Introductory Verbs in Reported Speech | English Grammar

Learn how to use Introductory Verbs in Reported Speech with list and examples.

We use the Reported speech when we want to tell someone what another person said without using his/her exact words, adapting them to the new circumstances in which they are repeated.

A reported speech sentence has two parts:

Introductory Clause + Indirect Clause.

Example: He said that they were classmates. (Introductory clause: He said that, Indirect clause: They were classmates.)

In the introductory clause we need an introductory verb. There are about 248 verbs to introduce the reported speech in English.

Introductory Verbs in Reported Speech | Video

List of Introductory Verbs in Reported Speech

Tell, Say & Ask

The commonest verbs to introduce the reported speech are: Tell, Say and AskSome important aspects about these verbs are that:

Tell

– Can be followed by THAT, but it can be omitted.

– Need an indirect object.
Example:

He told me that she was his wife.

Say

– Can be followed by THAT, but it can be omitted.

– Can have an indirect object or not. If it has an indirect objects, this must be introduced by the

particle “to”.

Example:

He said that Sarah was working. (no indirect object) 

He said to me that Sarah was working. (with indirect object)

Ask

– Can have an indirect object or not.

– Can be used to report questions.

Example:

She asked (me) where I lived.

– Can be used to report imperatives or requests

Example:

She asked (me) to babysit for her on Friday.

In reported speech, we normally use a “that clause”, but depending on the reporting verbs used

other structures are also possible. 

 

Verb + that + clause

Complain

Example:

She complained that I was always late.

Deny

Example:

She denied that she had flown in an aeroplane.

Explain

Example:

He explained that it was an easy recipe to follow.

Exclaim/remark

Example:

She exclaimed/remarked that he was a beautiful baby.

Promise

Example:

She promised that she would call me.

Boast

Example:

He boasted that he was a brilliant dentist.

Inform somebody

Example:

He informed me that I would be called for an interview.

Claim

Example:

He claimed that he knew the answer.

Agree

Example:

He agreed that it was a beautiful hat.

Suggest

Example:

He suggested that I (should) take the other road.

Introductory Verbs in Reported Speech | English Grammar

Verb + to + infinitive

Agree

Example:

He agreed to cook for me.

Offer

Example:

He offered to carry her baby.

Refuse

Example:

She refused to buy me a car.

Demand

Example:

He demanded to be told the truth.

Threaten

Example:

He threatened to punish me if I didn’t behave myself.

Promise

Example:

He promised to marry her when he returned.

Claim

Example:

He claimed to have heard her say that.

Verb + Indirect Object + to + infinitive

Advise

Example:

He advised me to take a coat.

Allow

Example:

He allowed me to park over there.

Beg

Example:

She begged me to call the police.

Command

Example:

He commanded them to drop their weapons.

Encourage

Example:

He encouraged me to phone her.

Forbid

Example:

My doctor forbade me to eat sweets.

Invite

Example:

She invited me to go to his house.

Want

Example:

He wanted me to drink a cup of tea.

Instruct

Example:

He instructed me to insert coin.

Permit

Example:

My parents permitted me to travel with my friends.

Urge

Example:

He urged me to finish reading the book.

Order

She ordered me to get out of bed.

Remind

Example:

She reminded me to take out the garbage.

Warn

Example:

She warned me not to go near the oven.

Verb + “ing” form

Admit (to)

Example:

He admitted (to) stealing/having stolen her money.

Accuse somebody of

Example:

She accused me of breaking the cup.

Apologize for

Example:

He apologized for shouting/having shouted at me.

Boast about/ of

Example:

He boasted of/about being the cleverest of all.

Complain to somebody of

Example:

She complained to me of having a toothache.

Deny

Example:

He denied murdering/having murdered his wife.

Insist on

Example:

She insisted on me/my wearing warm clothes.

Suggest

Example:

She suggested going to the theatre.

Verb + how

Explain to somebody

Example:

He explained to me how to make polite conversation.

Wonder

Wonder where/what/why/how + clause

When the subject of the introductory verb is not the same as the subject in the reported question.

Example:

She wondered how he could reach the top.

He wondered where Joan was.

He wondered why she was crying.

‘Wonder + whether + to-inf or clause’ or ‘Wonder where/what/how + to-inf or clause’

When the subject of the infinitive is the same as the subject of the verb.

Example:

He wondered whether to buy that blender.

He wondered where he had gone wrong in his calculations.

He wondered what he should wear.

He wondered how to get to the post office.

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Introductory Verbs in Reported Speech | Video

1 responses on "Introductory Verbs in Reported Speech | English Grammar"

  1. Excellent!

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