When using reported speech, most students learn to use “say” and “tell”:
John told me he was going to stay late at work.
Peter said he wanted to visit his parents that weekend.
These forms are perfectly correct for reporting what others have said. However, there are a number of other reporting verbs which can more accurately describe what someone has said. These verbs take a variety of structures. The following list gives you reporting verbs in various categories based on sentence structure. Notice that a number of verbs can take more than one form.
A) Verb + infinitive: agree, decide, offer, promise, refuse, threaten
• They agreed to meet on Friday.
• He refused to take his coat off.
B) Verb + object + infinitive: advise, encourage, invite, remind, warn
• Tom advised me to go home early.
• She reminded me to telephone my mother.
C) Verb + gerund: deny, recommend, suggest
• They recommended taking the bus.
• She suggested meeting a little earlier.
D) Verb + object + preposition (+ gerund): accuse, blame, congratulate
• He accused me of taking the money.
• They congratulated me on passing all my exams.
E) Verb + preposition + gerund: apologise, insist
• They apologised for not coming.
• He insisted on having dinner.
F) Verb + (that) + subject + verb: admit, agree, decide, deny, explain, insist, promise, recommend, suggest
• Sarah decided (that) the house needed cleaning.
• They recommended (that) we take the bus.