Reporting Verbs

As we have already seen, the most common verb for reported speech is to say. We can use to say with or without an object:

He said that he had been to work.
He said to me that he had been to work.
say + (to sb) + (that) + clause

Another common verb is to tell. When use to tell we have to use an object:

He told me that he had been to work.
xHe told that he had been to work.
tell + sb + (that) + clause

When we report questions we usually use ask:

She asked me if I liked chocolate.

There are many other reporting verbs we can use that have different patterns.

Reporting verbs + -ing form

These verbs can have an -ing verb pattern:

admit “I stole the money,” he admitted.
He admitted stealing the money.
apologise for “I’m sorry I stole the money.”
He apologised for stealing the money.
complain about “It’s so hot inside,” he complained
He complained about it being so hot inside.
deny “I didn’t break the vase.”
He denied breaking the vase.
insist on “I’m going to pay for these coffees,” my friend insisted.
My friend insisted on paying for the coffees.
suggest “Let’s go for a walk,” she suggested.
She suggested going for a walk.
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