What did she say?


In English there are two different ways of expressing the words of another person: Direct and Indirect Speech. Indirect or Reported Speech is different to Direct Speech because it does not phrase the statement or question in the same way as the original speaker. Direct speech is very simple as the exact words of the original speaker are reported in quotation marks.

Direct Speech Reported Speech
She said, “You look good in that.” She said that I looked good in this.

A lesson on a movie segment_While you were sleeping

Reported statements exercise.

Reported questions exercise.

Funny video: “Office Gossip”

Would your life be the same if…?

Would your life be the same if you had been born in a different country? The answer to the question is pretty obvious, but just thinking about it can make us understand life outside our home. We can imagine what our life would be like in another country by comparing living conditions, and ifitweremyhome.com provides a tool to compare country conditions.


Conditional sentences links:




This used to be my playground by Madonna

This is a beautiful ballad about wishing to keep your childhood memories when you’ve come to be an adult and life sometimes seems to be getting rougher and rougher every day. It’s all about longing for the time when you had lots of dreams and few worries. I’m not especially keen on Madonna, but I love this song.

The song is also a very good example of the verb form “used to” to express past habits or facts. Here you’ve got some links to help you understand it.


‘used to’ grammar

Grammar and exercises

Exercise about Madonna’s song

ELS Quiz:  Memories_Used to

A whole lesson (BBC Learning English) with lots of activities on Used to for past habits

Grammar lessons and exercises » used to, be used to, get used to



Modals of obligation, prohibition, ability, possibility and certainty, and advice.

fair test

A student’s life: Modal verbs (listening and grammar_introduction)

There is a good choice of listening podcasts on modals from Paul’s English Podcasts. The podcast on strange UK laws is really amusing; you’ve got to listen to it!

Dictation: using modals

Modals of obligation presentation by David Manwood:


Modals of possibility and certainty by David Manwood:

Modals of possibility, ability and permission: can, could, be able to

Modals game

Relative clauses

Here you have a funny definition of the word ‘teacher’. Definitions usually contain relative clauses in English.
teacher funny

“We use relative clauses to give additional information about something without starting another sentence. By combining sentences with a relative clause, your text becomes more fluent and you can avoid repeating certain words.”  (www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/relative-clauses)


  • A teacher is a person.
  • A teacher helps you solve problems.

We can combine these two sentences into one like this:

A teacher is a person who/that helps you solve problems.

Now you can add another relative clause; this time you’re referring to the ‘problems’ mentioned before:

  • You’d (=would) never have problems without them (=teachers/ a teacher)

A teacher is a person who/that helps you solve problems which/that/– you’d never have without them.


More exercises:

Relative clauses with who, which or that – key (class worksheet)



“Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is the title of a song that Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote in 1984 in order to raise money to fight famine in Ethiopia. On 25 November 1984 it was recorded by Band Aid, a group of popular and successful musicians, in the United Kingdom, where it became a fast-selling hit just in a few weeks. Later it was also released outside the UK and reached the tops in thirteen more countries around the world.

The song raised much more money than Geldof himself had hoped, around 8 million pounds, in just 12 months. What’s more, this UK idea led to other charity musical projects and events such as the song “We are the World” by USA for Africa, charity Comic Relief and the Live Aid concert; but above all, it served to make people be aware and financially help alleviate famine in Africa.

“Do they know it’s Christmas?” has been recorded again three more times, in 1989, 2004 and 2014, to provide funds either for famine relief or for the Ebola crisis in west Africa. However, this song hasn’t been the first to be considered as a charity record.

Back in the early seventies, ex-Beatle George Harrison recorded the single “Bangla Desh” to raise money for the 1970 Bhola cyclone and the Bangladesh Liberation War. On 1 August 1971 Harrison and Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar organized The Concert for Bangladesh in New York. That event, which gathered a supergroup of performers, was probably the first benefit concert ever. No only did it raise awareness and big money but it also inspired subsequent charity events and records, such as “Do they know it’s Christmas?”.


It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and banish shade
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy

Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time

But say a prayer and pray for the other ones
At Christmas time, it’s hard but while you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear
Where a kiss of love can kill you, and there’s death in every tear
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom

Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you

Bring peace and joy this Christmas to West Africa
A song of hope they’ll have is being alive
Why is comfort deadly fear
Why is to touch to be scared
How can they know it’s Christmas time at all

Here’s to you
Raise a glass to everyone
Here’s to them
And all their years to come

Can they know it’s Christmas time at all

Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world

Read more: Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood

The poem I asked you to read last week was written by Roald Dahl, a really polific author who was born in 1916. This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. You can read about this on the school library blog.

This is his personal version of the traditional fairy tale. You can enjoy it both by listening to him telling the story and by reading it yourselves at the same time. As in many of his writings, there is a twist in the tale at the end.

I’ve thought that you could compare this version to a more traditional one by Perrault on Storynory, a website where you can enjoy reading and listening to 100s of free audio stories. You can also download them for free.