Friday, June 3, 2011

Reporting Verbs

When using reported speech, most students learn to use "say" and "tell":

Examples:
John told me he was going to stay late at work.
Peter said he wanted to visit his parents that weekend.

These forms are perfectly correct for reporting what others have said. However, there are a number of other reporting verbs which can more accurately describe what someone has said. These verbs take a variety of structures. The following list gives you reporting verbs in various categories based on sentence structure. Notice that a number of verbs can take more than one form.

REPORTED SPEECH
SUMMARY OF REPORTING VERBS
Note that some reporting verbs may appear in more than one of the following groups.
1. Verbs followed by 'if' or 'whether' + clause:
ask
know
remember
say
see
2. Verbs followed by a that-clause:
add
admit
agree
announce
answer
argue
boast
claim
comment
complain
confirm
consider
deny
doubt
estimate
explain
fear
feel
insist
mention
observe
persuade
propose
remark
remember
repeat
reply
report
reveal
say
state
suggest
suppose
tell
think
understand
warn
3. Verbs followed by either a that-clause or a to-infinitive:
decide
expect
guarantee
hope
promise
swear
threaten
4. Verbs followed by a that-clause containing should
(but note that it may be omitted, leaving a subject + zero-infinitive):
advise
beg
demand
insist
prefer
propose
recommend
request
suggest
5. Verbs followed by a clause starting with a question word:
decide
describe
discover
discuss
explain
forget
guess
imagine
know
learn
realise
remember
reveal
say
see
suggest
teach
tell
think
understand
wonder
6. Verbs followed by object + to-infinitive
advise
ask
beg
command
forbid
instruct
invite
teach
tell
warn

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