This is the title of the page, esl blue(s)

Live Free or Drown -- Say versus Tell

This is the original, old-style quiz. If you prefer, click here to go directly to the new, more interactive, version.

Situation:   A few years ago a friend invited me to spend a few days with him and his friends in a cabin on a lake in New Hampshire. Although it was a small lake, it was connected by a small canal to a larger lake, so motor boats were allowed. I noticed, however, that there was not too much traffic on the lake, so I decided that I would swim across. Halfway across the lake, a huge boat with US Coast Guard written on it approached me, and I heard someone shout. I stopped swimming at once, wondering what was happening. A man was leaning over the side of the boat and was looking at me.

Click here for pop-up page that explains common errors using these words

Main index     

Instructions:   Click on the correct word.

1. He asked me what I was doing and I    said   |  told    him I was swimming across the lake.   

2. I was a little surprised and asked him if there was a problem. He    said   |  told    that there was too much boat traffic and it was dangerous.   

3. I realized that he was right and    said   |  told    : 'That's too bad. I suppose that means I must swim near the shore.'   

4. He    said   |  told    me that I could swim across the lake if I was accompanied by someone in a rowboat.   

5. He said that people in boats couldn't see swimmers in the water and    said   |  told    me to be careful swimming back to shore.   

6. I was very careful and when I reached the shore I    said   |  told    my friends what had happened.   

7. They were surprised and    said   |  told    so.   

8. 'There are no US coastguard boats on a lake,' one of them    said   |  told    , convinced I was lying.   

9. 'I'm    saying   |  telling    the truth,' I said, defensively.   

10. 'Why would I lie?' I    said   |  told    to them.   

11. I also told them what the coast guard officer had    said   |  told    about the rowboat.   

12. The coast guard guy told me it was dangerous but he also    said   |  told    that I could swim across if I was accompanied by someone in a rowboat.   

13. 'If that's the case,' my friend    said   |  told    , 'then I will swim with you and Caroline can accompany us in a rowboat.'   

14. I thought that would solve the problem, and    said   |  told    Caroline to stay close to us.   

15. The coast guard boat approached us again and this time I    said   |  told    the officer that, as he could see, we were accompanied by someone in a row boat.   
His response surprised me. He said, 'I can see two swimmers but only one row boat.' I thought that he was being a bit too bureaucratic, but my friend, who is American, was really angry. 'It's hard to believe,' he said later, 'that the state motto for New Hampshire is Live Free or Die.


Top of pageRedo quizMore like thisMain index