GE|Adults|Upper-Int|5. The media


Choose a suitable option and answer the questions

  1. Which English language news channels do you watch? (BBC, CNN, Sky news)
  2. How easy are they to understand?
  3. Do they provide good coverage of the news?
  4. Do you read English newspapers, magazines or websites?
  5. What do you think of them?

  1. What is «news»? Is «good news» really news?
  2. Do you personally feel that keeping up with current events is important?
  3. Do you watch any news channels?
  4. What is the most important national and international story at the moment?
  5. Do you think that the news is necessary? Why or why not?

Read the story. What do you think of Mr Ivanov?


Man Leaves Wife at Petrol Station

A Macedonian man drove six hours across Italy at the start of his holiday before he noticed that he had forgotten something — his wife. Ljubomir Ivanov left her at a petrol station when he stopped to fill up with petrol, and didn’t realize his mistake until he got a call from the police on his mobile phone.

«Are you Ljubomir Ivanov?» they asked.

«Yes, I am,» he said. «What’s the matter?»

«Where are you?»

«I’m in Germany.»

«Well, your wife is waiting for you at a petrol station near Pesaro in central Italy.»

«I was very tired and not thinking,» Ivanov told reporters later. «She usually sits in the back seat so I didn’t notice that she wasn’t there.»

Mr Ivanov immediately drove back to Pesaro to pick up his wife so that they could continue their holiday. «I’ll have to apologize a lot when I see her,» he said.

Man Leaves Wife at Petrol Station

A Macedonian man drove six hours across Italy at the start of his holiday before he noticed that he had forgotten something — his wife. Ljubomir Ivanov left her at a petrol station when he stopped to fill up with petrol, and didn’t realize his mistake until he got a call from the police on his mobile phone.

«Are you Ljubomir Ivanov?» they asked.

«Yes, I am,» he said. «What’s the matter?»

«Where are you?»

«I’m in Germany.»

«Well, your wife is waiting for you at a petrol station near Pesaro in central Italy.»

«I was very tired and not thinking,» Ivanov told reporters later. «She usually sits in the back seat so I didn’t notice that she wasn’t there.»

Mr Ivanov immediately drove back to Pesaro to pick up his wife so that they could continue their holiday. «I’ll have to apologize a lot when I see her,» he said.

Re-read the conversation between the policeman and Ivanov. Then complete the sentences in reported speech.

Check what you know. Revise the rules

Reported Speech


My friend told me he had always wanted to ride a horse. He asked me if I knew any places where he could do that.



My friends asked me if I was busy on Saturday. They said they were planning to have a party. They told me they had wanted to invite me if I wasn’t too busy. I told them I had to do some chores in the morning, but the rest of my day was free. I asked them what time the party was going to be, and they said they would call me when they decided on the time.



Reported speech

Direct speech Reported speech Example
Present Simple Past Simple «I want coffee,» said Alice. ➝ Alice said she wanted coffee.
Present Continuous Past Continuous «We are working«, they said. ➝ They said they were working.
Present Perfect Simple Past Perfect Simple «I‘ve bought a present for Peter», said Amy. ➝ Amy said she had bought a present for Peter.
Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous «I‘ve been cleaning all day», said Mrs Smith. ➝ Mrs Smith said she had been cleaning all day.
Past Simple Past Perfect Simple «I called you yesterday», Tom said. ➝ Toms said he had called me the day before.
Past Continuous Past Perfect Continuous «I was sleeping while my sister was working«, said Anna. ➝ Anna said she had been sleeping while her sister had been working.
Past Perfect Simple Past Perfect Simple (no change) «I had never seen a zebra before my trip to Africa», Max told us. ➝ Max told us he had never seen a zebra before his trip to Africa.
Past Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous (no change) «I had been travelling for 14 hours when I finally arrived at the hotel», my brother told me. ➝ My brother told me he had been travelling for 14 hours before he had finally arrived at the hotel.
Be going to Was / were going to «I‘m going to bake a pie», my mother said. ➝ My mother said she was going to bake a pie.
Will Would «I will take an IT course», Alice told Max. ➝ Alice told Max that she would take an IT course.
Can Could «We can meet on Friday», my friends told me. ➝ My friends told me we could meet on Friday.
Must/Have to Had to «You must/have to revise for the exam», Alice said. ➝ Alice told me I had to revise for the exam.
Imperative Infinitive «Clean your room! Don’t eat the cake!» my mother told me. ➝ My mother told me to clean my room and not to eat the cake.

! We do not need to make any changes to the verb tense if we are reporting a scientific fact or something that is still true or relevant.

«Not all birds can fly», our teacher told us. ➝ Our teacher told us that not all birds can fly. (scientific fact)

«I like my job», Alex said. ➝ Alex said that he likes his job. (Information is still relevant)

Time and place word changes

Direct speech Reported speech
Here There
Now / at the moment Then / at the moment
Today That day
Tomorrow The next / following day
Tonight That night
Next week / month / year The following week / month / year
Yesterday The day before/the previous day
Last week / month / year The previous week/month/year / The week/month/year before
Ago Before / previously

! We do not need to make any changes if the information is still relevant.

«I will finish the report today«, Luke said. ➝ Luke said he will finish the report today.

(I’m saying it on the same day, so the information is still relevant.)

Reported questions

Direct speech Reported speech Example
Yes / no questions If / whether + direct word order «Do you know Mike?» asked Alice. ➝ Alice asked if/whether I knew Mike.
Open questions Question word + direct word order «Where is the salt?» my mother asked. ➝ My mother asked where the salt was.


➢ We use Reported Speech to say what someone else said.

Jason said he wanted to try some new things.

We told him he could come with us.

➢ We use Reported Questions to say what someone else asked.

My brother asked me if he could borrow my computer for a bit.

I asked my teacher when the next lesson was going to be.

Say or Tell?

Tell requires an object, say doesn’t.

He said he liked pizza. = He told us he liked pizza.

! We can use say + to to add an object.

He said to us that he liked pizza.

Common mistakes

My friend said me she was ill.

I asked when did the concert start?

✔️ My friend told mesaid to me she was ill.

✔️ I asked when the concert started.

Transformation: Direct Speech → Indirect Speech

Time Direct speech Indirect speech
now then / at that time
today that day
tonight That night
yesterday the day before
The day before yesterday 2 days before
last week the week before
tomorrow The next day = the following day
The day after tomorrow In two days’ time
in a week a week later
Next year The following year
yet by that time
Place here there
this that
these those

Read four more news stories. Three of them are true but one has been invented. Which do you think is the invented one?

  • to sue [s(j)uː] — take somebody to court, usually to get money from them
  • a shed — a small building in a garden where people keep e.g. tools
  • bound to — certain to, very likely to
  • to shoot — kick a ball towards the goal
  • a siren [‘saɪərən] — the noise made by a police car, fire engine, etc


Listen to the audio and do the exercise.

No, you can’t have your ball back!

A football team have threatened to sue a neighbour because he refused to give back their balls.

Appledore FC have kicked 18 balls over Paul Vose’s garden wall, and they are now all locked inside his shed. Gary Ford, the coach of the team, says: «His garden is eight metres from the back of the goal. Some balls are bound to go over the wall.» But Vose says, «They should learn to shoot better.»

Locked out of her life

When Andy Barker from Huddersfield forgot his wife’s birthday for the third year running she decided she had had enough and locked him out of the house. Sue Barker had reminded her husband several times to book a table for a romantic meal, and she was hoping for a nice present too. Andy promised not to forget, but when the day came, it went right out of his mind. He was working late and when he got home the door was locked and a suitcase with his things in it was on the doorstep. Since then Andy has been living in a tent in the garden. He says, «I’m hoping that if I stay here for a few days, she will forgive me.»

Back to school for red-faced council

Local council officials have apologized for misspelling the word «grammar» on a new road sign outside a school in Stockton in north-east England. Council workers had to come back to take down the sign, which should have said «Grammar School Road.» Children at the school (aged between four and eleven) immediately noticed that the sign said «Grammer School» and told their teacher. A spokesman for Stockton council blamed the manufacturers for making the mistake. «Our order for the sign was correct, but the manufacturers got it wrong. They have offered to make us a new sign free of charge.» Teacher, Mrs Taylor said: «If they want someone to check the spelling, I’m sure the children can help!»

Builder mistaken for jumper

A German builder is expecting a big bill after emergency services mistook him for a potential suicide jumper. When police saw the man on the roof of a five-floor building, they closed off a busy main road and called the fire brigade. They then asked negotiators to talk to Dieter Holmblutter. The negotiators tried to convince him not to jump by shouting to him.

But the builder was so busy talking on the phone to his girlfriend that he didn’t realize what was happening below, until she asked him what the sirens were for. A police spokesman said that Dieter would be given a bill for wasting police time.

Read the stories again and match the sentence halves. Then name the reporting verbs in the sentences and comment on their meaning


Read the rules

Reporting Verbs


Mary claimed that a butterfly had sat on her hand. Her mother suggested taking a photo of the moment.



Christine promised to wash the dishes. Her mother ordered her brother Max to help her. Max refused to do that and explained that he was too busy. After a short argument, he agreed to help Christine after all.

We couldn’t understand the rule, so the teacher suggested doing some practice. He explained the difficult moments to us and encouraged us to make our own sentences.


Different reporting verbs take different grammatical patterns. Some verbs can take more than one pattern.









We can use Reporting Verbs to better convey the general idea of the message without repeating the exact words.

«I’m sorry for doubting you,» Anna said. ➝ Anna apologised for doubting me.

«You should see a doctor,» Luke said to Jeremy. ➝ Luke advised Jeremy to see a doctor.

Common mistakes

We encouraged Harry starting his own company.

✔️ We encouraged Harry to start his own company.

Complete with the gerund or infinitive of the verb in boxes


Complete using a reporting verb from the list and the verb

deny, invite, offer, remind, refuse, suggest, threaten


Read the information. Correct the sentences

news noun [u].

  1. new information about anything, information previously unknown
  2. reports of recent happenings, especially those broadcast, printed in the newspaper, etc.
  3. the news a regular television or radio broadcast of the latest news

Match the words and definitions


  • an editor [‘edɪtə]
  • a presenter [prɪ’zentə]
  • a paparazzo [ˌpæp(ə)’rætsəu] (singular)
  • paparazzi [ˌpæp(ə)’rætsɪ] (pl)

Write the correct words under the pictures

weather forecast / front page / small ads / advertisement / cressword / cartoon / horoscope / review

Match the sentences. Then look at the way the bold adjectives are used in context and guess their meaning


  • accurate [‘ækjərət]
  • biased [‘baɪəst]
  • censored [‘sen(t)səd]
  • objective [əb’ʤektɪv]
  • sensational [sen’seɪʃ(ə)n(ə)l]

Match the highlighted «headline phrases» with their meaning


Discuss the following questions

Re-write the sentences in reported speech


pic4_GE|Beg|Intro short

Report the direct speech using the reporting verb in the boxes


Complete the sentences with the jobs in the media

Read the article and complete it with the missing headings


Find the words or phrases in the text to match definitions 1-9


Listen to an extract from a programme about a famous mistake on TV. Answer the questions

Presenter | Simon | Weatherman
Presenter:Hello and welcome to the show.On today’s programme we’re looking at famous media mistakes. Journalist Simon Bennett is here in the studio with me and he’s going to tell us about a rather memorable weather forecast. Good morning, Simon.
Simon:Hello, Silvia.
Presenter:Simon, tell us what happened.
Simon:Well, this happened back in October 1987.The presenter of that particular weather broadcast was Michael Fish — a familiar face in most British households as he’d been presenting the weather for over thirty years. During the programme,Michael referred to a phone call a woman had made to the BBC. Apparently, the woman had asked if there was going to be a hurricane. Michael laughed and said, «If the lady is watching, don’t worry, there isn’t going to be a hurricane.» And nobody thought anything more about it until later on that night.
Presenter:That’s right, there was a terrible storm, wasn’t there?
Simon:Yes, there was.That night, a huge storm hit the south of England. To be absolutely accurate, it wasn’t actually a hurricane, because hurricanes have to form in tropical areas to be called by that name. But there certainly was a terrible storm that night with winds of up to 190 kilometres per hour. These wind speeds are typical of hurricanes, which is why there is some confusion about what to call the storm.
Presenter:So, what kind of damage did it cause?
Simon:The storm killed 18 people and many more were injured — mainly by falling trees. And it caused billions of pounds worth of damage. Millions of homes were left without power, because trees had fallen on power lines. Transport in the south of the country was severely disrupted because fallen trees had blocked the roads and railways. In total, about 15 million trees fell down that night and the scene the next morning was complete chaos. It was the worst storm to hit the UK in living memory.
Presenter:What happened to Michael Fish after that?
Simon:A lot of people blamed him for all the damage because he hadn’t warned them about the storm. Worse still, he had said that there wasn’t going to be a storm at all. Since then, he has tried several times to make excuses for his words, but deep down, nobody believes him. Michael Fish has gone down in history as the forecaster who failed to predict a hurricane. In fact, twenty-five years after the event,he appeared in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games giving a repeat performance of his famous broadcast.
Presenter:You can see a video of the original broadcast on YouTube as well, can’t you, Simon?
Simon:Yes, that’s right.
Presenter:And now it’s time for our weather broadcast — let’s hope we don’t make the same mistake as Michael Fish! Simon Bennett, thank you so much for joining us.
Simon:My pleasure.
Weatherman:Thanks, Anita. So a pretty bright start for most of us this morning,
Presenter:temperatures already around the 20 degree mark…

Try to remember the words



Сomplete the words, using the letters


Match the phrases to complete collocations

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Mr Ivanov
  • Reported speech
  • More stories
  • Reporting verbs
  • Exercises 1
  • Exercises 2
  • The media
  • Sections of a media
  • Adjectives and Headlines
  • The media and you
  • Reported speech
  • Reporting verbs
  • Media
  • The best job
  • TV mistake
  • Words
  • Expand your vocabulary