Reporting Verbs: Important List of 85 Reporting Verbs for ESL Learners

Reporting verbs are an essential aspect of writing in various fields such as academic writing, journalism, and literature. They are used to report or refer to another writer’s work and are necessary to link your in-text citation to the information that you are citing. These verbs are used to convey the writer’s attitude towards the information being reported and help to establish credibility.

In this article, we will explore the meaning, strength, and nuance of different reporting verbs. We will also provide examples of how to use them in sentences and offer exercises to test your knowledge. Whether you are a student, researcher, or writer, understanding reporting verbs is essential to improve your writing and communicate your ideas effectively.

Reporting Verbs

Reporting Verbs

Definition and Purpose

As writers, we often need to report what someone else has said, written or done. To do this, we use reporting verbs. Reporting verbs are words that we use to convey information about what someone else has said or done. The purpose of using reporting verbs is to make our writing more concise and clear.

Common Reporting Verbs

There are many reporting verbs that we can use in our writing. Some of the most common reporting verbs include “say,” “tell,” “ask,” “warn,” “suggest,” “advise,” “promise,” and “offer.” The choice of which reporting verb to use depends on the context of the sentence and the tone that we want to convey.

Here is a list of some common reporting verbs and their meanings:

Reporting Verb Meaning
say to state something
tell to communicate information to someone
ask to request information from someone
warn to caution someone about something
suggest to propose an idea or plan
advise to give someone advice
promise to make a commitment to do something
offer to propose something for consideration
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It is important to note that some reporting verbs are followed by a direct object (e.g. “tell” is followed by the person being told), while others are not. For example, “say” is not followed by a direct object, but “warn” is.

List of Reporting Verbs

Reporting Verbs List

Below is a useful reporting verbs list in English.

  • Said
  • Blessed
  • Told
  • Thanked
  • Asked
  • Apologized
  • Requested
  • Advised
  • Informed
  • Exclaimed
  • Commented
  • Proposed
  • Suggested
  • Replied
  • Added
  • Wished
  • Opposed
  • Greeted
  • Explained
  • Prayed
  • Praised
  • Persuaded
  • Complained
  • Admired
  • Promised
  • Refused
  • Begged
  • Offered
  • Threatened
  • Allowed
  • Reported
  • Invited
  • Insisted
  • Inquired
  • Announced
  • Instructed
  • Wondered
  • Ordered
  • Commanded
  • Warned
  • Reminded
  • Admitted
  • Argued
  • Urged
  • Pleaded
  • Answered
  • Repeated
  • Agreed
  • Claimed
  • Boasted
  • Confirmed
  • Considered
  • Denied
  • Doubted
  • Estimated
  • Feared
  • Mentioned
  • Observed
  • Remarked
  • Remembered
  • Revealed
  • Stated
  • Supposed
  • Decided
  • Expected
  • Guaranteed
  • Demanded
  • Recommended
  • Guessed
  • Believed
  • Responded
  • Accused
  • Alleged
  • Blamed
  • Criticized
  • Developed
  • Accepted
  • Conceded
  • Acknowledged
  • Recognized
  • Assumed
  • Discovered
  • Inferred
  • Concluded
  • Disagreed

Reporting Verb Examples

  • He said he wanted to go to town.
  • I asked him where he lived.
  • Mark promised he would buy me lunch.
  • She complained that I was always late.
  • Stuart commented that this was very true.
  • They promised that all books would be returned by Friday.
  • “What do you want?” He demanded aggressively.
  • She exclaimed that she was innocent.
  • They announced that a cold wave would come soon.
  • The police acknowledged that three police vehicles were damaged.
  • It is expected that the report will suggest some major reforms.
  • It is often stated that we use only 10 percent of our brain.
  • “I’m not sure”, she responded.
  • The prime minister admitted that the crisis had been mishandled.
  • He repeated that he had been misquoted.
  • It has been confirmed that Lewis’s next fight will be against Bruno.

Learn more about reported speech.

Types of Reporting Verbs

Reporting Verbs for Statements

The most common type of information cited in academic writing is statements. Here are some reporting verbs that can be used to report statements:

  • Say: This is the most basic and common reporting verb. It can be used to report any kind of statement, whether it is a fact or an opinion.
  • State: This verb is often used to report formal statements, such as those found in legal documents or official reports.
  • Claim: This verb is used to report statements that may be controversial or in dispute.
Related  Modal Verbs: Enhancing Your Language Precision and Clarity

Reporting Verbs for Questions

When citing information from a question, it is important to use a reporting verb that accurately reflects the nature of the question. Here are some reporting verbs that can be used to report questions:

  • Ask: This verb is used to report a direct question that was asked by someone else.
  • Inquire: This verb is used to report a more formal question, such as one made in a research study or survey.
  • Wonder: This verb is used to report a more informal or speculative question.

Reporting Verbs for Orders and Requests

When citing information about orders or requests, it is important to use a reporting verb that accurately reflects the nature of the order or request. Here are some reporting verbs that can be used to report orders and requests:

  • Order: This verb is used to report a direct order given by someone else.
  • Request: This verb is used to report a direct request made by someone else.
  • Suggest: This verb is used to report a more indirect or tentative order or request.

Using Reporting Verbs

Tense Agreement

When using reporting verbs, it is important to ensure that the tense of the verb used in the reported speech matches the tense used in the reporting verb. For example, if we use the reporting verb “said” in the past tense, then the verb used in the reported speech should also be in the past tense. If we use the present tense reporting verb “says”, then the verb used in the reported speech should also be in the present tense.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Another important aspect of using reporting verbs is ensuring that there is agreement between the subject of the reporting verb and the subject of the reported speech. For example, if the subject of the reporting verb is “he”, then the subject of the reported speech should also be “he”. If the subject of the reporting verb is “they”, then the subject of the reported speech should also be “they”.

Related  List of Verbs: 100 Most Important English Verbs in Writing

Reporting Verb Patterns

Reporting verbs follow specific patterns for their sentence structure. For instance, “say” uses the basic verb pattern: “Say + ( that) + clause”. On the other hand, with “tell” we need to use an object, a person who we tell the information to. Other reporting verbs such as “ask” and “inquire” also have their own unique patterns.

Reporting in Different Contexts

Academic Writing

In academic writing, reporting verbs are extensively used to link in-text citations to the information cited. These verbs help the writer to accurately and effectively present the ideas and arguments of other authors.

Reporting verbs can be divided into two categories: neutral and evaluative. Neutral verbs, such as “state” and “report,” are used to present information without any subjective evaluation. Evaluative verbs, such as “argue” and “contend,” are used to present information with a subjective evaluation. It is important to choose the appropriate reporting verb that accurately reflects the author’s intention.

Journalism

Journalism is another field where reporting verbs are frequently used. In journalism, reporting verbs are used to convey the tone of the article and the writer’s perspective. For example, “allege” and “claim” are used to indicate that the information is unverified, while “confirm” and “verify” are used to indicate that the information is true. Journalists need to be careful in their choice of reporting verbs to avoid any bias or misrepresentation.

Business Communication

In business communication, reporting verbs are used to convey information in a clear and concise manner. Business professionals use reporting verbs to communicate the results of their research, surveys, and analysis. Neutral verbs, such as “indicate” and “show,” are used to present information without any subjective evaluation. Evaluative verbs, such as “recommend” and “propose,” are used to present information with a subjective evaluation.

It is important to choose the appropriate reporting verb that accurately reflects the author’s intention and the purpose of the communication.

Last Updated on December 6, 2023

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