Fare thee well, everyone!
Hello everyone! Adriana thanks so much for the lovely picture of the dancing Shiva – there is an interesting story behind this famous statue pose, but I’ll leave it to Satya to explain it to you, if she wants to! Thank you also for the great slide show on You Tube – it was fabulous! I could remember all the posts and what you’d written about when I saw each of the photos. The one of you and your football team with the banner is excellent too! Thank you for being such a great blogger and writing such interesting posts and putting so much effort into them. You’ve been a real star – thanks again!
Well, it’s time to say goodbye… but of course not without talking about the answers to the reported speech homework I gave you!
Here’s what I asked you to do:
Tell me three things that Steven said in his interview. Each sentence needs to start with ‘Steven said’. Now, think about this carefully. What we are practicing is what’s called ‘reported speech’. How do the verbs change when you are reporting something someone has said?
Many of you wrote in with some very good answers. Let’s have a look at some of them here:
He said he had worked on 15 films so far, but planned to do many more. Yes, good.
Steven said he saw Bollywood as an exciting and vibrant artform. Yes, although it might be more natural here to not change the verb as he still sees Bollywood as an exciting and vibrant art form, now
Steven said there were many similarities between Bollywood and Hollywood. Yes, but same as above – you can leave the tense the way it was as it is a general truth which is still true now.
Steven said that he has been working on 15 films and that heīs planning to do many more. Almost – here we need to change the verb to ‘had worked’ from ‘have worked’ or keep it in the present perfect ‘has worked’. If you put it in the continuous tense as you have here it sounds like he’s still working on them now. Your other sentences were good!
Amy asked Steven how many films he had been in and which one was the most fun to work on and why. Yes good! And well done for writing the whole interview out!
Ana Paula’s answers:
Steven said his writing was published globally from the US to the UK, and from Australia to the Middle East Almost – he has used a passive form ‘is published’ and it’s referring to something that is still probably happening, so I would change it to ‘has been published’ rather than ‘was published’. Your other sentences were good – well done for changing them after you noticed you’d made some mistakes!
Steven said he had been lucky enough to work alongside most of the big name stars of Indian cinema Yes – good. The verb change is fine. No need for ‘name’ though – you could just write ‘big stars’. Your other sentences were also good.
Steven said that he has worked on 15 films so far, but that he plans to do many more. This is fine – as I said above, you can either write ‘has worked’ here or change it to past perfect ‘had worked’. Your sentences were good too.
Steven said he had met Shah Ruth Khan, but till then had not had the chance to act with him. This is okay but I would change the ‘till then’ part. Probably the best way to write this would be ‘but had not yet had the chance to act with him’
Well done everyone!
So I expect you’re wondering – what are the rules for this crazy tense changing thing called reported speech? Well, they seem to be more relaxed than they were. Technically speaking, grammar books tell you to always move each tense back one step. As Myen said, this means that present simple becomes past simple, present perfect becomes past perfect, etc. etc. BUT as you can see from my comments above, we don’t always change the tense. So when do we?
Well, the easiest way to think of this is to think of the time that the person spoke as a fixed point in time. Anything that happens at the same time or before they spoke should normally have a change in tense. Anything that they’re talking about which is still true or happens after they spoke doesn’t need to change.
He said he is going to move to Mumbai next year. There’s no need to change the tense here because the move is going to take place in the future.
He said he had thought of going to London but had decided not to Here the tense changes in both cases because both the ‘thinking’ and the ‘deciding’ happened before he spoke.
If you like, have a look back through the interview and see if you can figure out where you really need to change the verb and where you don’t have to, remembering what I’ve just said. Unfortunately I won’t be here to answer your questions about this though – so good luck! It’s a bit of a tricky area, don’t worry if you get confused at first. Keep noticing examples that are used in newspaper articles etc. – this will help you to learn how to use reported speech once and for all.
Okay everyone. Thank you for being such marvellous readers again to Adriana, for being such a brilliant blogger. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through all your comments and blogs… thank you for sharing your lives with me over the last two months. Here are some replies to your comments from the last few posts…
Suchitra: hi there, yes I agree. Sometimes people can go a bit overboard in their support for a sports team…
Myen: well done on all the homework! I’m sorry Ed and I (and Louie!) haven’t had a chance to go to the Tribal Museum… There’s something about temples and monasteries that are built on hill-tops which makes them even more special than other ones… maybe it’s the pure air around them?! None of your questions were stupid! Thanks for writing all your comments xxx
Nhung: nice to meet you! Thanks for writing your comment and well done on the homework :-)
Paulraj: yes, you’re writing is easy to understand and clear! You make a few grammar errors but not very many. Keep practicing and reading – that will help to perfect your English. Sorry I didn’t have time to look at the structure of sentences and clauses :-( Perhaps one of the other teacher bloggers will in the future. Thank you for all your thoughtful comments over the last two months. Best wishes!
Silwal: well done on all the homework – especially the interview which you so diligently wrote out in full! Very impressive! I have visited Nepal – in fact, I was there this year in June for two weeks, in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. It was great! We really loved the city and hope to return to Nepal one day to visit other parts of the country. Sorry I didn’t have time to write a post about it!
Elena: hello! Yes, I think all teachers have funny stories to tell about their students… sorry I didn’t have a chance to share some of them with you on the blog. It was lovely what you wrote about farmers and teachers, because my husband Ed is studying organic agriculture at the moment and wants to be a farmer! Thank you!
Ana Paula: hi there – no we don’t use the expression ‘a stone in my shoe’. Instead we’d say something like ‘a pain in the neck (or bum!)’. As always you’ve done very well on the homework. Thanks for writing so many lovely comments over the last two months. I hope you get a chance to read at least one of those books I mentioned, I think you’d like them :-)
Parv: thanks for your comments! I do lots of different asanas in my yoga class, just not any of the ones that involve turning upsidedown or lying on my tummy… we do some breathing practice as well, and meditation at the end which is my favourite bit! :-) Thanks for all your kind words. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to include the gingerbread men recipe. Have a look on the internet though – I’m sure you’ll find one. Best wishes!
Hoda: thanks for your comment! I hope you’ll continue writing in with the new student and teacher.
Vinh Phu: thanks for your comment too! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blogs… all best wishes!
Yvonne: well I think a holiday in the UK would be the perfect opportunity to practice your speaking skills! There’s also quite a nice website called www.splendid-speaking.com that might be useful – have a look! Your English is pretty good already, I suspect that you just need to work on your confidence as well as getting out there and finding people to practice speaking with. All the best!
Naheed: thanks for your comments over the last couple of months. All best wishes!
Hyoshil: thanks for your lovely comments and kind words. I think I’ll be more of a ‘supermum’ once I stop working at the end of November. Sometimes I feel like I don’t see him enough… but thank you! And thanks for explaining why you needed the vegetable and fruit names – I laughed a lot!
Manoj: nice to hear from you again. All best wishes for the future!
Simi: welcome to the blog! Yes, you can use the word ‘deteriorate’ in that way. It’s more formal than ‘become worse’ but it sounds fine the way you have used it. Hope this helps!
Antonio: lots of people don’t know anything about Bhutan… it’s always been a bit of a mystery – in fact, the country was closed to foreigners until about 20 years ago so it’s not surprising! Best wishes.
Rafique: yes it’s fine to use a dictionary, but I’d recommend trying to find the meaning from the context, or words around the new vocabulary, before you look in the dictionary. It’s a good practice to get into so that you become better at understanding new vocabulary without needing a dictionary. I think this website is a great way to practice your English. You could also try and set up a small English conversation group in your town with other people who speak English. You might not have anyone to correct you but at least you will be able to work on your fluency and confidence, which is just as important.
Vinav: I’ve never been to Leh & Ladakh but I’d love to go – it sounds beautiful. Yum, the oatmeal cookies sound good. Best wishes!
Kirsti: yes, I remember some of my friends from Norway used to have gingerbread houses around Christmas time – I always loved them. I actually brought some of the ingredients back with me from England because you can’t get them in India – brown sugar and golden syrup or treacle. I’m being careful to use them sparingly!
Filippo: good, that makes me feel better, that other people find making gnocchi difficult! One day I’ll get it right. Yes I have heard of Vandana Shiva, in fact a friend of mine from England is coming to India soon to do a course with her. I have also enjoyed reading Arundhati Roy’s essays. Thanks for all your comments over the last two months!
Paco: thanks for your comments! I hope you’ll continue to make them with the new student and teacher bloggers – don’t be shy :-) Well done on the homework!
Marianna: glad you like the post about Indian literature, and thanks for your lovely comments! All best wishes xx
Adek: hmmm… I think in that sentence I used ‘had looked forward to’ because in the past I was looking forward to it but at the time of writing I wasn’t, because the situation had changed. Does that make sense? Thanks for all your comments over the last couple of months – best wishes!
Kaleraj: Welcome to the blog! I hope you’ll continue writing comments with the new student and teacher bloggers. Best wishes.
David from Peru: thanks for your lovely goodbye and all your other comments. All best wishes for now and the future.
Farzan: good luck with your IELTS exam! Thanks for all your comments. Take care!
Look after yourselves, everyone! All best wishes to the new student and teacher bloggers, Satya and Rachel. I hope you will enjoy blogging as much as I have.
Lots of love and namaste,
Final vocabulary definitions!
To moonlight: to do something on the side, not as your main job
An extra: a person in a film who usually doesn’t say anything but acts in the background of the scene
To be cast in a film: to be chosen to appear in a film
Vibrant: exciting, colourful, bright
To break into song: to begin singing, suddenly
To remake: to make something again
The highest grossing film: the film that earned the most amount of money
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