Shark Tank

Shark Tank

Mar 22 2019


Some people dream of working for themselves and not for someone else. Many of these people become entrepreneurs and open their own small businesses. But having your own business can be a lot of work and you might need money to get started. Where can these business owners go to get help?

“Shark Tank” is a TV show where entrepreneurs can go to pitch their ideas. The “sharks” listen to the ideas, and then choose if they want to pay for a part of the entrepeneurs’ business. It’s interesting to watch what the small business owners and inventors say to the sharks. And it’s even more interesting to hear what the sharks ask the entrepreneurs. The show is so popular that it can be seen in many countries around the world.

Jessica tells Gary about how much she enjoys watching the show. Learn more in today’s English lesson about getting in the “Shark Tank.”


Gary: Jessica, I’ve been hearing about this show called “Shark Tank.”

Jessica:  I love that show, Gary!

Gary:  I didn’t know that.

Jessica:  I love it! It’s a great platform for inventors and small businesses.

Gary:  Right, right. What I understand about the show is that people go on. They pitch their ideas. And they tell these people, who have some money, “Here’s my product, here’s what I do. I’d love for you to invest in my company, so that I can make it big.” Right?

Jessica:  Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. And some of these inventors and really small business owners, who believe in themselves and believe in their product and actually get these investors to pitch in- they make it big. These are millionaires and billionaires now, who started from their garage.

Gary:  Right. That’s the universal appeal to it, is that you start from your garage and you make it up to this huge business.

Jessica:  It’s pretty impressive.

Gary:  I didn’t know that you enjoyed it so much.

Jessica:  I do.


Jessica really likes watching “Shark Tank.” It’s a TV show that’s a great platform for small business owners and inventors to find help. If one of the “sharks” likes an idea or a product, they might choose to invest in it. Having a shark on your side can really help your business to become successful.

Gary didn’t know very much about the show, but he likes the idea and wants to watch it now. He thinks that the show is interesting because it’s about how an entrepreneur can begin really small and then become a big business.

Have you ever watched “Shark Tank”? Do you like the show?

Grammar Point

Direct vs. Reported Speech

Gary is talking about how “Shark Tank” works when he says, “And they tell these people, who have some money, ‘Here’s my product, here’s what I do. I’d love for you to invest in my company, so that I can make it big.’” Gary uses direct speech.

Direct and reported speech are two different ways to say what someone else said.

In direct speech, we quote the exact words that were spoken. We put quotation marks around what was said and add a speech tag such as “he said” or “she asked” either before or after the quote. For example:

“Are you free tonight?” she asked.
“I failed a test last week,” she said.
He asked, “Have you seen any good movies lately?”
We can also use direct speech to say what someone is saying right now, as in: She says “Hurry up.”

Reported speech is another way of saying what someone said, but without quotation marks. Reported speech doesn’t repeat the words exactly as they were spoken. It changes the tense of all the verbs that were used. For example, if the speaker used a present tense verb, we change it to the past tense. If the speaker used a past tense verb, we change it to past perfect. We also change pronouns and time expressions.

See how the quotations given in direct speech above look in reported speech. Notice the changes in verb tense:

She asked if I was free that night.
She said she had failed an exam the week before.
He asked if I had seen any good movies lately.

Which is correct, “Jen asked me about how your job is going,” or, “Jen asked me, “About how your job is going?”?


  1. What kind of people are on the show “Shark Tank”?

  2. What is an important quality for a small business owner to have?

  3. If a “shark” invests, it can help the business __.

  4. Which is not an example of reported speech?

See the full English lesson at English, baby!