Look at these examples to see how reporting verbs are used.
direct speech: 'You should come, it's going to be a lot of fun,' she said.
indirect speech: She persuaded me to come.
direct speech: 'Wait here,' he said.
indirect speech: He told us to wait there.
direct speech: 'It wasn't me who finished the coffee,' he said.
indirect speech: He denied finishing the coffee.
Try this exercise to test your grammar.
- Grammar test 1
When we tell someone what another person said, we often use the verbs say, tell or ask. These are called 'reporting verbs'. However, we can also use other reporting verbs. Many reporting verbs can be followed by another verb in either an infinitive or an -ing form.
Reporting verb + infinitive
Verbs like advise, agree, challenge, claim, decide, demand, encourage, invite, offer, persuade, promise, refuse and remind can follow an infinitive pattern.
'Let's see. I'll have the risotto, please.'
'I'll do the report by Friday, for sure.'
- He decided to have the risotto.
'It's not a good idea to write your passwords down.'
- She promised to do the report by Friday.
- They advised us not to write our passwords down.
We can also use an infinitive to report imperatives, with a reporting verb like tell, order, instruct, direct or warn.
'Please wait for me in reception.'
'Don't go in there!'
- The guide told us to wait for her in reception.
- The police officer warned us not to go in there.
Reporting verb + -ing form
Verbs like admit, apologise for, complain about, deny, insist on, mention and suggest can follow an -ing form pattern.
'I broke the window.'
'I'm really sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.'
- She admitted breaking the window.
'Let's take a break.'
- He apologised for not getting back to me sooner.
- She suggested taking a break.
Do this exercise to test your grammar again.
- Grammar test 2