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For Students: Reporting Verbs

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Whenever we report what someone said like 'I LOVE YOU!' we can give more information how, and what was said by using different types of verbs. For example ' He shouted - saying something at high volume - I love you ' or ' She whispered - saying something at low volume - I love you " We also have some verbs that can already carry the meaning of what was said, and so, we don't need to report the exact words, for example, apologise, this verb already carries the meaning that someone said 'I am sorry' Below are some of the verbs you can use next time to give some more details about what someone said other than just using 'said'....

Refuse to... This is used when someone says they won't do something Example: She refused to clean her room

Agree to... This is used when someone agrees with something or to do something Example: He agreed to help me with my homework

Persuade <person> to... This is when we say something to make someone change their mind. Example: He persuaded her to work when he offered her more money

Imply... This is when someone says something without directly saying something Example: He is always late, his work usually isn't the best. Are you implying I am bad at my job?!

Apologise to <person> for... This is when someone says 'sorry' to someone. Example She apologised to me for being late

Encourage <person> to... This is when we say good things to someone to make them feel inspired and good about themselves. Example: My dad encouraged me to continue with my studies

Beg <person> to<do>/for<something... This is when we ask someone desperately to do something or for something. Example She begged me to take him shopping when I got home.

Claim that <person>... This is when someone says something, but we aren't sure if it is true Example: John claims that he can do 100 press ups without a problem

Suggested that <person>... This is when we offer what we think is a good idea Example: ' We could get a Chinese takeaway'

Admit -ing.. This is when we say did something after some time of saying we didn't Example: After two days he admitted stealing money from my purse

Deny - ing... This is the opposite of the above. This is when we say we didn't do something Example: He denied stealing money from the bank he works at

Promised <person> to... This is when you say you WILL 100% do something Example: Simon promised me he would be here at 5pm

Remind <person> to... This is when we tell someone not to forget something Example: Do you have the book? Of course, you reminded me every 10 minutes on WhatsApp

Insisted that <person> v1 / on-ing... This is when we say something many times about doing something Example: I wanted to go to a restaurant, but Mike insisted that we go to the cinema to watch the new Star Wars film

Complained to <person> about This is when we say we don't like something or someone and tell someone about it Example: He complained to the waiter about being too slow

Whisper... This is the opposite of shout, so when we say something at a very low volume Example: He whispered I love you in my ear before we went to bed, it was so romantic


a) I asked him to help me, but he _______ – 'No, no, no, I am not helping'

b) She ______ me to stay. She even started crying!! 'Please, please, please stay!'

c) James ______ we go to the cinema, but I wasn't really interested 'Come on, let's go there, it'll great, you'll enjoy it, come on, let's go'

d) He called me last night and ________ me ____ what he said ' I'm really sorry for what I said'

e) Bob _______ James to bring his football so there shouldn't be any problems ' Don't forget your football James'

f) It was horrible. She ______ to the manager about the food. It was embarrassing ' Excuse me, this food is cold, undercooked, and disgusting'

g) He didn't say it exactly, but he ______ we could lose our jobs 'The company has lost lots of money, and there will be some big changes, no good ones I'm afraid'

i) He _____ punching the boy in the playground ' I didn't do it. Sam is lying'

j) I didn't want to take the penalty in the match, but our capital, Stepan, ______ me to take it ' You can do it. You're great at taking penalties, I believe in you'

Answers: Refused/begged/insisted/apologised/reminded/complained/implied/denied/ Encouraged


When was the last time you encouraged someone?

How often do you need to be reminded about things, are you forgetful?

When was the last time you whispered something in someone's ear?

Do you feel comfortable complaining in restaurants if you have a problem? - English native speaker in Lviv

Skype English lessons and Zoom classes with a native speaker from England


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