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Reporting Verbs

 

Say or Tell?

We say something, but we tell someone something. The meaning is the same, and the word "that" is not necessary.

She said that she was tired.

She told him that she was tired.

There are lots of verbs we can use instead of "say" and "tell".


Shesaid, mentioned, explained, pointed out, agreed, promised, threatened, pretended, claimed, recommended, suggested, admitted, denied, boasted, complained, insisted, proposed, repliedthat ...
Shetold, promised, advised, warned, remindedhim that ...

With some verbs, you can use other structures. If someone says "I'll help you", normal reported speech is:

She promised that she would help me.

But you can also use the verb promise with to + infinitive.

She promised to help me.


Here are some common patterns for reporting verbs.


reporting verbs picture

 verbto + verb
She offered
agreed
refused
promised
threatened
pretended
to do
the shopping.

reporting verbs picture

 verbwho?to + verb
She told
ordered
asked
begged
advised
reminded
persuaded
encouraged
invited
him to do the
shopping

 verbverb-ing
I admitted
denied
suggested
recommended
eating all the cake

Finally, there are a lot of reporting verbs which use prepositions. Again, you have to remember all these patterns.

I blamed him for
I accused him of
I congratulated him on
I confessed to
I apologised for
I insisted on
doing it



Reporting Verbs Practice

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