This grammar lesson explains how to describe what someone has said using reporting verbs in English. The exercises for this topic are here. This topic is related to Gerunds and Infinitives and Reported Speech. These lessons are all part of a complete Upper-Intermediate English Course (B2).
Reporting verbs are words used to report or convey information that someone else has said or written. They are used to introduce quotes, paraphrases, or summaries of what someone else has said or written.
Reporting verbs can be used to convey different attitudes or opinions towards the information being reported. For example, some reporting verbs indicate a neutral or objective attitude towards the information, while others may indicate agreement or disagreement, doubt, or uncertainty. This topic is closely related to reported speech, as they both deal with describing what another person said.
Examples of reporting verbs include “say,” “tell,” “explain,” “suggest,” “argue,” “claim,” “assert,” “acknowledge,” “admit,” “deny,” “confirm,” “refute,” and “insist,” among others.
Using these verbs is an important skill to master, as it helps to accurately report and summarise information from different sources, such as articles, books, interviews, or conversations.
Here are some examples of reporting verbs. They are in groups according to the verb patterns that we can use them with. Some of these verbs require an object (such as me, him, it or them) but others do not. Some are followed by a verb in the gerund (-ing form) and others by a verb in the infinitive (such as to be, to do, to go). There is more detail about verb forms in the lesson on Gerunds & Infinitives.
|Verb + Infinitive (with “to”)||Agree, Offer; Refuse, Promise, Threaten|
|Verb + Person + Infinitive||Advise, ask, Convince, Encourage, Invite, Persuade, Remind, Tell, Warn|
|Verb + ____ing||Accuse sb. of, Admit, Apologise for, Blame sb. for, Deny, Insist on, Recommend, Regret, Suggest|
These verbs can be followed by an object (usually a person) and then a verb in the infinitive form.
These reporting verbs are followed by a verb in the gerund (-ing) form.
These reporting verbs can be followed by a clause that starts with “that…”
You can follow these reporting verbs with a clause that starts with “if…” or “whether…”
NOTE: You can use some reporting verbs in multiple forms, depending on the context and the speaker’s intention.
Check that you have understood this grammar with these interactive exercises.