When using reported speech, most students learn to use "say" and "tell":
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.
verb object infinitive
verb object preposition gerund
verb preposition gerund advise
Examples: Jack encouraged me to look for a new job.
They invited all their friends to attend the presentation.
Examples: She offered to give him a lift to work.
My brother refused to take no for an answer.
Examples: Tom admitted (that) he had tried to leave early.
She agreed (that) we needed to reconsider our plans.
Examples: He denied having anything to do with her.
Ken suggested studying early in the morning.
Examples: They accused the boys of cheating on the exam.
She blamed her husband for missing the train.
Examples: He apologized for being late.
She insisted on doing the washing up.
For more information on reported speech, this overview of reported speech provides a guide on which transformations are required to use the form. Practice using this form with the reported speech worksheet that provides a quick review and exercise. There's also a reported speech quiz which provides immediate feedback on correct or incorrect answers. Teachers can use this guide on how to teach reported speech for help...
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