Learn 20 reporting verbs in English. Sound like a native speaker – replace these overused verbs in your English!
Learn important reporting verbs in academic writing and speaking. Learn to express yourself in English and boost your IELTS, TOEFL, or other English proficiency exam scores.
This lesson is perfect for students learning English as a second language, who want to improve their spoken English, written English, and enhance their overall communication skills.
Listen to the podcast Speak Better English with Harry or watch it on YouTube at Learn English with Harry. englishclass101
list of useful verbs
20 reporting verbs in English
This is an advanced English lesson. And in this particular lesson, it’s really quite a long one, we’ve got 20 items to cover. We’re looking at verbs, and we’re looking at verbs we use in reported speech. They’re really, really important. They’re usually powerful verbs. So I will go through them slowly, one at a time. And I will give you a couple of examples when I give you an explanation as to what they mean.
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Meaning: to confess or acknowledge the truth of something
He admitted that he had broken the window.
She admitted that she was the one who had made the mistake.
The robber admitted to the crime.
The robber admitted doing the crime.
Meaning: to speak too proudly about your accomplishments, possessions, or abilities
He boasted about his job and children.
He boasted that they were going to move to a much bigger house with five bedrooms and a huge garden.
Little Amy couldn’t stop boasting about her dad and dog.
Meaning: to say or declare that sth is true, or to say that sth belongs to you
He claimed that he was the owner of the stolen property.
John claimed against the insurance company following the car accident to cover the damages to his vehicle.
Meaning: to moan about what has/hasn’t happened
They expressed their dissatisfaction with a dirty bedroom and complained about it.
They complained that the swimming pool wasn’t open at 6 o’clock in the morning.
Meaning: to admit or acknowledge as true or valid
After a long and hard-fought game, the football team had to concede defeat to their opponents.
The candidate conceded victory to their opponent in the elections and congratulated them on their win.
He conceded that their proposal for the launch of the new product was better.
20 reporting verbs in English
Meaning: to make sure that sth is accurate or true
I confirm that I will be at the meeting on Friday at 3 p.m.
I confirm that I received your email, and I will reply to it later.
Meaning: to say that something is not true
I denied that I was there at the scene of the accident. They must have mistaken me for somebody else.
I denied that I took the last biscuit.
Meaning: to not count or to rule out sth
The government dismissed an appeal by the opposition to have a vote on this part of the budget.
The judge dismissed the case against her because there was not enough evidence.
Meaning: to question whether sth is right or wrong
I doubt that he will be there on Friday because he’s got a very very bad flu.
We doubt that the government will be able to meet its financial targets because a recession is looming.
Meaning: (formal) to ask, to raise questions about sth
I sent a quick note to inquire about the job vacancy I saw in the newspaper.
I came across a good second-hand car on the internet, and I wanted to inquire about its availability and condition.
Meaning: to demand or require something firmly
The CEO insisted on a meeting starting at 9 o’clock sharp and ending at 10:30.
He insisted on paying for the meal for all of us.
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Meaning: (formal) to express disapproval or opposition towards sth
I object to the words that you’re using. The language is inappropriate and may send a negative message.
The government objected to the planning permission due to environmental and community impact concerns.
Meaning: to watch or notice sth carefully
The mother observed the children playing on the playground to make sure they are safe.
She was sitting on the beach observing something on the distant horizon.
Meaning: to suggest something
Would anyone like to propose an item to be added to the agenda?
He proposed to Sue during a romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant.
Meaning: to suggest or advise someone to do something
This is a great movie that I think you would enjoy. I highly recommend watching it.
I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, but I highly recommend reading this book.
Meaning: to feel sad or sorry about sth that did or didn’t happen
I regret that I am unable to come to your party because I’m going to be away.
I regret not calling you to wish you good luck in your exam.
20 reporting verbs in English
Meaning: to object sth strongly, to feel anger or annoyance towards sb or sth
I resent the words that you used. I resent the accusations that you made.
I resent the tone in your voice. You’ve no right to talk to me like that.
Meaning: to uncover or discover sth that was previously hidden or unknown
The remains of what could be the largest dinosaur ever found in Europe have been revealed in a back garden in Portugal.
While digging his garden for an extension, he revealed some hidden treasures.
The reasons why the property development didn’t go ahead were revealed to the public.
Meaning: to express an intention to harm or cause damage to sb or sth
The thief threatened me and demanded that I give him my wallet.
Mum threatened that if I didn’t do my homework, she would take my mobile phone away.
Meaning: to give sb an advanced notice that sth is going to happen
The weather forecasters usually warn us about bad weather that’s coming.
The teacher warned me that if I didn’t improve my marks, I wouldn’t pass the exam.
So that’s a long, long video, there are 20 particular words as I said, these are advanced words, they’re all about reporting reported speech, the type of verbs that we need to use really, really useful not only in your spoken English but very particularly in your written English when you’re writing essays.
Try and practice them. See, do you understand them if you need any help, and there are lots of them on the list. Send me a note. And I’ll be very happy to give you some additional examples. As always, I really really appreciate it when you watch and you listen, if you want to contact me well, then you can do so. www.englishlessonviaskype.com
This is Harry saying goodbye for now, and join me for the next lesson.
speak better English with Harry podcast- episode 428
For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:
9 English Collocations with BEYOND
You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC and British Council Learn English.
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