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Reporting Verbs

Reporting verbs are generally used for reporting what someone says, thinks or believes. Direct speech is the terms used when we give the exact words someone used.

Help! he shouted.

Can I help you? the policeman asked.

Shoot for goal! screamed Tarmidzie.

. Indirect or Reported speech is used when we give our own version of what someone has said. Dad said I couldnt go to the movies. He thinks I should study instead.

Reporting Verbs
What is a reporting Verb?
Many students quickly learn how to use say, tell, ask, reply and thought. As writers are generally reporting what someone has already said, it generally needs to be written in the past tense. Reported Speech is sometimes called Indirect Speech What did your father say when you asked him to buy you a computer? He said Id have to save at least half myself!. Whats wrong with the car? I asked. I think the battery is flat, Nazwan replied. Did you tell Sharifa about netball training on Saturday afternoon?


Yes, I told her, but she cant come because she is going to Miri. Do you think you did well in the Maths exam? I thought I knew the topics well, but now Im not so sure. Task A. Underline the reporting verbs in the following passage. So, when exactly did you see Jodie last? asked the detective. Well, it would have been Friday night, at about 10.30 Sam replied. The detective stared at Sam intently and finally said Did she say anything to you? Sam sighed I ve already explained that she told me she was going up the coast for a few days Did she say when shed be back?, demanded the detective She said shed be back sometime next week. Look, whats going on here, I get the feeling that you think I had something to do with her disappearance! Sam shouted. A body was discovered this morning which matches her description, muttered the detective. Oh no, Sam moaned. Writing becomes boring and repetitive if you use only a few verbs. Other verbs can be use to describe or summarise what people say without repeating the same thing over and over again. There are a number of other reporting verbs which can more accurately describe what someone has said. 1. Some verbs are often followed by if or whether:







I cant decide whether or not Ill go to Kota Kinabalu in the holidays. 2. Some reporting verbs are followed by an optional that. add boast deny insist suggest repeat admit claim doubt mention suppose warn agree comment estimate observe report tell announce complain explain persuade reveal think answer confirm fear propose say understand argue consider feel remark state

remember reply

The boys mother warned him that it was dangerous to play near the road. My doctor suggested that I should increase my fitness level.


3. Some verbs can be followed by either a thatclause or a to infinitive: advise hope request beg insist swear decide promise suggest demand prefer threaten expect propose guarantee recommend

Siti decided that she would save up for an mp3 player. Siti decided to save up for an mp3 player. The courier guaranteed to deliver the parcel in three days. The courier guaranteed that he would deliver the parcel in three days.

4. Verbs followed by a clause starting with a question word: decide forget realise suggest understand describe guess remember teach wonder discover imagine reveal tell discuss know say think explain learn see

The boy couldnt explain why he threw the brick through the window. I couldnt understand how I had spent so much money.

5. Some verbs can followed by object + to-infinitive advise forbid agree instruct ask invite beg teach command tell warn

Last year, my lawyer advised me to increase my house insurance. My grandfather taught me to play chess. Nurul Izahs cousin invited her to go to Miri during the holidays.


Task B: Choose reporting verbs from the box to complete the following sentences. Remember to think carefully about which tense to use. warn deny congratulate complain promise refuse admit wonder suggest agree realise

1. Sam _____________ having anything to do with Jodies disappearance. 2. Hjh Amira _________________ about the cost of repairs to her airconditioner. 3. The thief ________________ that he had stolen the jewellery.
4. "Don't drive too quickly, its been raining heavily Zuls grandfather ________________. 5. I tried to _________________ to the examiner why I was late.

6. Noor Azizahs friends __________________ her on obtaining 6

credits in her O Level exams.

7. Why don't you go to the dentist if your tooth hurts?

____________ Amirah.

8. 9.

Ak. Hafiuddin __________ Ck.Jalal that he wouldnt be late again. Syafiq _______________ to eat his vegetables.

10. Suddenly, I _______________ I was being followed.

Task C Many writers choose reporting verbs carefully to indicate how a person is feeling, or what they are thinking.

accuse admit agree allege announce apologise argue assume assert believe blame

claim conclude concede consider contend demonstrate demand determine doubt discover discuss encourage explain

feel find guess hope hypothesize indicate imagine imply indicate infer

maintain notice recommend say show note offer predict presume propose prove record

refer report respond retort reveal show suggest state theorize threaten urge


Part A: Choose suitable reporting verbs to complete the following passages

The geography teacher was drawing a diagram on the board when suddenly a mobile phone ring tone could clearly be heard around the room.

Whose mobile phone was that ? ____________ the teacher. Its Azizahs, Ridwan __________. No. its not!, ___________ Azizah. I didnt bring mine today Well, the teacher ___________, You know the school rules, the teacher ___________. You shouldnt have your mobile at school. No-one will be going to break until I find out whose mobile it is. The class____________ amongst themselves, quietly. Faizul ________that he should be let out because he had an appointment with the principal. Four of the boys _________ they needed to see Ck. Jalal, the P.E. teacher. Finally, the students seated near Ridwan ___________ him to own up. Ridwan eventually _______________ that it was his phone, and the class could go to break on time.
Part B:

Opinion has been divided in recent years on the effects of global warming. Scientists have recently ______________ increased evidence of global warming and they __________ that there has been an average increase in the Earth's temperature, which in turn causes changes in climate. Global warming is caused by gas emissions from vehicles and industries. Scientists _____________that unless we curb global warming emissions, average U.S. temperatures could be 3 to 9 degrees higher by the end of the century. Looking at future impacts, some scientists ______________ that a warmer Earth may
lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans. When scientists ___________the issue of climate change, their concern is about global warming caused by human activities.

Average global temperature has increased by almost 1F over the past century. Scientists ___________ the average global temperature to increase an additional 2 to 6F over the next one hundred years. This may not sound like much, but it could change the Earth's climate as never before. At the peak of the last ice age (18,000 years ago), the temperature was only 7F colder than it is today, and glaciers covered much of North America!
However, others ____________ that this is the case. They __________ that what is currently happing is part of a long-term cycle of climate change, which alters gradually over time, causing floods, cyclones. They _________that there will soon be a ___________ of the current changes.


Review :
Things to remember when using reporting verbs include :

changes in verb tenses

If the reported sentence deals with a fact or general truth, the present tense is (can be) retained. She said that the moon causes the tides
"I'm going home" said Ali. Ali said he was going home.

changes in expressions of time "I'm going home tomorrow" He said he was going home the following day.

changes in personal pronouns and possessive adjectives "I'm going to visit my uncle tomorrow" He said he was going to visit his uncle the following day.