Jack. Begin: Ann says . . .)

17 Nothing ever happens in the village,’ she said. ‘It’s like a dead village. All the young people have drifted away to the towns.’

18 I’ve missed my train,’ said Bill. ‘Now I’ll be late for work and my boss will be furious.’

19 We’ll wait for you if you’re late,’ they said.

20 They are supposed to be landing at London airport,’ I said. ‘But if the fog gets any thicker the plane may be diverted.’

21 If you lend me the chainsaw,’ said Mary, ‘I’ll bring it back the day after tomorrow.’

22 I hate getting up on dark mornings,’ grumbled Peter.

It is horrible,’ agreed his wife, ‘but the mornings will be lighter soon and then it won’t be quite so bad.’

23 The sales are starting tomorrow,’ said the typist. ‘As soon as we finish work the whole typing pool is going to make a dash for the shops.’

I hope you’ll all get what you want,’ I said.

24 I wish I had something to eat,’ said Peter.

You’ve only just had lunch,’ said his sister. ‘I don’t know how you can be hungry again so soon.’

25 If you’re short of money I can lend you £50,’ said my aunt, ‘and you can take your time about paying it back.’

26 I usually take my dog out for a walk when I come home from work,’ he said.

27 I have a message for your brother,’ I said.

He isn’t at home,’ said Ann. ‘He left two days ago.’

28 I bought this bag in Milan,’ I said.

You shouldn’t have bought that colour,’ said Peter. ‘It doesn’t go with your coat.’

29 I must hurry. My father is always furious if any of us are late for meals,’ she said.

30 If you want to smoke you’ll have to go upstairs,’ said the bus conductor.

31 I’m building myself a house,’ said Charles. ‘I won’t show it to you just yet but when the roof is on you can come and see it.’

32 The lake will probably freeze tonight,’ said Peter. ‘It’s much cold than last night.’I’ll go out and look early in the morning,’ said Mary, ‘and if it’s frozen I’ll make some holes in the ice so that the ducks can feed.’

33 Even if the strikers go back to work tomorrow it will be some time before things return to normal,’ said the official.

34 Someone is trying to murder me!’ said Mrs Jones. ‘I keep getting

threatening letters.’

35 I’m taking my children to the zoo tomorrow,’ she said, ‘to see the baby polar bear.’

36 All,I can hear,’ says Ann, ‘is a high-pitched buzz. I wonder if it’s some sort of signal.’


         Exercise 2 Indirect speech: statements

had better

You’d better’ can also be reported unchanged (though the pronoun may change) but can also be reported by advise:

He said, ‘You’d better tell Tom.’

He said I’d better tell Tom or He advised me to tell Tom.

I/we had better’ will normally be reported unchanged (though the pronoun may change):

He said, ‘I’d better wait.’

He said he’d better wait.

I should ... (if I were you)’ is best reported by advise:

I said, ‘Shall I write to Ann?’ ‘I should phone her (if I were you),’ said Peter.

I asked if I should write to Ann and Peter advised me to phone her.

Put the following into indirect speech.

1 There’s been an accident, and the road is blocked,’ said the policeman. ‘It won’t be clear for some time. You’d better go round the other way.’

2 Let’s light a fire and cook our sausages over it,’ said the children.

3 I was thinking of going by bus,’ said Paul.

I shouldn’t go by bus (if I were you),’ said his aunt. ‘It’s an awfully bad service.’

4 You’d better take sleeping bags; you may have to sleep out,’ he warned us.

5 I’ve left some books on your table,’ said Peter. ‘I think you’ll find

them useful. You can keep them as long as you need them but I’d like them back when you’ve finished with them.’

Thank you very much,’ I said. ‘I’ll take great care of them.’

6 If children can learn a complicated language like Japanese by the time they are five,’ said the Japanese professor, ‘they should be able to learn the language of music. At the moment I’m teaching a class of forty three-year-olds to play the violin,’ he added.

7 The puppy can sleep on our bed,’ said Tom.

I’d rather he slept in a basket,’ said his wife. ‘That puppy will soon be a very big dog and then there won’t be room for all three of us.’

8 I’ll try by myself first,’ said Ann, ‘and if I find that I can’t manage I’ll ask Tom to help me.’

9 Let’s camp by this stream,’ said Mary. 'If we go on, it may be dark before we find another good place.’

10 I wish we’d brought our guitars,’ said the students. ‘Then we could have offered to play in the restaurant and perhaps they’d have given us a free meal.’

11 I booked a double room on the first floor,’ said Mr Jones.

I’m afraid we didn’t get your letter,’ said the receptionist, ‘and all the first and second floor rooms have been taken. But we could give you two single rooms on the third floor.’

That wouldn’t do me at all,’ said Mr Jones.

12 I’ve had gypsies on my land for two years,’ said the farmer, ‘and they’ve given nobody any trouble; but now the Council have asked me to tell them to move on. I don’t see why they should be asked to move and I’m writing to my MP about it.’

13 This letter is full of mistakes!’ snorted Mr Jones.

I did it in rather a hurry,’ admitted the typist. ‘I suppose I’d better type it again.’

14 If you’d like to go on any of these tours,’ said the receptionist, ‘the hotel will arrange it.’

We’d like to go on them all,’ said the American couple.

15 We’ll try to find your passport,’ said the policeman, ‘but it’ll be very difficult because a lot of suspicious characters sleep on the beach in summer and any one of them might have robbed you.’

16 Let’s go to the races!’ said Ann. ‘We might make our fortunes. I’ve been given a very good tip for the 2.30.’

I’ve had “good tips” from you before,’ said Paul. ‘And they were disastrous.’

17 I don’t know why you waste so much time polishing the car,’ said Mr Jones.

The neighbours all polish their cars,’ said Mrs Jones, ‘and I don’t want our Mini to look like a poor relation. If you were any good you’d help me instead of standing there criticizing,’ she added.

18 I’m sorry for not having a tie on,’ said Peter. ‘I didn’t know it was going to be a formal party.’

19 I’d have enjoyed the journey more if the man next to me hadn’t snored all the time,’ said Paul.

20 I was thinking of going alone,’I said.

You’d better take someone with you,’ said the old man. ‘It’s safer with two. One can keep watch while the other sleeps.’

21 (Paul is speaking to Mary on the phone, and Mary is repeating his jg words to Ann, who is standing beside her.) a Paul: The plans have been changed. We’re going tomorrow now, not on the next day. I want you to meet me at Victoria tonight.

Mary: Paul says . . .

22 If I want a hot bath I have to put ten pence in the meter,’ said Tom ‘and even then it’s not very hot.’

That’s ridiculous,’ I said; ‘It’s high time you left that place.’

23 I know the umbrella belongs to you, but I thought it would be all right if I borrowed it,’ said my nephew, ‘because you aren’t going out tomorrow and I am.’

24 Let’s put your tape-recorder under the table,’ said Tom, ‘and make a recording of their conversation. It would be very useful to know what they are planning.’

But my recorder makes a distinct hum,’ I said. ‘They’d be sure to hear it and look under the table; and then they’d find the recorder and ask all sorts of embarrassing questions.’

25 Whenever my father was unhappy,’ said the girl, ‘he would go out and buy something, usually something large and useless. That’s why our rooms are full of things we can’t use.’

I’m sorry for your father,’ said Tom, looking round. ‘He must have been a very unhappy man.’

26 You can leave your motorcycle in my garage if you like,’ he said. ‘I’ll keep an eye on it while you’re away.’

27 If you want a job you should read advertisements and write letters and ring people up,’ he said to Ann. ‘It’s no use sitting at home, expecting employers to form a queue outside your door.’

28 This used to be a lovely quiet street,’ he said, ‘but now it is impossible. When summer comes you’ll have to keep the windows shut all the time because of the noise.’

29 You must leave a note for your mother,’ said Peter, ‘otherwise she’ll be terribly worried when you’re not in at your usual time.’

30 A letter marked “Urgent” has just arrived for Albert,’ said Mary, ‘and he’s on holiday. I wonder if I should ring him up and tell him about it or wait till he comes back.’






Exercise 1 (In the exercises on reported speech we often use nouns as subjects: e.g. the policeman, the children, Paul etc. In the answers, to save space, we have often used pronouns.)

1 he said he was going out but he’d be in 2 she said she was working ... and didn’t much care 3 Peter said he couldn’t live on his basic salary and he’d have to 4 Mary said her young brother wanted to be . .. she couldn’t think why because none of her family had ever been 5 they said they were waiting .. . and it was late 6 he said he had made ... I said he was always making . . . and should be used to it 7 he said they made . . . and sent... to their wives 8 he said it was lonely being away from their .. . but they earned ... in that/the factory as they would in their own 9 he said they had been there . . . and were going to stay 10 he said he’d got... I said that would be ... he replied he knew it would be hard but he didn’t mind . . . and it would be 11 he said the ice would soon be . .. she said she would look for her skates when she got 12 she said she was living with her parents at the moment but she hoped to have a flat of her own soon 13 she said she was leaving the following day ... we said we’d come and see her off 14 he said he’d just bought. . . but it wasn’t insured yet so he couldn’t take me 15 she said she would like to speak . .. but she was bathing . .. and they would drown if she left... she went 16 Ann says she is coming . . . next week. She hopes we will meet her 17 She said nothing ever happened ... it was like . . . people had drifted 18 he said he had missed his train; he’d be late . . . and his boss would be 19 they said they would wait for me if I was late/for us if we were late 20 I said they were supposed . . . but if the fog got. .. the plane might be 21 she said if I lent her .. . she’d bring ... in two days’ time 22 he grumbled he hated getting up on dark mornings; his wife agreed it was horrible but said the mornings would be lighter soon and then it wouldn’t be 23 she said the sales were starting the following day and as soon as they finished work the whole . . . pool was going ... I (said I) hoped they would all get what they wanted 24 he (said he) wished he had something .. . said he had only just had lunch and she didn’t know how he could be 25 my aunt said if I was short. . . she could lend me ... and I could take my time 26 he said he usually took his dog ... when he came 27 I said I had ... for her brother. Ann said he wasn’t at home; he had left two days before 28 I said I had bought the bag ... he said I shouldn’t have bought... it didn’t go with my coat 29 she said she must hurry as her father was always ... if any of them were 30 he said if I wanted to smoke I would have to 31 he said he was building himself . .. he wouldn’t show it to me just yet but when the roof was on I could come 32 he said the lake would probably freeze that night; it was much colder than the previous night. Mary said she would go ... and if it was frozen she would make . .. ducks could 33 He said .. . the strikers went back the following day it would be ... things returned 34 She said someone was trying to murder her. She kept getting 35 she said she was taking her children ... the following day 36 she said all she could hear was . . . she wondered if it was

Exercise 2

1 he said there had been .. . road was blocked ... it wouldn’t be clear . . . he advised us to go/he said we’d better go 2 they suggested lighting . . . cooking their sausages 3 he said he was thinking .. . aunt advised him not to go ... as it was a bad 4 he warned us to take ... as we might have to 5 he said he had left some books on my table. He thought I’d find them useful and said I could keep them as long as I needed them but that he’d like . . . when I had finished with them. I thanked him and said I’d take/promised to take 6 he said that if the children could . .. were .. . should be able ... he was teaching 7 he said the puppy could sleep on their bed . .. she said she’d rather he slept. . . would soon be . . . there wouldn’t be . . . all three of them 8 she said she’d try by herself. . . and if she found that she couldn’t... she’d ask Tom to help her 9 Mary suggested camping by the stream as, or pointing out that if they went on, it might be dark before they found 10 they wished they’d brought their ... as then they could have offered .. . and perhaps they (the restaurant) would have given them 11 Jones said he’d booked .. . The receptionist said she (was afraid that they) hadn’t got his letter ... all rooms had been taken ... but they could give him . . . Jones said that wouldn’t do him. 12 he said he’d had gypsies on his land and they’d given ... Council had asked him .... He didn’t see why . .. and was writing to his MP 13 he grumbled that the letter was .... She admitted she had done it. . . and said she supposed she’d better 14 he said if they’d like to go on any of the tours the hotel would arrange it. They said they’d like 15 he said they’d try to find my passport but it would be .. . slept... might have robbed me 16 she suggested going . . . and said they might make their .... She’d been given .... He said he had had . . . from her ... they had been 17 he said he didn’t know why she wasted . .. the neighbours all polished .. . she didn’t want their Mini.... If he were any good . . . he’d help her 18 he apologized for not having a tie on. He said he didn’t know it was going 19 he said he would have enjoyed ... if the man next to him hadn’t snored 20 I said I was thinking ... he advised me to take someone with me. It was safer as one could . . . slept 21 Paul says that the plans have been changed; we’re going tomorrow now not the next day. He wants us to meet him at Victoria tonight 22 He said that if he wanted ... he had to ... it wasn’t hot. I said that was ridiculous and that it was high time he left 23 he said he knew the umbrella belonged to me but he thought it would be all right if he borrowed it because I wasn’t going out the following day and he was 24 he suggested putting my . . . and making ... It would be .. . what they were planning. I said/objected that my recorder made ., . and they’d be sure ... and then they’d find .. . and ask 25 she said whenever her father was unhappy he would go out and buy ... their rooms were full. . . they couldn’t use. Tom said that he was sorry for her father; he must have been 26 he said I could leave my ... in his garage if I liked ... he would keep .. . while I was away 27 he told Ann that if she wanted a job she should read ... it was no use ... outside her door 28 he said it used to be . . . but that now it was impossible. When summer came I’d have to 29 he said I must leave a note for my . . . otherwise she’d be . . . when I wasn’t in at my 30 she said . .. had just arrived . .. and he was ... She wondered if she should ring . . . wait till he came


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