Indirect speech. Exercises 3 (Упражнения на косвенную речь)


          Exercises 6 Indirect speech: commands, requests, advice, suggestions 


Read notes to previous exercises.

Put the following into indirect speech, using either constructions recommended in Exercise 5, or (for commands): say (that) + subject + be/should + infinitive or (for suggestions): suggest + gerund or that + subject + should.

1 Would you please fill in this form and then join the queue by the door?’ said the clerk.

2 Could you read the last sentence again, please?’ said the examiner.

3 Could I have a new cheque book, please?’ said the girl.

Could you show me your old cheque book?’ said the bank clerk.

4 Postcard: Be ready to move off at very short notice. Tom.

Ann (reading it to Mary): Tom says that we . . .

5 Please, please don’t tell my mother,’ begged the boy.

6 Don’t fire except in self-defence,’ said the police sergeant.

7 Why don’t you take the rest of the day off?’ said my assistant.

8 Will you help me to move the piano, please?’ said my aunt.

9 Don’t drive too close to the car in front,’ said the driving instructor.

10 Don’t smoke near the petrol pump,’ said the mechanic.

11 When you’ve chosen a book, bring it to me and I’ll stamp it,’ said the librarian.

12 Show the boarding card to the man at the foot of the gangway,’ said the clerk.

13 Reduce speed now,’ said a huge notice. (Omit now.)

14 Could I see your ticket, please?’ said the inspector.

15 Keep an eye on your luggage,’ he said. ‘This place is full of thieves.’

16 When you have read this, pass it on to the next person on the list,’ he said.

17 Why not light a fire on the bank and cook the fish at once?’ suggested the fisherman.

18 Whenever you see the number “7” on the screen, press this button,’ he said.

19 Sit down and tell me what is worrying you,’ he said to her.

20 Walk along the line of men,’ said the police sergeant ‘and if you recognize your attacker, just nod. Don’t say anything.’

21 Even if you feel hungry don’t eat anything between meals,’ said the dietician.

22 Could you ring up the taxi rank and order a taxi for me?’ said Tom. ‘Why don’t you go by tube?’ said Ann. ‘It’s much quicker.’

23 Let’s buy some yeast and make our own bread,’ said Mary.

The bread we’re getting now is absolutely tasteless.’

24 If you have to use the river water,’ said the guide, ‘boil it first. Don’t drink it unboiled.’

25 Let’s not tell anyone,’ said Tom, ‘till we are quite certain that the report is true.’

26 Tom (on phone to Ann): I’ve got the tickets. Meet me at the air terminal at 6.30.

(Imagine that you are Ann. Report this message to Mary, who is standing beside you. Begin: Tom says . . .)

27 Let’s show that we are united,’ urged the shop steward, ‘by voting unanimously to continue the strike.’

28 Will customers please count their change,’ said a notice above the cashier’s desk, ‘as mistakes cannot be rectified afterwards.’

29 Don’t clap yet,’ warned my friend. ‘She hasn’t finished. Singers loathe people who clap too soon,’ he added.

30 Don’t forget to put your name at the top of the page,’ he said.


          Exercises 7 Indirect speech: mixed types

Read the notes to previous indirect speech exercises.

Note that want or would like is often useful when the speaker reports a request made to himself or made through him to someone else:

Tom (on the phone to Ann): Could you book me a room in a hotel for tonight?

Ann (telling Mary about this): Tom wants me to book him a room for tonight.

(Tom said that I am to book would also be possible but more authoritative.)


Mrs Jones (on the phone to Mary): Could you ask Mrs Smith to ring me back?

Mary (telling Mrs Smith about it): Mrs Jones rang. She wants/would like you to ring her back.

(She says that you are to ring would be possible but very authoritative.)

1 Letter (from Paul to Ann): Please get me a small tent and camping equipment for two people.

Ann (telling Mary about this): Paul wants . . .

2 Mr White (on phone to Mr Black’s secretary): Ask Mr Black to meet me at six in the bar on the ground floor.

Secretary (reporting this to Mr Black): Mr White would like . . .

3 Shall I go and get a candle?’ said Ann when the light went out suddenly.

I’d rather you got another bulb,’ said Mr Jones.

‘But there aren’t any,’ said Ann, ‘and the shops are shut.’

4 Don’t worry about a few mistakes,’ said Peter. ‘I make mistakes a the time.’

Do you learn from your mistakes?’ I asked. ‘Or do you keep makin the same ones?’

5 I’m looking for a man called Albert, who drinks in this bar,’ I said.

I should keep away from Albert if I were you,’ said the barman. ‘H doesn't like strangers and might turn nasty.’

6 Could I have a look at your paper for a moment?’ said the man.

I just want to see the football results.’

I haven’t quite finished with it,’ I said. ‘Could you wait a moment?’

I can’t wait long,’ he said. ‘I’m getting off at the next stop.’

7 You woke everyone up last night,’ said my mother. ‘You must try to be quieter tonight.’

We will,’ I promised.

8 The soup’s cold again,’ complained Mr Jones. ‘Why do I never have hot soup?’

Because the kitchen’s so far from the dining room,’ explained his wife. ‘If you insist on living in a castle you must put up with its disadvantages.’

What about getting an ex-Olympic runner as an au pair girl?’ said Mr Jones.

She wouldn’t stay,’ sighed his wife.

9 Your licence is out of date,’ said the policeman.

It is,’ I admitted, ‘but I’ve applied for a new one.’

Next time,’ he said severely, ‘apply for a new one before your current one has expired.’

10 I’ll have the money for you next week. Shall I post it to you?’ I said. ‘Could you keep it in your safe till I can come and collect it?’ said , Tom. ‘A lot of my mail has been going astray lately and I’d hate to lose one of your large cheques.’

11 Could I borrow your map again?’ said Peter.

You’re always borrowing it. Why don’t you get one of your own?’ I said.

12 When you hear the fire bell,’ he said, ‘shut the windows and go downstairs.’

And what shall we do if the stairs are blazing?’ I asked.

13 Can you hear that noise?’ Ann said. ‘What do you think it is?’

I think it’s only rats running up and down inside the wall,’ I said.

I think it’s someone trying to get in,’ she said. ‘You’d better go and see.’

14 It’s your turn to baby-sit tonight,’ they told Ann.

It can’t be!’ said Ann indignantly. ‘I baby-sat last night! And the night before! And I’m only supposed to do two nights a week!’

Could you possibly do it just this once?’ they said. ‘And we promise not to ask you to do any next week.’

15 This is the best restaurant in town,’ said the taxi driver. ‘The only problem is that they expect guests to wear ties.’

Then why have you brought us here?’ said the tourists indignantly. ‘Don’t get excited,’ said the taxi-driver, opening a box. ‘I keep ties specially for gentlemen in your predicament. What colour would you like? They’re all the same price.’

16 Shall I start tomorrow?’ I said.

I’d rather you started today,’ said Tom.

17 Why don’t you go and see the film? It may help you to understand the book,’ I said.

But the film’s quite different from the book,’ Ann pointed out.

18 I saw the two climbers,’ said the helicopter pilot. ‘And one of them sat up and waved to me.’

Which one of them waved?’ I said.

I don’t know,’ he answered. ‘I wasn’t near enough to see them clearly.’

19 What caused the ship to sink?’ I said.

She must have struck the submerged wreck,’ said the coxswain of the lifeboat. ‘But I can’t understand it, because the wreck is very clearly marked with buoys.’

20 My car won’t start!’ exclaimed Mary. ‘The battery’s flat again! Could you possibly give me a push just to start me down the hill?’ ‘Why don’t you sell that car?’ said Bill.

Nobody would buy it,’ said Peter. ‘What about just putting a match to it?’

21 I've been given so many bottles of wine lately that I’ll have to buy another wine rack,’ said Mr Jones.

Why don’t you throw a party and save yourself the expense of a wine rack?’ I suggested.

22 Press button A to start the engine,’ he said.

But last time you told me to press button В!’ I said.

That was on a slightly different type of machine,’ he explained.

23 Don’t brake if you find yourself skidding,’ said Tom. ‘That only makes it worse. Try to steer into the skid.’

I know what I should do,’ I said. ‘But when I start skidding I get so excited that I do the exact opposite.’

Then stop and let me take over,’ said Tom. ‘We’re just coming to an icy bit and I don’t want to die just yet.’

24 I’ve run out of stamps,’ said my father. ‘Have you got any?’

No, but I’ll go out and get you some if you like,’ I said.

Don’t bother,’ he said. ‘I’ve missed the post anyway.’

25 Repairs to cars rented from us must be arranged through our office,’ he said. ‘So if anything goes wrong with the one you’ve hired, please ring the number printed on your card. The office is open from nine to six, Monday to Friday.’

But what shall I do if something goes wrong with it outside office hours?’ I said.

26 Why didn’t you signal to the tanker that she was coming too close?’- I said.

We did signal,’ said the pilot, ‘but she came on in and ran aground.’ ‘What’s going to happen to her?’ I said.

We’re going to try to tow her off at the next high tide,’ he said.

But if we don’t get her off tonight she’ll be here till she breaks up, and there’ll be an oil slick all along the coast.’

27 Why are you spending so long on those accounts?’ I asked.

Because I can’t make them balance,’ he said. ‘I seem to be £13 short; and that means that I’ll have to put in £13 of my own money to make it up.’

Would you like me to go through them and see if I can find a mistake?’ I said.

No,’ he said, ‘but I’d like you to lend me £13.’

28 Why are you looking so depressed, Jack?’ I said.

Because I’ve just asked Ann to marry me and she’s refused,’ he said sadly.

I think she prefers clean-shaven men,’ I said. ‘Why don’t you cut your hair and shave off your beard and try again?’

29 How did you get up that tree?’ Mary asked.

I used a ladder, of course,’ he snapped. ‘But someone went off with it when I was sawing. Go and get another one and don’t just stand there asking silly questions.’

30 Are you ill?’ he said coldly.

No.’ I said.

Did you sleep well last night?’

Yes,’ I said.

Then why are you sitting about when all the others are working? Go out at once and give them a hand.’

31 Will passengers with nothing to declare please go through the green door?’ said a customs official.

You’d better go through the green door, Mary,’ said Peter, ‘but I’ll have to go through the other one. I’ll take a bit longer than you will, so wait for me at the other end.’

32 (Imagine that you have received the following postcard from your brother Tom. Report it at once to the other members of the family. Begin: Tom says . . . )

Don’t worry about me. I wasn’t badly injured and I’m being very well looked after. I’m coming back next Wednesday on the nine o’clock flight from Zurich. Could you please meet the plane?

33 What shall I do with my wet shoes?’ said the boy.

You’d better stuff them with newspaper and put them near the fire,’ said his mother. ‘But don’t put them too near or they’ll go hard.’

34 Let’s drive on to the next village and try the hotel there,’ he said. ‘But what’ll we do if that’s full too?’ I asked.

We’ll just have to sleep in the car,’ he said. ‘It will be too late to try anywhere else.’

35 They have a rather fierce dog,’ said Ann; ‘but he’s a heavy sleeper,

and with any luck he won’t hear you breaking in.’

What’ll I do if he wakes up?’ I said.

If he starts growling, give him some of these biscuits,’ said Ann. ‘How do you know that he likes these particular biscuits?’

All dogs like them,’ Ann assured me. ‘It says so on the packet.’

36 ‘If you even touch one of the pictures,’ warned the attendant, ‘alarm bells will ring all over the gallery and you will be arrested instantly.’ ‘Are you serious?’ I said.

Try it and see,’ he answered with a glint in his eye.



          Exercises 8 Indirect speech: sentences with let

1 He said, ‘Let’s go’ usually becomes:

(a) He suggested going

though possible in certain cases are:

(b) He suggested that they should go

(c) He urged/advised them to go.

He said, ‘Let’s not go’ can be expressed by any of these constructions in the negative; but suggest + negative gerund is slightly less usual than the others and is often replaced by the (b) type of construction or by:

He was against going/against the idea/against it.

He was opposed to the idea/He opposed the idea etc.

2 He said, ‘Let them go,’ can become:

(a) He suggested that they should go/suggested their going

but usually it expresses an obligation and becomes:

(b) He said that they should go/ought to go.

Very occasionally it expresses a command and becomes:

(c) He said that they were to go.

Let him/them’ can also express the speaker’s indifference:

Everyone will laugh at you, ’ I said. ‘Let them!’ he retorted.

He expressed indifference/said he didn’t mind.

3 let is also an ordinary verb meaning allow:

Let me go!’ the boy said to the policeman.

The boy asked the policeman to let him go.

Put the following into indirect speech.

1 Let’s go to the cinema,’ said Ann. ‘Yes, let’s,’ I said.

2 The Prime Minister said, ‘Let us show the nation that we are worthy of their confidence.’ (Use urged.)

3 Let me stay up a little longer tonight, mother,’ begged the child.

4 Let’s eat out tonight,’ said Ann. ‘Too expensive,’ objected Tom. ‘Why don’t we go back to your flat and have scrambled eggs?’

5 The police officer said, ‘Let’s leave the wrecked car here for a bit. may remind other drivers to be more careful.’

6 The neighbours will object!’ said Ann.

Let them,’ said Tom.

7 Let’s go on a diet,’ said Ann.

All right,’ said Mary reluctantly.

8 Tom made this mess. Let him clear it up,’ said his father.

9 It’s Mothering Sunday tomorrow,’ said the boy. ‘Let’s buy Mum some flowers.’

10 Let’s take a tent and camp out,’ said Bill.

Let’s go to a nice hotel and be comfortable,’ said Mary.

11 Let’s give a party,’said Ann.

Let’s not,’ said her husband.

12 I said, ‘Let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s wait till we hear confirmation of this rumour.’

13 The newspapers will say it’s your fault,’ warned his colleagues. ‘Let them say what they like,’ he said.

14 Let the nations forget their differences and work together for peace,’ said the preacher.

15 Let me explain,’ she said. ‘Don’t be in such a hurry.’

16 Let the children play in the garden if they want to,’ she told the gardener. ‘I’m sure they won’t do any harm.’

17 Let’s stay here till the storm has passed,’ I said.

18 It’s the government’s fault. Let them do something about it,’ grumbled my father.









Exercise 6 (See the note to Exercise 1.) 1 the clerk asked me to fill up the form 2 he asked me to read 3 she asked for a new cheque book. He asked her to show him her 4 Tom says that we are to be ready/should be ready 5 he begged me not to tell his mother 6 he ordered/warned us not to fire 7 he advised me to take 8 she asked me to help her 9 he warned me not to drive 10 he wamed/told/advised me not to smoke 11 she said that when I’d chosen a book I was to bring it to her and she would 12 he told me to show 13 a notice warned/ordered us to reduce speed at once 14 he asked to see my ticket 15 he warned me to keep an eye on my luggage as the place was 16 he said that when I’d read it I was to pass it on or he told me to pass it on . .. when I’d read it 17 he suggested lighting . . . and cooking 18 he told me to press the button whenever I saw .. ./he said that whenever I saw ... I was to press 19 he told her to sit down and tell him what was worrying her 20 he told me to walk . . . and just to nod if I recognized my attacker but not to say/and said that if I recognized my attacker I was just to nod but not to say 21 he said that even if I felt hungry I wasn’t to eat/shouldn’t eat.. ./he advised me not to eat... even if I felt 22 he asked Ann to ring and order a taxi for him. She suggested (his) going/advised him to go by tube as it was 23 she suggested buying some yeast and making their own bread as the bread they were getting was 24 he advised them to boil the water (first) if they had to use it, and warned them not to drink it unboiled 25 he suggested not telling anyone/that they shouldn’t tell anyone till they were . .. report was 26 Tom says he’s got the tickets and (that) we’re to meet him 27 he urged the strikers to show that they were ... 28 A notice advised customer to count their ... as mistakes could not 29 he warned me not to clap yet, as she hadn’t finished. He added (that) singers loathed people who clapped 30 he reminded me to put my name

Exercise 7 1 Paul wants me to get him 2 Mr White would like you to meet him 3 Ann offered to get.. . Mr Jones said he’d rather she got. . . Ann said there weren’t any and (that) the shops were 4 he told me not to worry ... as he made ... I asked if he learnt from his . .. or if he kept 5 I said I was looking for .. . who drank in that bar. The barman advised me to keep away from Albert as he didn’t like strangers 6 He asked to have a look at my paper/asked if he could have ... I said I hadn’t... and asked him to wait... He said he couldn’t wait long as he was getting 7 she said we had woken or woke .. . the previous night and that we must try ... that night. I promised we would 8 he complained that the soup was cold . .. and asked why he never had ... She explained it was because the kitchen was ... If he insisted on ... he must/would have to put up . . ..He suggested getting .. . She said (that) she wouldn’t 9 he said my licence was ... I admitted that it was but said I had applied ... He warned me next time to apply ... before my current one had expired 10 I said I’d have the money for him the following . .. and asked if I should post it to him. Tom asked me to keep it in my safe till he could come ... a lot of his mail had been going astray lately and he would hate to lose one of my 11 he asked to borrow my map/asked if he could borrow my map. I said he was always borrowing it and advised him to get/suggested his getting/asked why he didn’t get one of his own 12 he said that when we heard ... we were to shut. . . and go or he told us to shut the windows and go downstairs when we heard ... I asked what we were to do/should do if the stairs were blazing 13 she asked if I could hear the noise and what I thought it was. I (said I) thought it was .. . but she (said she) thought it was ... and advised me to go/said I’d better go 14 they told Ann it was her turn .. . that night. She protested that it couldn’t be as she (had) babysat the previous night and the night before that, and she was only supposed ... They begged her to do it just that once and promised not to ask her to do any the following week 15 he said it was the best... problem was that they expected ... The tourists asked why he had brought them there. He told them not to get excited as he kept ties ... in their predicament, and he asked what colour they would like, adding that the ties were 16 I suggested starting/offered to start/asked if I should start the next day. Tom said he’d rather I started that day 17 I advised her to go and see the film as it might help her . .. Ann pointed out that the film was 18 he said he saw/had seen . . . and one of them (had) sat up and waved to him. I asked which of them (had) waved. He said he didn’t know; he wasn’t/hadn’t been near enough 19 I asked what (had) caused ... He said she must... but he couldn’t understand ... the wreck was 20 she said her car wouldn’t start. The battery was flat. She asked them to give her a push just to start her . .. Bill advised her to sell the car. Peter said nobody would buy it and suggested putting 21 he said he’d been given ... that he’d have to ... I suggested (his) throwing . . . and saving himself... or I advised him to throw . . . and save himself 22 he told me to press ... I said that last time he (had) told me to press ... He said that that had been 23 Tom told me not to brake if I found myself skidding as that only made ... He advised me to try ... I said I knew what I should do but that when I started ... I got... that I did. Tom told me to stop and let him ... as we were just coming . . . and he didn’t want 24 he said he’d run out... and asked if I’d got any. I said I hadn’t but offered to go out and get some/but said I’d go out... if he liked. He told me not to bother as he’d missed 25 he said that repairs to cars rented from them must be arranged through their office. So if anything went wrong with the car I’d hired I was to ring ... on my card. The office was open ... I asked what I should do if something went 26 asked why he hadn’t... He said that they had signalled but that she had come or came on in and had run or ran aground. I asked what was going ... He said they were going ... but that if they didn’t get. . . that night. .. she would be there till she broke up, and there’d be 27 I asked why he was spending ... on the accounts. He said he couldn’t... he seemed to be ... and that meant he’d have to ... of his own money ... I asked if he’d like me to go through them and see if I could ... He said he wouldn’t, but he’d like me to lend him 28 I asked (Jack) why he was looking so ... He said he’d just asked Ann to marry him and she’d refused. I said I thought she preferred ... and advised him to cut his hair and shave off his beard 29 she asked how he (had) got up the tree. He said he (had) used . . ..but that someone went/had gone off ... he was sawing. He told her to go ... and not just stand 30 he asked if I was ill and I said that I wasn’t. He asked if I’d slept well the previous night and I said that I had. Then he asked/wanted to know why I was sitting . . . were working, and told me to go out. . . and give 31 he asked/told passengers . . . to go ... Peter advised Mary to go .. . but said that he’d have to ... He said he’d take ... than she would and asked her to wait for him 32 Tom says that we aren’t to worry about him. He wasn’t badly .. . and is being ... He says he’s coming back next Wednesday . .. and wants us to meet the plane 33 he asked what he was to do with his .. . She advised him to stuff . . . but warned him not to put ... or they’d go hard 34 he suggested driving on ... and trying ... I asked what we would do if that was ... He said we’d just... as it would be 35 she said they had . .. but that he was . . . wouldn’t hear me ... I asked what I was to do/should do if he woke up. Ann told me to give him some of the biscuits if he started growling. I asked how she knew he liked those . . . She assured me that all dogs liked them. It said so 36 he warned me that if I even touched . . . alarm bells would ring .. . and I would be ... I asked if he was ... He told me to try it and see

Exercise 8 1 suggested going ... and I agreed 2 urged his colleagues to show the nation that they were worthy of their 3 begged his mother to let him stay . . . that night 4 suggested eating ... Tom objected that it was/would be . . . and suggested going to her flat. . . and having 5 suggested leaving/that they should leave the wrecked car there ... and said it might remind 6 She said the neighbours would object and Tom said he didn’t care 7 suggested going . . . Mary agreed reluctantly 8 said that Tom had made the mess and that he was to clear 9 said that the next day was . . . and suggested buying their mother 10 suggested taking . .. and camping out. Mary suggested going . . . and being 11 suggested giving a party but her husband was against the idea/opposed the idea 12 advised them not to jump .. . and suggested waiting until they heard ... of the rumour or suggested that they shouldn’t jump .,. but wait 13 warned him that.. . would say it was ... he said they could say what they liked/he expressed complete indifference 14 urged/exhorted the nations to forget. . . and to work 15 begged him to let her explain and asked him not to be 16 told the gardener to let the children play ... if they wanted to adding that she was sure they wouldn’t do 17 suggested staying there/that we should stay there till the storm had passed 18 grumbled that it was .. . and said that they should do

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