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Lesson 20: The Test Drive


Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 20: The Test Drive
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Let's Learn English Level 2 Lesson 20: The Test Drive

Summary

Anna, Penelope and Rick are making a news story about the Washington Car Show. Anna is having a lot of fun -- maybe too much fun...

Conversation

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Anna: (to Penelope) That’s a great idea. (to Rick) Rick, I think we should use this as the opening shot.

Penelope: Anna, did Ms. Weaver give us instructions for covering the car show?

Anna: She did. She said that we need to show lots of cars. She said we need to interview people. And she also said that we should have fun.

Penelope: Those were her exact words?

Anna: Yeah. She said, “Have fun, Anna!” And she is the boss.

Anna: (to Rick) Okay, Rick, are you - are you ready? OK. Hello, I'm Anna Matteo. Welcome to the Washington Car Show!

Anna: People all over town are saying that if you like cars, this is the place to be! So, let's see what people are talking about. (at Rick) How was that? Okay? Is that Good?

Professor Bot: Anna, Penelope and Rick are making a news story about the Washington Car Show. Ms. Weaver gave them instructions.

We often need to tell others what someone else said.

There are two ways to do this. One is to use the person’s exact words and use quotation marks. We call this "direct speech."

For example, Ms. Weaver had said, “You need to show lots of cars.”

The other way is to talk about what someone said. We call this "reported speech."

Anna tells Penelope: She said that we need to show lots of cars.

In this sentence, "she," is the subject, “said” is the reporting verb, “that” is the conjunction and “we need to show lots of cars” is the reporting clause.

Keep watching, and listen for sentences where Anna talks about what someone else said!

Anna: This car show has many styles of vehicles. There are utility vehicles, classic cars, trucks, sports cars, and everyday vehicles.

Penelope: Okay, I think we got good interviews.

Anna: Me too! People had very different opinions. But they all said they loved cars.

Penelope: Anna, look -- a robot!

Anna: A robot!

Penelope: A robot!

Anna: Rick, we have to use the robot in the show!

(They walk over to the robot. Anna begins to dance like a robot.)

Robot: What is your first name?

Anna: Anna! Anna!

Robot: Anna, you know, what an effort. What an effort to robot dance. How about a round of applause for Anna! I’ve never seen anyone try so hard.

Anna: Penelope, did you hear that? Hank the Robot said that he has never seen anyone dance like me.

Penelope: Uh, I think many people here are saying that, Anna.

Anna: That was fun. You know what someone told me? You can test drive a Jaguar at this car show.

Penelope: Now, that sounds fun.

Anna: Let’s go.

Penelope: Okay.

Anna: This course is smooth. So you can drive faster.

Anna: He said...that I can’t drive, unfortunately.

(They begin the test drive. Kurt, the stunt driver, does the driving.)

Anna: Oh my gosh…reverse.

Anna: That was great. This is awesome.

Kurt: Are you ready to go on the rollercoaster?

Anna: I’m ready.

Kurt: Here we go!

Anna: That’s awesome.

Anna: That was...That was awesome! I just want to go one more time. I promise. That’s it. Just one more time.

Anna: This course is bumpy and uneven. I was told that I could drive this course. So I am.

Anna: (to Rick) Okay, Rick, are you rolling? Awesome. Okay, this course is uneven. But I think the ride will be smooth.

Anna: Ooh. This hill is really steep.

Anna: Oh my gosh. I can’t tell you how much fun this is.

Anna: Penelope, that was so much fun! I think I need to go again.

Penelope: Uh, Anna, I think we have enough test drive video.

Anna: Ms. Weaver said to get a lot. So, I think I should go again. (to Rick) Rick, I’m going to go again. Until next time!

Penelope: But I want to get lunch, Anna!

Professor Bot: Penelope said she wants to go to lunch. But I don’t think that’s going to happen soon. Visit our website for more!

New Words

bumpyadj. having or covered with bumps
classic carn. an older car, usually of a style that is no longer being manufactured
coursen. the path or direction that something or someone moves along
coverv. to report news about something
effortn. energy used to do something
everydayadv. used or seen everyday
exactadj. full or completely correct or accurate
hilln. a usually rounded area of land that is higher than the land around it but that is not as high as a mountain
opinionn. a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something
rollv. to operate something, such as a movie camera
round of applauseexpression. an outburst of clapping among a group or audience
shotn. a part of a movie or a television show that is filmed by one camera without stopping​
smoothadj. having a flat, even surface
sports carn. a low-built car designed for performance at high speeds
steepadj. rising or falling sharply
stunt driver - n. a trained driver who drives vehicles for dangerous scenes in films and on television
test drive - v. an act of driving a motor vehicle that one is considering buying in order to determine its quality.
unevenadj. not level, flat or smooth
unfortunatelyadv. a word used to say that something is bad or disappointing
utility vehiclen. a powerful vehicle with four-wheel drive that can be driven over rough ground (also called sport utility vehicle or SUV)
vehiclen. a machine that is used to carry people or goods from one place to another

Practice

Now, you try it! First, read about reported speech below. Then try changing a few of these sentences into reported speech:

Anna asked, "Rick, are you ready?"
Hank said, "I've never seen anyone try so hard."
Kurt asked, "Are you ready to go on the rollercoaster?"
Anna said, "This hill is really steep."
Penelope said, "I think we have enough test drive video."
Anna said, "I think I should go again."

Write your sentences in the Comments section and we will try to respond to you.

Anna tells Penelope what Ms. Weaver had said before the car show.
Anna tells Penelope what Ms. Weaver had said before the car show.

Reported Speech

We often need to tell others what someone else said. We can do this in two ways. One is to say the person’s exact words and use quotation marks. We call this “direct speech.” The other is to talk about what someone else said. We call this “reported speech.”

Direct Speech

Reported Speech

“You need to show lots of cars.”

She said (that) we need show lots of cars.

Reported speech contains a subject, reporting verb, conjunction and reporting clause. (The word “that” is optional.)

Subject noun or pronoun

Reporting Verb

Conjunction

Reporting Clause

She

said

(that)

we need to show lots of cars.

Using Reported Speech

To use reported speech, choose a reporting verb, such as say, tell or ask. Usually, the verb in direct speech moves one tense back in time in reported speech.

Direct Speech

Reported Speech

“I drive my car every day.”

She said (that) she drove her car every day.

“I am driving my car.

She said (that) she was driving her car.

“I have driven my car.”

She said (that) she had driven her car.

“I will drive my car.”

She said (that) she would drive her car.

If the speaker is reporting something that was just said, the reporting clause is often in present tense. This is also common for general facts.

Direct Speech

Reported Speech

“You need to show lots of cars.”

She said (that) we need to show lots of cars.

“The sky is blue.”

She said (that) the sky is blue.

The modals might, should, would, could and ought to do not change in reported speech. However, can, must and have to do change.

Direct Speech

Reported Speech

“I can/could drive my car.”

She said (that) she could drive her car.

“I may/might drive my car.”

She said (that) she might drive her car.

“I must drive my car.”

She said (that) she had to drive her car.

“I have to drive my car.”

She said (that) she had to drive her car.

“I should drive my car.”

She said (that) she should drive her car.

“I ought to drive my car.”

She said (that) she ought to drive her car.

Change the point of view. For example, the subject “I” becomes “he” or “she” and the subject “we” becomes “they.”

Direct Speech

Reported Speech

I have two tickets to the Car Show.”

He said (that) he had two tickets to the Car Show.

We want to dance like Hank the Robot.”

They said (that) they wanted to dance like Hank the Robot.

Use if or whether to report a “yes or no” question. And use the reporting verb “ask.”

Direct Speech

Reported Speech

“Do you like the Washington Car Show?”

She asked if/whether I liked the Washington Car Show.

Listening Quiz

See how well you understand this lesson by taking a listening quiz. Play each short video, then choose the best answer.​

Free Materials

Word Book
Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

For Teachers

Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar focus: Reported speech

Topics: Describing similarities and differences; discussing opinions

Comments

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