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Unit 1      Articles

The use of  articles  in  English  is  complex,  and  there  are  a  lot  of
exceptions that need to be remembered and learned.
Here are the basic rules.


  Use a/an to refer to a singular countable  noun  which  is  indefinite  –
  either we don’t know which one, or it doesn't matter which one.

  They live in a lovely house.
  I'm reading a good book at the moment.
  She’s expecting a baby.

  Use a/an to describe what something or someone is.

  That's an instrument for measuring distance.
  She’s a lawyer.


  Use the before a singular or plural noun, when both the speaker  and  the
  listener know which specific object is being referred to.

  They live in the green house on top of the hill.
  The book I’m reading is all about the emancipation of women.
  Mind the baby! She’s near the fire.
  The sweater I bought is blue.

  Use the before a noun if it is the only one (the Queen,  the  Earth,  the
  Atlantic). Also use  it  with  certain  public  places,  especially  when
  referring to them in a general way:

  I went to the theatre last night.
  I have to go to the bank.

  It should also be used when referring to general groups  of  people  (the
  French, the rich and famous)

  Zero article

  Use no article with plural  and  uncountable  nouns  when  talking  about
  things in general.

  Compare the use of articles in the following sentences.

  Money is the root of all evil. (general)
  Put the money on the table. (specific)
  Love conquers all. (general).
  The love I have for you will last for ever. (specific)
  Gas is cheaper than electricity. (general)
  I forgot to pay the bill, and now the gas has been cut off. (specific)

  Final points

Notice  the  difference  between  the  use  of  articles  in  the  following

My daughter is at school.
The meeting will be held at the school.
I go to church on Sundays.
The firemen went to the church to put out the fire.
He was rushed to hospital immediately.
I’m going to the hospital to visit him.

The use of the emphasises the place simply as a building.  The  use  without
the suggests that the place is being used for  its  proper  function  as  an
institution, i.e. a place of learning, healing etc.

Pubs, hotels, theatres, and cinemas usually have the
the Prince William
the London Hilton
the Albany Empire
the Odeon

Some geographical areas have the.

seas   the Mediterranean
rivers       the Seine; the Mississippi
island groups     the Seychelles
mountain groups   the Alps
deserts      the Sahara

Streets, roads, and squares etc. in towns usually have no article.

Oxford Street
Portobello Road
Hyde Park
Leicester Square
Victoria Station

Other nouns which take no article are:

lakes        Lake Superior, Lake Victoria
countries    Spain, Norway, China
continents   Asia, Europe

The following types of noun take no article when referred to generally:

games        squash, football, chess
academic subjects       medicine, literature, physics
abstract nouns    freedom, understanding
meals        dinner, tea, breakfast

Compare these sentences:

Do you prefer hockey or football?
The football they play in America is different from the kind  they  play  in
Dinner is usually at eight o’clock.
The dinner they served yesterday was the best I remember.


1. Fill each gap (if necessary) with a suitable article.

1. - What’s her job?
   - She’s ___ teacher.
2. Britain is ___ island.
3. Excuse me, can I ask ___ question?
4. What do you usually have for ___ lunch?
5. Is there ___ life on Mars?
6. Can you tell me ___ time, please?
7. ___ air is so fresh today.
8. She has ___ long brown hair.
9. Is she ___ English?
10. Where’s ___ bag? It’s gone!
11. Would you like ___ coffee?
12. She works six days ___ week.

2. In this exercise you have to put in a / an or the.

Example: There was __a__ man and __a__ woman in  the  room.  _The_  man  was
        English but _the_ woman looked foreign. She was  wearing  __a__  fur

1.  This  morning  I  bought  _____  newspaper  and  _____  magazine.  _____
  newspaper is in my bag but I don’t know where _____ magazine is.

2. My parents have _____ cat and _____ dog. _____ dog never bites _____  cat
  but _____ cat often scratches _____ dog.

3. I saw _____ accident this morning. _____ car  crashed  into  _____  wall.
  _____ driver of _____ car was not hurt but  _____  car  was  quite  badly

4. When you turn into Lipson Road, you will  see  three  houses:  _____  red
  one, _____ blue one and  _____ white one. I live in _____ white one.

5. We live in _____ old house in _____  middle  of  the  village.  There  is
  _____ beautiful garden behind _____ house. _____ roof of _____  house  is
  in very bad condition.

3. Read these sentences carefully. Some  are  correct,  but  some  need  the
  (perhaps more than once). Correct the sentences where necessary.

Examples:   Everest was first climbed in 1953.     Right
         Milan is in north of Italy.    Wrong – the north of Italy
1. Last year we visited Canada and United States.
2. Africa is much lager than Europe.
3. South of England is warmer than north.
4. We went to Spain for our holidays and swam in Mediterranean.
5. Tom has visited most countries in western Europe.
6. A friend of mine used to work as a reporter in Middle East.
7. Next year we are going skiing in Swiss Alps.
8. Malta has been a republic since 1974.
9. Nile is longest river in Africa.
10. United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Unit 2       Prepositions

Prepositions of place and directions

Main points

 o You normally use prepositional phrases to say where a person or thing is,
   or the direction they are moving in.
 o You can also use adverbs and adverb phrases for place and direction.
 o Many words are both prepositions and adverbs.

You use prepositions to talk about the place where someone or something  is.
Prepositions are always followed by  a  noun  group,  which  is  called  the
object of the preposition.

|above    |below    |in       |opposite |through  |
|among    |beneath  |inside   |outside  |under    |
|at       |beside   |near     |over     |underneat|
|         |         |         |         |h        |
|behind   |between  |on       |round    |         |

He stood near the door.
Two minutes later we were safely inside the taxi.

Note that some prepositions consist of more than one word.

|in       |in front |next to  |on top of|
|between  |of       |         |         |

There was a man standing in front of me.
The books were piled on top of each other.

You can also use prepositions to talk about the direction  that  someone  or
something is moving in, or the place that someone  or  something  is  moving

|across   |into     |past     |to       |
|along    |onto     |round    |towards  |
|back to  |out of   |through  |up       |
|down     |         |         |         |

They dived into the water.
She turned and rushed out of the room.

Many prepositions can be used both for place and direction.

The bank is just across the High Street. (place)
I walked across the room. (direction)
We live in the house over the road. (place)
I stole his keys and escaped over the wall. (direction)

You can also use adverbs and adverb phrases for place and direction.

|abroad     |here       |underground|everywhere |
|away       |indoors    |upstairs   |nowhere    |
|downstairs |outdoors   |~          |somewhere  |
|downwards  |there      |anywhere   |           |

Sheila was here a moment ago.
Can’t you go upstairs and turn the bedroom light off?

Note that a few noun groups can also be  used  as  adverbials  of  place  or

Steve lives next door at number 23.
I thought we went the other way last time.

Many words can be used as prepositions and as adverbs,  with  no  difference
in meaning. Remember that prepositions have  noun  groups  as  objects,  but
adverbs do not.

Did he fall down the stairs?
Please do sit down.
I looked underneath the bed. but the box had gone!
Always put a sheet of paper underneath.

Prepositions of place – at, in, on

Main points

 o You use ‘at’ to talk about a place as a point.
 o You use ‘in’ to talk about a place as an area.
 o You use ‘on’ to talk about a place as a surface.

You use ‘at’ when you are thinking of a place as a point in space.

She waited at the bus stop for over twenty minutes.
‘Where were you last night?’ – ‘At Mick’s house.’

You also use ‘at’ with words such as ‘back’, ‘bottom’, ‘end’,  ‘front’,  and
‘top’ to talk about the different parts of a place.

Mrs Castle was waiting at the bottom of the stairs.
They escaped by a window at the back of the house.
I saw a taxi at the end of the street.

You use ‘at’ with public places and institutions. Note  that  you  also  say
‘at home’ and ‘at work’.

I have to be at the station by ten o’clock.
We landed at a small airport.
A friend of mine is at Training College.
She wanted to stay at home.

You say ‘at the corner’ or ‘on  the  corner’  when  you  are  talking  about

The car was parked at the corner of the street.
There’s a telephone box on the corner.

You say ‘in the corner’ when you are talking about a room.

She put the chair in the corner of the room.

You use ‘in’ when you are talking about a place as an  area.  You  use  ‘in’

a country or geographical region

When I was in Spain, it was terribly cold.
A thousand homes in the east of Scotland suffered power cuts.

a city, town, or village

I’ve been teaching at a college in London.

a building when you are talking about people or things inside it

They were sitting having dinner in the restaurant.

You also use ‘in’ with containers of any  kind  when  talking  about  things
inside them.

She kept the cards in a little box.

Compare the use of ‘at’ and ‘in’ in these examples.

I had a hard day at the office. (‘at’ emphasises  the  office  as  a  public
place or institution)
I left my coat behind in the  office.  (‘in’  emphasises  the  office  as  a

There’s a good film at the cinema. (‘at’ emphasises the cinema as  a  public
It was very cold in the cinema. (‘in’ emphasises the cinema as a building.)

When talking about addresses, you use ‘at’ when you give the  house  number,
and ‘in’ when you just give the name of the street.

They used to live at 5, Weston Road.
She got a job in Oxford Street.

Note that American English uses ‘on’: ‘He lived on Penn Street.’

You use ‘at’ when you are talking about someone’s house.

I’ll see you at Fred's house.

You use ‘on’ when you are talking about a place as a surface. You  can  also
use ‘on top of’.

I sat down on the sofa.
She put her keys on top of the television.

You also use ‘on’ when you are thinking of a place as a  point  on  a  line,
such as a road, a  railway line. a river, or a coastline.

Scrabster is on the north coast.
Oxford is on the A34 between Birmingham and London.


1. Put the correct preposition into each gap.


When my grandmother was at school, she had to learn everything (a)  ________
heart, and even years later she could recite  countless  poems  (b)  _______
memory. She was discouraged (c) _______ thinking (d)  _______  herself,  and
concentrated simply (e) _______  learning  facts.  The  teachers  were  very
strict (f) _______  pupils  in  those  days.  My  grandfather  confided  (g)
_______ me that he was expelled  (h)  _______  school  (i)  _______  playing
truant just once.
It is always worthwhile for governments to  invest  (j)  _______  education.
Nobody should be deprived  (k)  _______  a  good  education,  and  everybody
should benefit (l) _______ it. Nothing can  compensate  (m)  _______  a  bad
start in life. Pupils (n) _______ public schools still account  (o)  _______
many of the  students  at  Oxford  and  Cambridge  University.  Until  quite
recently these universities seemed to be prejudiced (p) _______ pupils  from
state schools. Many people objected very strongly (q) _______  this  and  at
last things are changing.
I had no intention (r) _______ staying (s) _______  at  university  after  I
had finished my first degree.  I  finally  succumbed  (t)  _______  parental
pressure, but only  (u)  _______  protest,  and  carried  out  research  (v)
_______ the life of Baudelaire.

2. Put the correct preposition into each gap (if necessary).

1. Are you coming to classes _____ Monday?
2. Can’t you hurry up? The train leaves _____ 9 o’clock.
3. There weren’t many people _____ the party.
4. David has been a teacher _____ 10 years.
5. They got married some time _____ .
6. Do you know the names of the letter _____ English?
7. I don’t live far _____ my office. In fact, it’s quite _____ .
8. What time do you usually come _____ home?
9. He lives _____ the country.
10. I think she’s gone _____ holiday _____ the South.
11. I’m going to stay _____ my parents _____ July.
12. It’s so difficult to wake him up _____ the morning.
13. The girls are _____ the bus stop.
14. They are going _____ school.
15. The children are playing _____ the garden.
16. Did you see the film _____ television yesterday?
17. I try to go _____ bed before midnight.
18. Young people are fond _____ sports.
19. Charles is very good _____ languages.
20. It might be John but I thought he was _____ work.
21. - How do you get _____ work?
   - I go there _____ bus.
22. Look _____ that picture.
23. Why don’t you take _____ your coat. It’s warm today.
24. She’s French, she comes _____ the South of France.

Unit 3      Review of tenses (active/passive voice)


1. Matching verb forms

Match a sentence from A with a sentence  from  B,  according  to  the  tense
used. Say which tense  it  is.  (Some  sentences  are  in  the  negative  or
question form.)


He works in a bank.
She doesn’t smoke.
They are both Present Simple active.


1. I don’t believe you.
2. Have you been waiting long?
3. He hasn’t arrived yet.
4. It wasn’t mended properly.
5. How are you feeling today?
6. My office is being decorated at the moment.
7. We got lost.
8. What were you doing last night?
9. This book has been translated into several languages.
10. The post is delivered twice a day.


a. It’s raining.
b. Did you have a good time?
c. How are these machines made?
d. They were working for something.
e. He was killed in a car crash.
f. What is being done about inflation?
g. I’ve been thinking about moving house.
h. Have you seen Henry?
i. A cure for cancer hasn’t been found yet.
j. Where do you work?

2. Active or passive?

Put the verb in brackets in the correct tense, and decided if it  is  active
or passive.

Ex.: My car __was stolen__  (steal) last night.

Joseph Ford, the politician who (a) __________ (kidnap) last week as he  was
driving to his office, (b) __________ (release) unharmed. He (c)  __________
(examine) by a doctor last night, and (d) __________ (say)  to  be  in  good
health. Mr Ford (e) __________ (find) walking along  a  small  country  lane
early yesterday evening. A farmer (f) __________ (see) him,  recognised  who
it was,  and  (g)  __________  (contact)  the  police.  When  his  wife  (h)
__________ (tell) the news, she said, ‘I am delighted and relieved  that  my
husband (i) __________ (find).’ Acting on information received,  the  police
made several arrests, and a man  (j)  __________  (question)  in  connection
with the kidnapping.

3. Passive construction

Put the following sentences into the passive, using a  personal  pronoun  as
the subject.

Ex.: Someone told her the news.
   She was told the news.
a. Someone will give you your tickets at the airport.
b. People asked me a lot of questions about my background.
c. Someone usually shows airline passengers how to use a life jacket at  the
  beginning of the flight.
d. If somebody offers you a  cheap  camera,  don’t  buy  it.  It’s  probably
e. Doctors have given him six months to live.
f. Someone will tell you what you have to do when you arrive.
g. My parents advised me to spend some time abroad before looking for work.
h. Pleased to meet you. People have told me a lot about you.
i. At interviews, people ask you quite searching questions.
j. In a few years’ time, my company will send me  to our New York office.

4. Tense review (1)

Put the verb in brackets in an appropriate tense. When there is  no  verb  (
__ __ __ ), insert an auxiliary verb.

My wife and I (a) ________ (live) in our present house in  the  country  for
five years. We (b) ________ (move) here after our second child (c)  ________
(be) born. We (d) ________ (live) in town for ten years , and  (e)  ________
(decide) that as soon as we (f) ________ (can) afford it,  we  (g)  ________
(move) away from the smoke and the  noise  of  the  city  centre,  which  we
finally (h) __ __ __ in 1985. We (i) ________  never  (regret)  it.  We  (j)
________ (be) reminded of the wisdom of our decision every morning  when  we
(k) ________ (draw) the curtains to see the open  fields  stretching  before
us. When the children (l)  ________  (have)  breakfast,  they  (m)  ________
(rush) outside to play, which they  (n)  __  __  __  whatever  the  weather.
Whilst they (o) ________ (play) outside, we  somehow  manage  to  start  the

Actually, we (a) ________ (think) of moving. My wife (b)  ________  (accept)
a new job, which she (c) ________ (start) next month. As soon as she (d)  __
__ __ , she (e) ________ (have) a journey of fifty  miles  there  and  back,
and I (f) ________ (not think) that she  (g)  ________  (realise)  just  how
tiring this (h) ________ (be). I (i) ________ (go) away on  business  for  a
few days next week, and while I  (j)  ________  (be)  away,  my  sister  (k)
________ (come) to stay, which she (l) __ __ __  quite  often.  Once  I  (m)
________ (be) back, I (n) ________ (decide) that I  (o)  ________  (get)  in
touch with some estate agents. I (p) ________ (not feel) happy until we  (q)
________ (find) a house closer to my wife’s job. I wonder what the  children
(r) ________ (say) when they  (s)  ________  (hear)  that  we  (t)  ________
(move). This is the first time they (u) ________ (live) in the country,  and
they (v) ________ (hate) to move back to town.

5. Tense review (2)

Put the verb in brackets in an appropriate tense.

                      Junk story that beat the experts
   The strangest story I (a) _____ ever _____  (report)  began  one  Spring
morning in Hong Kong. I was born and brought up  in  Hong  Kong  and  I  (b)
_______ just _______ (start) working as a radio reporter there.
   In March 1981, ninety-five fishing junks (c)_______ (spot) sailing  over
the horizon. Immediately they (d) _______ (surround) by police launches  who
thought they were trying (e) _______ (sneak)  into  Hong  Kong  against  the
   One of Hong Kong’s greatest problems is trying to keep out thousands  of
people who think life there (f) _______ (be) better than in China,  and  try
to smuggle themselves in. Hong Kong is already the  most  crowded  place  in
the world, and there’s no room for more people.
   But when the police asked the junk people why they  (g)  _______  (come)
they (h) _______ (get) a shock. They said they (i) _______ (stay) for a  few
days (j) _______ (escape) the terrible calamity that was about  (k)  _______
(strike) their villages in China.
   They said there was complete panic at home because everyone (l)  _______
(believe) an earthquake (m) _______ (come).
   Throughout its history China (n) _______ (suffer) terrible  earthquakes,
cities (o) _______ (destroy) and thousands killed. Nowadays,  all  over  the
country there are seismographic  centres  where  earthquakes  can  easy  (p)
_______ (predict).
   The Hong Kong authorities phoned one of these centres in China  to  find
out whether they (q) _______ (warn) about a forthcoming earthquake, but  the
answer was no. Experts in Hong Kong agreed that there was no reason for  the
junk people’s fears.
   Consequently the junk people (r) _______ (send) home. On their way  back
an earthquake did indeed (s) _______  (strike)  their  village.  No-one  was
hurt but the mystery (t) _______ (remain). How did  the  junk  people  know,
when the scientists  and  experts  with  all  their  sophisticated  machines

Unit 4      Modal verbs

Introduction to modals

can, could, may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, would

Main points

 o Modals are always the first word in a verb group.
 o All modals except for ‘ought’ are followed by the base form of a verb.
 o ‘Ought’ is followed by a ‘to’-infinitive.
 o Modals have only one form.

Modals are always the first word in a verb group. All modals except
for'ought'are followed by the base form of a verb.

I must leave fairly soon.
I think it will look rather nice.
Things might have been so different.
People may be watching.

‘Ought’ is always followed by a ‘to’-infinitive.

She ought to go straight back to England.
Sam ought to have realised how dangerous it was.
You ought to be doing this.

Modals have only one form, There is no ‘-s’ form for the third person
singular of the present tense, and there are no ‘-ing’ or ‘-ed’ forms.

There’s nothing I can do about it.
I’m sure he can do it.

Modals do not normally indicate the time when something happens. There are,
however, a few exceptions.

‘Shall’ and ‘will’ often indicate a future event or situation.

I shall do what you suggested. He will not return for many hours.

‘Could’ is used as the past form of ‘can’ to express ability. ‘Would’ is
used as the past form of ‘will’ to express the future.

When I was young, I could run for miles.
He remembered that he would see his mother the next day.

In spoken English and informal written English, ‘shall’ and ‘will’ are
shortened to ‘-’ll’ and  ‘would’ to ‘-’d’, and added to a pronoun.

I’ll see you tomorrow.
I hope you’ll agree.
Posy said she’d love to stay.

‘Shall’, ‘will’, and ‘would’ are never shortened if they come at the end of
a sentence.

Paul said he would come, and I hope he will.

In spoken English, you can also add ‘-’ll’ and ‘-’d’ to nouns.

My car’ll be outside.
The headmaster’d be furious.

Warning: Remember that ‘-d’ is also the short form of the auxiliary ‘had’.

I’d heard it many times.


1. Your have to complete a sentence with  could,  was  /  were  able  to  or

Example: My grandfather was very clever. He could (or  was  able  to)  speak
five languages.

1. He had hurt his leg, so he __________ walk very well.
2. She wasn’t at home when I phone but  I  __________  contact  her  at  her
3. I look very carefully and I __________ see a figure in the distance.
4. They didn’t have any tomatoes  in  the  first  shop  I  went  to,  but  I
  __________ get some in the next shop.
5. My grandmother loved music. She __________ play the piano very well.
6. The boy fell into the river but fortunately we __________ rescue him.

2. In this exercise you have to write sentences with could or could have.

Example: She doesn’t want to stay  with  Linda.  But  she  could  stay  with

1. He didn’t want to help us. But he
2. He doesn’t want to help us. But
3. They don’t want to lend us any money. But
4. She didn’t want to have anything to eat.

3. You have read a situation and write a sentence with must  have  or  can’t
  have. Use the words in brackets.

Example: The phone rang but I didn’t hear it. (I must / be / asleep)
        I must have been asleep.

1. That dress you bought is  very  good  quality.  (It  must  /  be  /  very
2. I haven’t seen Jim for ages. (He must / go / away)
3. I wonder where my umbrella is. (You must / leave / it on the train)
4. Don passed the examination. He didn’t study very much for it.  (The  exam
  can’t / be / very difficult)
5. She knew everything about  our  plans.  (She  must  /  listen  /  to  our
6. Denis did the opposite of what I asked him to do. (He can’t /  understand
  / what I said)
7. When I woke up this morning, the light was on. (I  must  /  forget  /  to
  turn it off)
8. I don’t understand how the accident happened. (The driver can’t /  see  /
  the red light)

4. Rewrite these sentences using the modals given.

Example: Perhaps he fell. (may have) (might have)
        He may have fallen.
        He could have fallen.

1. Perhaps they saw us. (could have) (might have)
2. Perhaps he said that. I don’t remember. (might have) (could have)
3. We’re lost. I think we’ve taken the wrong road. (must have)
4. I wish you had seen it. It was wonderful. (should have)
5. I ought to have known that would happen. (should have)
6. Perhaps when I am fifty I won’t remember it. (will have forgotten)
7. It was possible for me to prevent that, but I didn’t. (could have)
8. You should have listened to her the first time. (ought to have)

5. Make suitable sentences from the table below using can.

|Learning English |can  |Sometimes |be |exciting.          |
|Watching         |     |Often     |   |boring.            |
|television       |     |Occasional|   |interesting.       |
|Visiting         |     |ly        |   |painful.           |
|relatives        |     |          |   |hard work.         |
|Winter sports    |     |          |   |dangerous.         |
|Going to the     |     |          |   |good fun.          |
|dentist          |     |          |   |                   |
|Meeting new      |     |          |   |                   |
|people           |     |          |   |                   |
|Travelling       |     |          |   |                   |

Example: Travelling can often be boring.

6. Complete these sentences using can, can’t, could or couldn’t.

Example: There was a woman with a big hat right in front of me.  I  couldn’t
see a thing.

1. I’m sorry, you’re in my light. I __________ see what I’m doing.
2. It was a huge hall and we were at the back, so we  __________  hear  very
3. When she screams, you __________ hear her all over the house.
4. She was phoning all the way from Singapore, but  I  __________  hear  her
  very clearly.
5. __________ you hear me at the back?
6. Put your hands up if you __________ hear me.

7. Rewrite these suggestions starting with the words given.

Example: Let’s go to the theatre. / How about going to the theatre?

1. We should get started as soon as possible. / It might be a good idea
2. You could write and ask her yourself. / You might like to
3. Why don’t we take a winter holiday for a change? / What about
4. Couldn’t you just play at the end of the month? / You could
5. We could take a week off in July. / Let’s
6. You could ask Bill to help. / What
7. Why don’t you ring and tell them you’re coming? / You
8. We could borrow the equipment from Peter. / Couldn’t
9. Why don’t we keep quiet about that? / It might

8. Add comments to these sentences using I wish.

Example: I’m afraid your father can’t come. / I wish he could.
        They always come late. / I wish they wouldn’t.

1. He always complains about everything. /
2. He never invites us round. /
3. We can’t go on holiday this year. /
4. She won’t listen to anything you say. /
5. They can’t help out I’m afraid. /
6. She never comes home at weekends. /

9. Fill each gap with a correct modal verb.

1. I really think you __________ see a doctor.
2. Oh, look! Mr. Thomson __________ be here: there’s his car.
3. Why did you carry that heavy box? You __________ hurt yourself!
4. - Where are my keys?
5. I suppose I __________ them in the car.
6. She had to wait 5 minutes for traffic to stop, but in the end  __________
  to cross the road.
7. I took my umbrella, but it didn’t rain, so I __________ taken it.
8. Everyone understood. The teacher __________ to explain it again.
9. He had an accident in his car. He __________ where he was going.
10. - Did she do the exercise?
11. No, she said she __________ understand it.
12. He is very rich. He __________ work for a living.
13. - Did you go to the concert?
14. No. We __________ have gone but decided not to.
15. - Did they find your house?
16. Yes, it took them a long time but they __________ to find it.
17. - Do you want me to wait for you?
18. No, it’s okay. You __________  wait.
19. His test is the best in class. He __________ (study) last night.

Unit 5      Gerunds and infinitives

The gerund

The gerund is used:

  after prepositions.

  After leaving school, I went to university.
  The firemen rescued the lady by breaking down the door.
  Is anyone here good at sewing?
  She was accused of killing her husband.

  Examples of prepositions frequently followed by the gerund are:

  before   after   without   by   about   at   to   of

  after certain verbs.

  I enjoy staying in hotels.
  I avoid working at the weekend.

  Some of the most common verbs which are followed by the gerund are:

  admit   avoid   deny   enjoy   finish

  as the subject or object of a sentence.

  Swimming is my favourite sport.
  Smoking is bad for your health.
  I find working in the garden very relaxing.

  after certain idiomatic expressions.

  It's no use talking to him. He doesn't know anything.
  This is an excellent book. It's worth buying.

  Other idiomatic expressions are:

  There's no point in (waiting all day).
  It's no good (pretending that you understand).

  after certain verbs which are followed by the preposition to.

  I'm looking forward to visiting you in July.

The infinitive

The infinitive is used:

  after certain verbs.

  I can't afford to pay all my bills.
  I hope to see you again soon.

  Some of the most common verbs that are followed by the infinitive are:

  agree   appear   attempt   choose   dare   decide   expect   help   learn
    manage   need   offer   promise   refuse   seem

  You should consult a good dictionary, for example the Oxford Advanced
  Learner's  Dictionary of Current English, to see which structures are
  possible after a particular verb.

  after certain verbs followed by an object.

  He advised me to listen carefully.
  They invited her to have lunch with them.

  Some of the most common verbs that are normally used with an object and
  an infinitive are:

  allow   encourage   force   order   persuade   remind   teach   tell

  after certain verbs which sometimes take an object and sometimes don’t.

  I want to find out the answer, (no object – ‘I find out.’)
  I want you to find out the answer, (‘you’ as object – ‘You find out.’)
  I'd like to help you.
  I'd like you to give her a message.

  NEVER     I want that you . . .
      I'd like that you . . .

  Other common verbs are:

  ask   expect

  after certain adjectives.

  It's difficult to explain how to get there. It's possible to walk there.

  after make and let.

  She made me do the exercise again, (active – without ‘to’)
  I was made to do the exercise again, (passive – with ‘to’)
  He let me borrow the car. (active - without 'to')
  I was allowed to borrow the car. (‘Let’, in the sense of  ‘allow’, is not
  possible in the passive.)

  to express purpose.

  I came here to team English.
  I need more money to buy the things I want.

  after certain verbs followed by question words, e.g. what, where, who.

  I didn't know what to do.
  Can you tell me how to get there?
  Show me where to put it.
  Do you know where to buy it?

  After these verbs and others with similar meanings, it is possible to use
  how, what, where, when, whether etc.

  ask   consider   explain   wonder   find   out   understand

Forms of the infinitive

   The continuous infinitive

  The continuous infinitive is formed with to be + present participle.
  It expresses activities in progress.

  I'd like to be lying in the sun right now.
  He seemed to be having financial difficulties.

   The perfect infinitive

  The perfect infinitive is formed with to have + past participle.

  I'd like to have seen his face when you told him.
  He seems to have forgotten about the appointment.

   The passive infinitive

  The passive infinitive is formed with to be + past participle.

  I'd like to be promoted to sales manager.
  I asked to be informed as soon as there was any news.


The continuous, perfect, and passive infinitives can also be used with
modal auxiliary verbs,  but with these verbs to is omitted.

You should be working, not watching television.
She must have gone home already.
This report must be finished tonight.

The gerund or the infinitive after verbs?

   Continue, start, begin

Either the gerund or the infinitive can be used.

It started  to snow


The infinitive is more common.

1. Love, like, prefer, hate

The meaning changes slightly, depending on whether the gerund or the
infinitive is used.
Followed by the gerund, the statement is general.

I like swimming.
I love going to parties.
I hate driving in the dark.

Followed by the infinitive, the statement is more specific.

I like to read a book before going to sleep at night.
I hate to tell you, but I've lost your coat.

   Remember, forget, stop, try

The meaning changes greatly depending on whether the gerund or the
infinitive is used.

I remember being very unhappy as a teenager. (I know that I was very
unhappy as a teenager.)
I'll never forget meeting you. (The day I met you is
  very clear in my memory.)

The gerund refers to actions and states in the past, i.e. before the
remembering, forgetting, etc. take place.

Remember to put some petrol in the car! (There isn’t much petrol in the car
and it is important that you buy some.)
Don't forget to post the letter! (The letter is important, so you must
remind yourself to post it.)

The infinitive refers to actions that must still be done, i.e. that happen
after the remembering, forgetting, etc.

I stopped smoking years ago. (previous activity)
I stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. (This tells us why I stopped.)
We tried to put out the fire, but it was impossible.
I tried pouring on water, my husband tried covering it with a blanket and
my son tried using the fire extinguisher, but in the end we had to call the
fire brigade.

Try + infinitive is your goal; it is what you want to do.

Try + gerund is the method you use to achieve that goal.


1. Open the brackets using a gerund.

1. The windows are very dirty; they need (clean).
2. It's very hot, so you don't need (bring) a coat.
3. The house is old, and it badly wants (paint).
4. The famous man didn't need (introduce) himself.
5. The floor is covered with dust; it needs (sweep).
6. The grass in the garden is very dry; it wants (water) badly.
7. The planners didn't realise they would need (build) so many houses.
8. This shirt is quite clean; it doesn't want (wash) yet.
9. Her shoes have a hole in them; they want (mend).
10. The room was in a terrible mess: it needed (tidy up).
11. The baby's crying; I think he needs (feed).
12. I know my hair wants (cut) but I never have time to go to the
13. John needed (cheer up) when he heard that he'd failed his exams.
14. You should tidy the garden. - Yes, it needs (tidy). The roses want
   (water), the peaches want (pick), the grass wants (cut).

2. Open the brackets using a suitable gerund

1. Alter the accident, the injured man recovered consciousness in hospital.
   He remembered (cross) the road, but he didn't remember (knock down).
2. I am still thirsty in spite of (drink) four cups of tea.
3. This carpet always looks dirty, in spite of (sweep) every day.
4. He didn't return the book he had borrowed after (promise) to do so.
5. He got into the house by (climb) through a window, without (see) by
6. I think he was foolish to buy a car before (learn) how to drive it.
7. Peter is a much better chess-player than I am, and he was very surprised
   when I beat him yesterday for the first time. He isn't used to (beat).
8. He went to bed at 9 p.m. in spite of (sleep) all the afternoon.
9. He complained of (give) a very small room at the back of the hotel.
10. The little girl isn't afraid of dogs in spite of (bite) twice.
11. The little girl didn't go near the dog; she was afraid of (bite).
12. The baby went to sleep a few minutes after (feed).
13. The little girl never gets tired of (ask) her mother questions, but her
   mother often gets tired of (ask) so many questions.
14. They lived in a small town for ten years and then moved without (make)
   friends with any of their neighbours.
15. The little boy was punished for (tell) a lie by (send) to bed without
   his supper.
16. Mary was chosen a year ago to act in the school play. She was very
   pleased at (choose).
17. Jack doesn't like boxing. I don't know if he is afraid of (hurt) his
   opponent or of (hurt) himself.
18. He was taken to hospital unconscious after the accident. He died in
   hospital without (recover) consciousness.
19. I always treat people politely and I insist on (treat) politely.
20. The boy was very hungry at eleven o'clock in spite of (eat) a big
   breakfast two hours earlier.
21. She didn't get out of bed until ten o'clock in spite of (wake up) at

3.  Complete the following sentences using a gerund.

Example: I/m good at mending things.

a. I have difficulty in
b. I’m very interested in
c. I’m thinking of
d. He saved up £1000 for a holiday by
e. I sometimes worry about not
f. Thank you for
g. I’m looking forward to
h. She left the room without
i. I stayed in bed all day instead of

4. Use your imagination to complete the following sentences.

Example: Working in a coal mine is dangerous, but well-paid.

a. Finding a good job these days
b. Living in a big city
c. Taking regular exercise
d. Travelling by air
e. Being self-employed
f. Learning a foreign language

5. Complete the following sentences using infinitives.

Example: It is easy to find cheap places to eat.

a. How do you do. Pleased to
b. When you’re old, it can be difficult to
c. I was surprised to
d. If you haven’t got much money, it’s impossible to
e. It can be expensive to
f. When you travel abroad, it’s important to

6.  There are many expressions with go + gerund  which  are  concerned  with
  activities, sports, and physical recreation.

  go dancing / go skiing / go running

  Complete these sentences with go + a suitable gerund.

a. I __________ yesterday, but I didn’t buy anything.
b. I __________ by the river tomorrow, but I’m sure I won’t catch anything.
c. Whenever there’s enough snow, we __________ every weekend.
d.  If  I  had  enough  money,  I’d  buy  a  yacht  and  __________  in  the
e. We had a lovely holiday. We __________ every day. The water was lovely.

7. Fill the gaps with one of the verbs which follow the passage,  in  either
  the gerund or infinitive form.

   Jane’s a nurse, but she’s trying (1)__________ a new job.  Although  she
enjoys (2)__________ people, nursing is not very well paid, and  she  cannot
afford (3)__________ all her bills. She finds it impossible to live on  such
a low salary without (4)__________ her account at the bank. Her  flat  needs
(5)__________ ,  and  she  would  like  (6)__________  a  car.  She  managed
(7)__________ enough last year for a short  holiday  by  (8)__________  some
extra money in her spare time, and this year,  she’s  hoping  (9)___________
some friends in France. She  has  stopped  (10)__________  to  the  theatre,
which  used  to  be  one  of  her  greatest  pleasures.  She’s  thinking  of
(11)__________ in America, where  she  could  earn  a  higher  salary  in  a
private hospital,  but  would  prefer  (12)__________  in  this  country  if
possible. She likes (13)__________ to see her  parents  whenever  she  wants
to. A friend of hers went to America after  (14)__________  university,  but
began (15)__________ her friends so badly that she had to come back.

look after
be able to

8. Gap filling

  Complete the following story. The lines show the number of words missing.
  The words are not always gerunds or infinitives.

Example: He tried to find a job.
        I’d like you to help me.

   John Bradley was surprised (a) __________  __________ a  letter  waiting
for him on his desk when he arrived at work. Before (b)  __________  it,  he
hung up his coat and took out his glasses.

   ‘Dear Mr Bradley,’ he read, ‘We are sorry (c) __________  __________ you
that your services are no longer required …’

   He couldn’t believe it. After (d) __________ for the company for  thirty
years,  he  had  been  made  redundant,  one  Monday  morning,  without  (e)
__________ warned in any way at all.  There  was  no  point  (f)  __________
__________ the letter. The ending was obvious. ‘Thank you for  your  loyalty
and dedication over the years, and we  hope  you  will  enjoy  (g)__________
more time to spend …’

   The company wanted (h) __________ to  go  away  quietly  and  enjoy  his
premature  retirement.  He  was  fifty-two.  How  could  he  (i)  __________
__________ find another job at  this  age?  He  knew  that  firms  were  not
interested (j) __________  __________  people  over  forty-five,  let  alone
over fifty. Could he still afford (k) __________  __________  his  daughters
to their expensive school?

   He sat back in his chair and looked out of  the  window,  wondering  (l)
__________  __________   __________  next.   He   decided   (m)   __________
___________ the office as soon as possible. He did not want (n)  ___________
to see him while he left so depressed. So he put on his  coat  and  for  the
last time closed the  office  door  behind  him.  He  stopped  (o)__________
__________ ‘goodbye’ to the telephonist, whom he had known  for  years,  and
left the building.

   Out in the street, it had begun (p)  __________   __________  .  He  had
forgotten (q)__________  __________ his umbrella that morning, so he  turned
up his overcoat  collar  and  walked  towards  the  station  (r)  __________
__________ his train home. He didn’t know what  (s)  __________   __________
to his  wife.  The  thought  of  breaking  the  news  to  her  (t)__________
__________ feel sick.

9.  Adjective + infinitive

  Rewrite the sentences, using the adjectives in brackets.

Example: I heard you passed your driving test. (delighted)
        I was delighted to hear that you passed your driving test.

a. I learned that your aunt died. (sorry)
b. He wanted to know where we had been. (anxious)
c. She found that her husband was still alive. (amazed)
d. I see you’re still smoking. (disappointed)
e. He learned that he had nearly died. (shocked)

10. Verbs + gerund or infinitive

  Rewrite the sentences, using the verbs in brackets.

Example: ‘Come to the party. You’ll  really  enjoy  it,’  he  said  to  her.
        He persuaded her to go to the party.

a. ‘Yes, I did drive too fast through the town,’ she said. (admit)
b. ‘I’ll lend you some money, if you like,’ he said to me. (offer)
c. ‘If I were you, I’d accept the job,’ he said to his daughter. (advise)
d. ‘Why don’t you have a holiday in my country  cottage?’  he  said  to  us.
e. ‘You must pay for the damage you’ve done,’ she said. So I paid. (make)
f. ‘I haven’t smoked for three years,’ she said. (stop)
g. We needed petrol, so we went to a service station. (stop)
h. I didn’t buy food for dinner so we had to go out. (forget)
i. But I fed the cat. (remember)
j. I had piano lessons for years, but I was never very good. (try)

11. ‘To’ used instead of whole infinitive

  Notice  that  the  whole  infinitive  need  not  be  repeated  if  it  is

Example: A You look terrible. You should have a holiday.
        B I’m going to. (I’m going to have a holiday)

a. A Why aren’t you going to work?
  B (not want)
b. A Can you come round for a meal tonight?
  B (love)  , but
c. A I’m afraid I can’t take you to the airport after all. Sorry.
  B (promise) But
d. A Why can’t I take this book from the library?
  B (not allow)
e. A Why have you painted the wall black?
  B (tell)
  A No, I didn’t. I told you to paint it pale yellow.
f. A Did you go out for a meal with him?
  B (not ask)

12. ‘Talking’ versus ‘a talk’

  Compare the following sentences.

  Talking to someone about a problem usually helps to solve it.
  I had a talk with Susan last night.

  The gerund is used when we speak in general. To speak about one  specific
  occasion, we can use some verbs as nouns in the structure have a + noun.

  Write two sentences for each of the following words, one  with  a  gerund
  and one with have a + noun.

  Ride; drink; look; wash; quarrel; walk

13.  Noun + preposition

  Many nouns are followed by prepositions. Put the correct preposition into
  each gap.

a. I got a cheque __________ five hundred pounds in the post today.
b. There has been a rise __________ the number of violent crimes.
c. Have you seen this photo __________ my daughter? Isn’t she beautiful?
d. The difference __________ you and me is that I don’t mind hard work.
e. I can think of no reason __________ such strange behaviour.
f. It took a long time to find a solution __________ the problem.
g. Could you give me some information __________ train times?
h. I’m having trouble __________ my car. It won’t start.
i. She’s doing research __________ the causes of tooth decay.
j. This is a machine __________ grinding coffee.

Unit 6      Reported speech

Report structures: ‘that’-clauses

Main points

 o You usually use your own words to report what someone said, rather than
   repeating their exact words.
 o Report structures contain a reporting clause first, then a reported
 o When you are reporting a statement, the reported clause is a ‘that’-
 o You must mention the hearer with ‘tell’. You need not mention the hearer
   with ‘say’.
When you are reporting what someone said, you do not usually repeat their
exact words, you use your own words in a report structure.

Jim said he wanted to go home.

Jim’s actual words might have been ‘It’s time I went’ or ‘I must go’.

Report structures contain two clauses. The first clause is the reporting
clause, which contains a reporting verb such as ‘say’, ‘tell’, or ‘ask’.

She said that she'd been to Belgium.
The man in the shop told me how much it would cost.

You often use verbs that refer to people’s thoughts and feelings to report
what people say. If someone says ‘I am wrong’, you might report this as ‘He
felt that he was wrong’.

The second clause in a report structure is the reported clause, which
contains the information that you are reporting. The reported clause can be
a ‘that’-clause, a ‘to’-infinitive clause, an ‘if’-clause, or a ‘wh’-word

She said that she didn't know.
He told me to do it.
Mary asked if she could stay with us.
She asked where he'd gone.

If you want to report a statement, you use a ‘that’-clause after a verb
such as ‘say’.

|admit    |argue    |decide   |insist   |reply    |
|agree    |claim    |deny     |mention  |say      |
|answer   |complain |explain  |promise  |warn     |

He said that he would go.

I replied that I had not read it yet.

You often omit ‘that’ from the ‘that’-clause, but not after ‘answer’,
‘argue’, ‘explain’, or ‘reply’.

They said I had to see a doctor first.
He answered that the price would be three pounds.

You often mention the hearer after the preposition ‘to’ with the following

|admit   |complain|mention |suggest |
|announce|explain |say     |        |

He complained to me that you were rude.

‘Tell’ and some other reporting verbs are also used with a 'that'-clause,
but with these verbs you have to mention the hearer as the object of the

|convince|notify  |reassure|tell    |
|inform  |persuade|remind  |        |

He told me that he was a farmer.

I informed her that I could not come.

The word ‘that’ is often omitted after ‘tell’.

I told them you were at the dentist.

You can also mention the hearer as the object of the verb with ‘promise’
and ‘warn’.

I promised her that I wouldn't be late.

Note the differences between ‘say’ and ‘tell’. You cannot use ‘say’ with
the hearer as the object of the verb. You cannot say ‘I said them you had
gone’. You cannot use ‘tell’ without the hearer as the object of the verb.
You cannot say ‘I told that you had gone’. You cannot use ‘tell’ with ‘to’
and the hearer. You cannot say ‘I told to them you had gone’.

The reporting verbs that have the hearer as object, such as ‘tell’, can be
used in the passive.

She was told that there were no tickets left.

Most reporting verbs that do not need the hearer as object, such as ‘say’,
can be used in the passive with impersonal ‘it’ as subject, but not
‘answer’, ‘complain’, ‘insist’, ‘promise’, ‘reply’, or ‘warn’.

It was said that the money had been stolen.

Other report structures

Main points

 o When reporting an order, a request, or a piece of  advice,  the  reported
   clause is a 'to'-infinitive clause, used after an object
 o When reporting a question, the reported clause is an 'if-clause or a 'wh'-
   word clause
 o Many reporting verbs refer to people's thoughts and feelings

If you want to report an order a request or a piece  of  advice  you  use  a
‘to’-infinitive clause after a  reporting  verb  such  as  ‘tell’  ‘ask’  or
‘advise’. You mention the hearer as the object of the verb before the  ‘to’-
infinitive clause.

|advise   |command  |invite   |remind   |
|ask      |forbid   |order    |tell     |
|beg      |instruct |persuade |warn     |

Johnson told her to wake him up.
He ordered me to fetch the books.
He asked her to marry him.
He advised me to buy it.

If the order request or advice is negative you put ‘not’  before  the  ‘to’-

He had ordered his officers not to use weapons.
She asked her staff not to discuss it publicly.
Doctors advised him not to play for three weeks.

If the subject of the ‘to’-infinitive clause is the same as the  subject  of
the main verb you can use  ‘ask’  or  ‘beg’  to  report  a  request  without
mentioning the hearer.

I asked to see the manager.
Both men begged not to be named.

If you want to report a question you use a verb such as  ‘ask’  followed  by
an ‘if’-clause or a ‘wh’-word clause.

I asked if I could stay with them.
They wondered whether the time was right.
He asked me where I was going.
She inquired how Abraham was getting on.

Note that in reported questions the subject of  the  question  comes  before
the verb just as it does in affirmative sentences.

Many reporting verbs refer to people’s thoughts and feelings but  are  often
used to report what people say. For example if someone says ‘I must go’  you
might report this as ‘She wanted to go’ or ‘She thought she should go’.

Some of these verbs are followed by:

a ‘that’-clause

|accept   |fear     |imagine  |think    |
|believe  |feel     |know     |understan|
|         |         |         |d        |
|consider |guess    |suppose  |worry    |

We both knew that the town was cut off.
I had always believed that I would see him again.

a ‘to’ infinitive clause

|intend   |plan     |want     |

He doesn’t want to get up.

a ‘that’-clause or a ‘to’-infinitive clause

|agree    |expect   |hope     |regret   |wish     |
|decide   |forget   |prefer   |remember |         |

She hoped she wasn’t going to cry.
They are in love and wish to marry.

‘Expect’ and ‘prefer’ can  also  be  followed  by  an  object  and  a  ‘to’-

I m sure she doesn’t expect you to take the plane.
The headmaster prefers them to act plays they have written themselves.

A speaker's exact words are more often used  in  stories  than  in  ordinary

‘I knew I’d seen you,’ I said.
‘Only one replied,’ the Englishman.
‘Let’ s go and have a look at the swimming pool,’ she suggested.
In ordinary conversation it is normal to use a report structure rather than
to repeat someone's exact words.


1. Match the reports with the actual words used.

Example: 1 – h;

1. They said they had to go.
2. He said he would help if he could.
3. She promised she would visit us.
4. He suggested that we should write to the boss.
5. They insisted we should stay a bit longer.
6. They complained that they were too busy.
7. She mentioned that she had met you.
8. I explained that they should send a letter.

a. ‘You can’t leave yet. It’s only eleven o’clock.’
b. ‘Well, I’ll do whatever I can for you.’
c. ‘If I were you I would get in touch with the manager.’
d. ‘I bumped into your brother in London yesterday.’
e. ‘It’s no good  just telephoning. Put something in writing.’
f. ‘I’ll certainly come and see you some time.’
g. ‘We have far too much work at the moment.’
h. ‘I’m afraid it’s time for us to leave.’

2. Use the appropriate form of these verbs to complete the  definitions  and

|admit   announce   argue   complain   deny   mention |
|explain  inform                                      |

1. If you __inform__ someone that something  is  the  case,  you  tell  them
  about it. EG I __informed__ her that I was unwell and could not  come  to
  her party.

2. If you __________ something, you agree, often  reluctantly,  that  it  is
  true. EG I must __________ that I had my doubts.

3. When you __________ something,  you  say  that  it  not  true.  EG  Green
  __________ that he had done anything illegal.

4. If you __________  something,  you  tell  people  about  it  publicly  or
  officially. EG It was __________ that the Prime Minister would  speak  on
  television that evening.

5. If you __________ , you tell someone  about  a  situation  affecting  you
  that is wrong or unsatisfactory. EG He __________ that the office was not

6. If you __________ something, you say it, but do not  spend  long  talking
  about it. EG I __________ to Tom that I was thinking  of  going  back  to

7. If  you  __________  something,  you  describe  it  so  that  it  can  be
  understood. EG He __________ that they had to buy a return ticket.

8. If you __________ that something is the  case,  you  state  your  opinion
  about it and give reasons why you  think  it  is  true.  EG  Some  people
  __________ that nuclear weapons have helped to keep the peace.

3. Use one of the words given in brackets to complete each of the  sentences

1. I _explained_ to him that he would have to wait. (explained / told)
2. He __________ me that it was time to go. (mentioned / informed)
3. She __________ to  them  that  they  should  reconsider  their  decision.
  (suggested / persuaded)
4. We were __________ that you would pay the bill. (told / said)
5. It was __________ that there  would  be  another  meeting  the  following
  week. (informed / announced)
6. George __________ to me that he might look in  to  see  me.  (promised  /

4. Rewrite the sentences below as orders or requests with a  ‘to’-infinitive
  clause, and the words in brackets.

Example: ‘Do you think you could look after the children?’ (David  /  ask  /
        David asked Mary to look after the children.

1. ‘I think you should try to get more sleep.’ (John’s  doctor  /  advise  /
2. ‘You can come round and see us any time.’ (We / invite / our friends)
3. ‘Will you take the money to the bank, please?’ (Jack / tell / me)
4. ‘Don’t forget to come half an hour early on Tuesday.’ (Mr Brown /  remind
  / the students)
5. ‘Please write to me every day.’ (Bill / beg / Maria)

Now do these with not and ‘to’-infinitive clause.

6. ‘You shouldn’t play with fire.’ (I / warn / the children)
7. ‘I don’t think you should go to England in the winter.’  (My  grandfather
  / advise / me)
8. ‘You really ought not to go out alone after dark.’ (They  /  tell  /  the
9. ‘Please don’t make an official complaint.’ (The manger / persuade / her)

5. Now do these sentences with ask and a ‘wh'-word clause.

Example: ‘What time does the match start please?’ (I / a policeman)
        I asked a policeman what time the match started.

1. ‘Where are you going to spend the holiday?’ (Joe / Mary)
2. ‘Why are the tickets so expensive?’ (Everybody / us)
3. ‘How old are Mary’s children?’ (Frank / his wife)
4. ‘Who’s going to buy your house?’ (Mrs Jones / her neighbour)
5. ‘When are you planning to come to Darlington?’ (Bill / his friend)
6. ‘What are you going to do next?’ (I / Maria)
7. ‘Were can I get the bus to Liverpool?’ (Peter / a policeman)

6. In this  exercise  you  have  to  write  what  you  would  say  in  these

Example: Ann says ‘I’m tired’. Five  minutes  later  she  says  ‘Let’s  play
        tennis’. What do you say? You said you were tired.

1. Your friend says ‘I’m hungry’ so you go to a  restaurant.  When  you  get
  there he says ‘I don’t want to eat’. What do you say? You said

2. Tom tells you ‘Ann has gone away’. Later that day you meet her.  What  do
  you say?
  Tom told

3. George said ‘I don’t smoke’. A few days  later  you  see  him  smoking  a
  cigarette. What do you say to him? You said

4. You arranged to meet Jack. He said ‘I won’t be late’. At last he  arrives
  – 20 minutes late. What do you say? You

5. Sue said ‘I can’t come to the party tonight’. That night you see  her  at
  the party. What do you say to her?

6. Ann says ‘I’m working tomorrow evening’. Later that day she  says  ‘Let’s
  go out tomorrow evening’. What do you say?

7. Now you have to read a sentence and write a new sentence  with  the  same

Example: ‘Listen carefully’, he said to us. He told us to listen carefully.

1. ‘Eat more fruit and vegetables’, the doctor said.
2. ‘Read the instructions before you switch on the machine’, he said to me.
3. ‘Shut the door but don’t lock it’, she said to us.
4. ‘Can you speak more slowly? I can’t understand’, he said to me.
5. ‘Don’t come before 6 o’clock’, I said to him.

Unit 7      Conditionals

Conditional clauses using ‘if’

Main points

 o You use conditional clauses to talk about a possible situation and its
 o Conditional clauses can begin with ‘if’.
 o A conditional clause needs a main clause to make a complete sentence. The
   conditional clause can come before or after the main clause.

You use conditional clauses to talk about a situation that might possibly
happen and to say what its results might be.
You use ‘if’ to mention events and situations that happen often, that may
happen in the future, that could have happened in the past but did not
happen, or that are unlikely to happen at all.

If the light comes on, the battery is OK.
I'll call you if I need you.
If I had known. I'd have told you.
If she asked me, I'd help her.

When you are talking about something that is generally true or happens
often, you use a present or present perfect tense in the main clause and
the conditional clause.

If they lose weight during an illness, they soon regain it afterwards.
If an advertisement does not tell the truth, the advertiser is committing
an offence.
If the baby is crying, it is probably hungry.
If they have lost any money, they report it to me.

Warning: You do not use the present continuous in both clauses. You do not
say ‘If they are losing money, they are getting angry.’

When you use a conditional clause with a present or present perfect tense,
you often use an imperative in the main clause.

Wake me up if you’re worried.
If he has finished, ask him to leave quietly.
If you are very early, don’t expect them to be ready.

When you are talking about something which may possibly happen in the
future, you use a present or present perfect tense in the conditional
clause, and the simple future in the main clause

If I marry Celia, we will need the money.
If you are going to America, you will need a visa.
If he has done the windows, he will want his money.

Warning: You do not normally use ‘will’ in conditional clauses. You do not
         say ‘If I will see you tomorrow, I will give you the book.’

When you are talking about something that you think is unlikely to happen,
you use the past simple or past continuous in the conditional clause and
‘would’ in the main clause.

If I had enough money, I would buy the car.

If he was coming, he would ring.
Warning: You do not normally use ‘would’ in conditional clauses. You do not
         say ‘If I would do it, I would do it like this.’

‘Were’ is sometimes used instead of ‘was’ in the conditional clause,
especially after ‘I’.

If I were as big as you, I would kill you.
If I weren’t so busy, I would do it for you.
You often say ‘If I were you’ when you are giving someone advice.
If I were you, I would take the money.
I should keep out of Brendan's way if I were you.

When you are talking about something which could have happened in the past
but which did not actually happen, you use the past perfect in the
conditional clause. In the main clause, you use ‘would have’ and a past

If he had realised that, he would have run away.
I wouldn’t have been so depressed if I had known how common this feeling

Warning: You do not use ‘would have’ in the conditional clause. You  do  not
         say ‘If I would have seen him, I would have told him.’


1. Put the verb into the correct form


1. You (to speak) better if you (to be) more attentive.
2. If he (to understand) the situation, he (to act) differently.
3. He (to catch) the train if he (to make haste).
4. If I (to be) you, I (to consider) the matter settled.
5. If only he (to be) here, he (can) tell you.
6. If I (to be) in your place, I (to think) as you do.
7. He not (to do) it if you not (to help) him.
8. If he (to be) present, he (may) object.
9. She (to come) to see you if she not (to be tired).
10. If I (to get) the tickets before twelve o'clock, I (to come) straight


1. I think that if we (to take shelter) under these trees, we not (to get
2. If I (to hesitate) much longer before getting into the water, he not (to
   let) me swim at all today.
3. If she (to come) earlier, she (to have been able) to see him before he
   went out.
4. He (to go) for a ride with you, if he (to repair) his bicycle.
5. If a year ago the sailors (to be told) they were to undertake a trip of
   this sort, they (to be surprised).
6. If he (to be) present, this not (to occur).
7. If the storm not (to rage), the ship (to leave) the harbour last night.
8. If our telephone not (to be) out of order, I (to ring) you up this
9. If you (to come) between two and three yesterday, you (to find) me at
10. If I (to have) to carry that heavy box, I (to be) obliged to drop it
   after five minutes.
11. I not (to go) to sleep over that book if it not (to be) so dull.
12. If I (to know) you (to come), I of course (to stay) at home.
13. If anyone (to say) such a thing to me, I (to feel) hurt.
14. We never (to solve) the riddle, if you not (to put) us on the track.

2. Open the brackets


1. If I had known that you were in hospital I (visit) you.
2. If I (know) that you were coming I'd have baked a cake.
3. If you (arrive) ten minutes earlier you would have got a seat.
4. You would have seen my garden at its best if you (be) here last week.
5. I wouldn't have believed it if I (not see) it with my own eyes.
6. I (offer) to help him if I had realised that he was ill.
7. If I (realise) what a bad driver you were I wouldn't have come with you.

8. If I had realised that the traffic lights were red I (stop).
9. The hens (not get) into the house if you had shut the door.
10. If he had known that the river was dangerous lie (not try) to swim
   across it.
11. If you (speak) more slowly he might have understood you.
12. If lie had known the whole story he not be) so angry.
13. If I (try) again I think that I would have succeeded.
14. You (not get) into trouble if you had obeyed my instructions.
15. If I (be) ready when he called he would have taken me with him.
16. If she had listened to my directions she (not turn) down the wrong
17. If you (look) at the engine for a moment you would have seen what was
18. I (take) a taxi if I had realised that it was such a long way.
19. You (save) me a lot of trouble if you had told me where you were going.

20. If you (not sneeze) he wouldn't have known that we were there.


1. If I (see) you in the street yesterday, of course I (say) "Good
2. I'm sorry I threw the newspaper away. I (not throw) it away if I (know)
   you had wanted it.
3. Why didn't you ask me to help you? -Of course I (help) you if you (ask)
   me to.
4. I'm sorry I couldn't come to the cinema with you last Friday. - I (come)
   if I (not be) so busy.
5. I (not cleave) the office early yesterday if I (not finish) my work.

3. Match these parts to make conditional sentences.

Example: 1 – j

1. Dan might help you ...    a ... if they are enjoying themselves.
2. You are sure to be late ...    b ... if I can remember her phone number.
3. You'll enjoy the Jacques Tatty film ...   c ... if you miss the bus.
4. They always stay out late ...  d ... if you don't want to.
5. They'll understand it all right...   e ... if you phone while I'm out.
6. I'll give her a call ...  f ... if you explain it to them.
7. Bill will take a message ...   g ... if I have the time.
8. I'll do the shopping ...  h ... if you don't have a ticket.
9. You can't get in ...      i ... if you can understand French.
10. You needn't come to the party ...   j ... if you ask him.

4. Complete these sentences by putting the verb in  brackets  in  the  right

Example: If you …ask… Liz, she will tell you what to do. (ask)

1. He's going to visit some friends in Athens if he       time. (have)
2. You shouldn't interrupt them if they       (work)
3. Maria will get you some money if she       to the bank. (go)
4. I'll have a word with Jack if he      at home. (be)

5. Match these parts to make conditional sentences.

Example: 1 – i

1. If I had their address ...     a ... it would cost over £650.
2. If you saw her now ...    b ... you might earn a bit more money.
3. If I took more exercise … c ... I could probably stay with Michael.
4. If you got a new job …    d ... she must have been out at work.
5. If you asked Heather …    e ... she would give you a certificate.
6. If I travelled first class …   f ... she would probably give you a lift.
7. If it was a little warmer …    g ... we could go for a swim.
8. If she didn't answer the phone …     h ... I might lose a bit of weight.
9. If you went to the doctor …    i ... I could write and ask them.
10. If I stopped off in Ankara …  j ... you would hardly recognise her.

Conditional clauses using modals and 'unless'

Main points

 o You can use a modal in a conditional clause.
 o You use 'unless' to mention an exception to what you are saying.

You sometimes use modals in conditional clauses. In the main clause, you
can still use a present tense for events that happen often, ‘will’ for
events that are quite likely in the future, ‘would’ for an event that is
unlikely to happen, and ‘would have’ for events that were possible but did
not happen.
If he can’t come, he usually phones me.
If they must have it today, they will have to come back at five o’clock.
If I could only find the time, I’d do it gladly.
If you could have seen him. you would have laughed too.

‘Should’ is sometimes used in conditional clauses to express greater

If any visitors should come, I'll say you aren't here.

You can use other modals besides ‘will’, ‘would’ and ‘would have’ in the
main clause with their usual meanings.
She might phone me, if she has time.
You could come. if you wanted to.
If he sees you leaving, he may cry.

Note that you can have modals in both clauses: the main clause and the
conditional clause.

If he can't come, he will phone.

In formal English, if the first verb in a conditional clause is ‘had’,
‘should’, or ‘were’, you can put the verb at the beginning of the clause
and omit 'if. For example, instead of saying ‘If he should come. I will
tell him you are sick’, it is possible to say ‘Should he come, I will tell
him you are sick’.
Should ministers decide to hold an inquiry, we would welcome it.

Were it all true, it would still not excuse their actions.

Had I known. I would not have done it.

When you want to mention an exception to what you are saying, you use a
conditional clause beginning with ‘unless’.
You will fail your exams. You will fail your exams unless you work harder.
Note that you can often use ‘if...not’ instead of ‘unless’.
You will fail your exams if you do not work harder.

When you use ‘unless’, you use the same tenses that you use with ‘if’.

She spends Sundays in the garden unless the weather is awful.
We usually walk, unless we're going shopping.
He will not let you go unless he is forced to do so.
You wouldn't believe it, unless you saw it.

‘If’ and ‘unless’ are not the only ways of beginning conditional clauses.
You can also use ‘as long as’, ‘only if’, ‘provided’, ‘provided that’,
‘providing’, ‘providing that’, or ‘so long as’. These expressions are all
used to indicate that one thing only happens or is true if another thing
happens or is true.
I will come only if nothing is said to the press.
She was prepared to come, provided that she could bring her daughter.
Providing they remained at a safe distance, we would be all right.
Detergent cannot harm a fabric, so long as it has been properly dissolved.
We were all right as long as we kept our heads down.


1. Rewrite these sentences as conditionals.

Example: I can’t write to her because I don’t have her address.
        I could write to her, if I had her address.
1. I’d like to go abroad but I can’t afford it.
2. I’m not going to buy that car because it's so expensive.
3. We can’t go out because it’s raining.
4. She won’t come to the party because she’s away on holiday.
5. The central heating isn't working so we can’t turn it on.

2. Rewrite these sentences as conditionals.

Example: Unfortunately I didn’t see him, so I couldn’t give him your
        If I had seen him, I could have given him your message.

1. Unfortunately he didn’t pass his exams or he might have gone to
2. He didn’t realise what was happening or he would have run away.
3. Fortunately I didn’t hear what she said or I would have been very angry.
4. They got in because you didn’t lock the door properly.
5. It only happened because you didn’t follow the instructions.
6. Luckily she didn’t find out or she would have been furious.
7. It's lucky we booked a room or we would have had nowhere to stay.
8. It’s a good job we weren’t going any faster or someone could have been
9. He was so tired that he went home at lunchtime.

3. Match the two parts of these conditional sentences.

Example: 1 – g

1. You can borrow the money ...
2. He'll probably get lost. ...
3. Had I known you were coming. ...
4. George says he will come, ...
5. You are not allowed to park in the school,
6. Should he telephone while I'm out, ...
7. Henry Ford said you could have any colour you wanted, ...
8. Fred will be at school next week, …

a ... I would have invited you to lunch.
b ... would you ask him to call back later?
c ... provided he has recovered from his cold.
d ... unless you are a member of staff.
e ... as long as it was black.
f ... provided he can stay overnight.
g ... so long as you promise to pay it back.
h ... unless someone shows him the way.

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