Reported Speech and Reporting Verbs
- "I want to be a doctor," said Tom.
- Tom told me (that) he wanted to be a doctor.
- Tom said (that) he wanted to be a doctor.
- "Will you help me," she asked.
- She asked (me) if I would help her.
- She wondered if I would help her.
Note the difference between "say" and "tell". We say something, but we tell someone something.
|Similar to 'say'||Similar to 'tell'|
|mention, explain, point out, agree, promise, threaten, pretend, claim, recommend, suggest, admit, deny, boast, complain, insist, propose, reply||promise, advise, warn, remind|
Here are some common reporting verbs with the patterns which follow them. You should learn and remember these.
|Subject||Verb||to do||This pattern is common with verbs which mean "I'll do it!"|
Here, the person who is speaking does the action.
|to make a cup of tea.|
|Subject||Verb||Object||to do||This pattern is common with verbs which mean "You do it!".|
Here, the person who is listening does the action.
Note that "warn" is usually used with a negative. ("I warned him not to go.")
|him||to make me a cup of tea.|
|Subject||Verb||doing||A lot of students make mistakes with "suggest" and "recommend" so make sure you learn these.|
|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 doing it.||I confessed to doing it.|
|I accused him of doing it.||I apologised for doing it.|
|I congratulated him on doing it.||I insisted on doing it.|