FCE (First Certificate):
Reported Speech and Reporting Verbs
You will need to know the rules for reporting speech (statements and questions) as well as the patterns following reporting verbs (e.g. "apologise for doing something"). If you need more information about these rules, look at my lessons for 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. (good luck - there are a lot!!!)
|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.|
Practice: Rewrite each of these sentences so they have the same meaning as the first. Use between 2 and 5 words, and do not change the word in brackets.
This grammar might also appear in part 1 of Use of English (multiple choice cloze).
There is more practice of these reporting verbs here