Lesson 2 - Level B1

Lesson 2 - Level B1 1

Have you heard...?
(30 min.)


 Discuss office rumors in the workplace using reported speech;
read an article about office relationships.

Lesson 2 - Level B1
Lesson 2 - Level B1 2

Reported Speech

You can use say or tell to report what someone said.
say + something
He says (that) he is happy in his new job.
tell + somebody + something
He tells everyone (that) he is the company boss.

If you use the past forms said or told, you have to change the verbs in
the original.

Present - - - - - Past
I like working on my own. - - - - He said he liked working on his

Will - - - would:
I'll help you. - - - - He said he would help me.

I - - - he/ she
me - - - him/ her
my - - - his/ her
your - - - my

I speak to your secretary every day. - - - - He told me he spoke to
my secretary every day.

Adverbs of time and place
now – then/ at the moment
today – that day
here – there
tomorrow – the next day/ the following day
yesterday – the day before/ the previous day

I'll see you here tomorrow. - - - - He said he would see me there
the next day.

For reported questions you can use asked + what/ when/ etc.
What do you want? - - - - He asked me what I wanted.
Or asked + if for reporting yes/ no questions.
Is it official? - - - - He asked me if it was official.
Lesson 2 - Level B1
Lesson 2 - Level B1 3


Part 1: Complete the second sentence to report the first one.

Example: I'm really enjoying my job at the moment.
She says she's enjoying her job at the moment.

1) We are having a lot of problems with the production department
He told me ________________________________.

2) We should buy a new computer system.
He keeps telling me ________________________.

3) I want to see you about the arrangements for tomorrow.
He told me ________________________________.

4) Where do you work now?
They asked me________________________________.

5) What do you think of the new website?
He asked me ________________________________.

Part 2: Complete the sentences with say/said, tell/told, or ask/asked.

1) Why didn't you _____ me you weren't happy with your job?
2) What will people ____if we try to ban office gossip?
3) The boss always ____ that I should keep my desk more
4) I'll ____ you if you promise not to ___ anything to anybody else.
5) Will you ____ him if he's going to come?
6) I can't read the small print on this. What does it ______?

Lesson 2 - Level B1
Lesson 2 - Level B1 4


Combine one word from box A with one word from box B to complete
the sentence below.


1) People have the best ideas in conversations around the ________.
2) The company has hired a ________ to give advice on improving
internal communications.
3) What do you think about his idea of removing the chairs from
the _________ so we don't spend so long talking about things?
4) What is the _________ on taking coffee or tea breaks?
5) Nowadays people say ______ instead of 'personnel'.

Lesson 2 - Level B1
Lesson 2 - Level B1 5

Have you heard?

Read and discuss with your partner.

Is gossiping always bad? Many agree that
spreading rumors about the personal affairs of
others is out of line, but gossip is also a vehicle
that can help pass along vital corporate and
workplace information. Since companies and
supervisors tend to keep delicate matters under
wraps, hearing important news from the office
grapevine is sometimes the only forum
employees have. It can be used to relay success on a project, or, when
the direct approach isn’t the best approach, get the word out to a
fellow employee that you’re not happy with his or her conduct.
There are, of course, Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to taking
part in office gossip. The first is to give and take it in small doses.
Nobody wants to spend much time with or invest too much in the lead
gossiper. Keep the gossip on a professional level and work- related,
like if you’ve heard of pending layoffs or a hiring freeze. Don’t result
to petty attacks on co- workers. Always consider the source of the
gossip and the motivation behind them. If the person you hear them
from has zero credibility or is passing along harmful personal
information about someone else, do the right thing and don’t pass
along the gossip.

Discussion Questions:

1) Is gossip always a bad thing? Is it possible to ban it?
2) Does your company have a policy on gossip? Have you ever
heard a company who does that?