From Africa to Asia: Is Paco getting ready to leave India?


  In topics 3 and 4, among other things, you studied how to report in the present statements expressing experiences, feelings, opinions, etc. uttered in the past. You also learnt to report questions and commands. In this unit, we will continue improving this topic.

Apart from that, we will study the use of so and such (a/an) in cause-effect clauses and some very common verbs which are frequently followed by specific prepositions.

Come on, let's begin the topic!

Icono IDevice Reading activity

Paco is absolutely amazed by the city of Mumbai. It is enormous. In fact, he was told that, in terms of population, it is the second largest city in the world, if not the largest, after Shanghai. Almost 14 million people live in this magnificent city. At the moment Paco is relaxing at a bar near the fantastic natural harbour. He is looking at the ships and boats and the people going to and fro. He is enjoying such a peaceful moment that when his mobile phone rings he is on the point of spilling the soft drink he is having. It is Sonia.

By ganuullu. C. Commons

Paco: Yeah?

Sonia: Paco? It’s Sonia. How are you?

Paco: Hello, my lovely sister. Fine, thanks. And you? How are you all?

Sonia: Very well, Paco. Mum and dad are looking forward to your arrival in Madrid. When are you coming back?

Paco: Oh, Sonia! I don’t know yet. Surely, I won’t be back until the end of June. I’m in Mumbai, now. I arrived here three days ago. Do you know? Last week I went trekking in the Himalayas. Our guide, Devaj, told us many interesting things about Mount Everest and K2. It was fantastic and amazing! You should come and see all the places I have seen. The Taj Mahal is astonishing!

Sonia: You’re lucky! But you’ve been abroad for a month and a half! Don’t you think it is more than enough?

Paco: Probably, Sonia, but remember that I would like to go to Asia and Oceania before returning. So, tell mum and dad I’m ok. I’ll be back soon and I’ll take lots of photographs, presents and curiosities with me. They will enjoy listening to all the things I have to tell and show them.

Sonia: Are you eating well? How often do you eat?

Paco: I’m eating very well, Sonia. Don’t worry! Wherever I go I try new dishes and food. In fact, I think I’m putting on weight.

Sonia: I can’t believe that. Where are you going next?

Paco: I’m not sure, but I think I’ll go to Saigon, Vietnam.

Sonia: Be careful, please. I’ll tell our parents you’re alright, but we would like to hear from you more often. Could you phone as soon as you arrive in Saigon, please?

Paco: No problem, Sonia, I’ll do. Bye.

Sonia: Bye, Paco. Take care!

Listen to and read the passage above and the conversation Paco maintains with his sister.

Answer the following questions:

1. According to the text, did Paco spill what he was drinking?

2. Sonia asks Paco how often he eats. Does he answer Sonia's question?

3. Does Paco tell Sonia he is getting ready to leave India?

Icono IDevice Important

Have a look at the following sentence from the passage above:

... when his mobile phone rings he is on the point of spilling the soft drink he is having.

Why do you think the narrator uses the gerund "spilling" in the sentence? Have you seen the preposition "of"? That's right, remember that in English when we need a verb after a preposition, the gerund is always used.

Icono de IDevice de pregunta Self_Assessment activity

Can you remember the difference between direct or quoted speech and indirect or reported speech? Say whether the following sentences are considered direct or indirect speech (quotation marks have been dropped)

1. Mum and dad are looking forward to your arrival in Madrid.

a. Direct speech.
b. Indirect or reported speech.

2. How often do you eat?
a. Direct speech.
b. Indirect or reported speech.

3. Sonia asked Paco where he was going next.
a. Direct speech.
b. Indirect or reported speech.

4. Paco believed he was putting on weight.
a. Direct speech.
b. Indirect or reported speech.

Icono IDevice Further knowledge

Ask Mike any word, phrase or sentence you doubt how to pronounce, he will help you! Come back whenever you need him!

 Click here to use Mike.


After warming up, let's review how to report, in the present, commands uttered in the past.