important basic aspects of reported speech that you have to remember
"I'm going home"
He said he was going home
expressions of time
"I'm going home
He said he was
going home the following
personal pronouns and possessive adjectives
"I'm going to my
uncle's home tomorrow"
He said he
was going to his uncle's home the
first learn reported speech these are the aspects you need to
practise. The verbs you use, therefore, are basic ones like say, tell, reply, and ask.
if you had to interview someone, for example, and then wrote about
what the person said, it would be very boring and repetitive if you
used only these verbs.
a lot of other verbs you can use to describe or summarise what
people say without repeating the same thing over and over again.
These verbs give us the meaning of the original words without
actually using them all.
section below shows some of these 'reporting verbs' with their
meanings and grammatical structures. You can often use verbs you
wouldn't normally associate with reported speech, but if they
describe the meaning of the original words then use
Some basic reporting
structures I've shown with these verbs are not necessarily the only
structures possible. I've tried to show the ones I think are the
most usual. The meaning of some verbs changes according to the
structure used, so I've only included structures that have the same
accuse someone of doing something
you who ate my chocolate, Elvira, wasn't it?"
He accused Elvira of eating his
to admit that...
was me. I ate your chocolate"
admitted eating the chocolate.
Elvira admitted that she had
eaten the chocolate.
to advise someone
to do something
if I were you I'd start saving for my retirement."
He advised me to start saving for my retirement
to agree that...
you're right, it's a terrible problem."
agreed that it was a terrible
afraid I've got some bad news. The company's closing."
The manager announced that the company was
to apologise (to
someone) for doing something
sorry I didn't get to the meeting."
apologised for not going to the
to ask someone to
very hot in here. Would you mind opening the window?"
She asked him to open the
to blame someone
for doing something
the match because you didn't save that penalty."
He blamed the goalkeeper for losing the
to complain about
electrician said he was coming at ten o'clock so I took time off
work and waited in all morning...."
complained about the
someone on doing something
done! I knew you'd pass your driving test this time."
She congratulated him on passing his driving
to deny doing
to deny that...
certainly wasn't me that left the front door open."
He denied leaving the front door open.
that he had left the front door
to explain that...
I'm late. The traffic was bad and then I couldn't find a parking
He explained why he was late.
explained that the traffic was
to forget to do
I haven't got any money. I didn't go to the bank."
He forgot to go to the
to invite someone
to do something
you like to come to our house for dinner on Friday?
He invited them to come to dinner on
to offer to do
something for someone
bags must be heavy, John. Shall I take one?"
She offered to carry a bag for
to promise to do
honest, I'll be there on time. I won't be late."
He promised not to be
to refuse to do
I'm not washing up. I did it last time."
refused to do the washing-up.
to remind someone
to do something
"Remember you have to go to
the bank. You forgot yesterday."
reminded me to go to the bank.
to suggest that
someone should do something
to suggest that someone do
don't you go to the dentist if your tooth hurts?"
She suggested that he should go to the
She suggested that he went to the
to threaten to do
you're late again we'll start without you."
They threatened to start without
to warn someone
to warn someone (not) to do
drive too quickly. The streets are very icy."
He warned him about the ice.
He warned him not to
drive too quickly.