Session 1

Insist, demand and advise are all reporting verbs. Learn how and why we use this kind of verb in 6 Minute Vocabulary, then do lots of practice exercises to test yourself.

Sessions in this unit

Session 1 score

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    Activity 1
  • 0 / 8
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 6
    Activity 3

Activity 3

What comes after the verb?

The grammar of reporting verbs

Knowing how to use reporting verbs correctly in a sentence is important. In our examples so far, you may have noticed that some verbs are followed by 'that' + clause, some are followed by verb-ing (a gerund), and some are followed by a preposition.

We're now going to look at what comes after reporting verbs. Some verbs appear more than once because they can be used in different ways.

1) Reporting verb + 'that' + clause: admit, deny, insist, suggest.

  • He admitted that he was mean.
  • The suspect denied that he was at the scene of the crime.
  • We insist that you join us for dinner
  • I suggest that you arrive early.

Note: People often leave out the that in spoken English. The meaning is the same:

  • I suggest you arrive early.
  • We insist you join us for dinner.

2) Reporting verb + verb-ing: deny, suggest

  • Lucia denied meeting the businessman last week.
  • Mark suggested buying stocks in the IT firm.

3) Reporting verb + preposition + verb-ing: apologise, insist

  • She apologised for forgetting my birthday.
  • We insisted on sharing the cost of the meal

Note: You can also apologise to someone (apologise + to + object)

  • Baz apologised to Lucia for forgetting her birthday.

4) Reporting verb + 'to' + infinitive: demand, offer

  • Barry demanded to know the answer.
  • Brutus offered to pay for the damage.

5) Reporting verb + indirect object + infinitive: advise

  • I advised him to apply.

6) Reporting verb + indirect object + 'that' + clause: advise

  • I advised him that he should apply.

Read the text and complete the activity

To do

First, read this short story. Then you're going to use reporting verbs to make sentences about it. As we said, people don't always say the that before a clause, but in this game you need to include that to show you understand the full form. And as you can see, the verbs advise, insist, deny, suggest and apologise, can be followed by different words. In questions with one of these verbs, the words you are given will allow you to make only one correct form.

The story

Lucian and Martina were deeply in love, but they argued a lot. Martina was unhappy because Lucian never arrived anywhere on time, and because he never said sorry. Lucian thought Martina should be more generous and buy him presents. Martina disagreed. A friend said they should separate for a short time. Neither of them wanted to, but they did in the end. After a week apart, they got back together and started arguing again.

Make sentences

6 Questions

Move these words into sentences, remembering to use the right words after the verb. In this game, please use the word that before a clause, even though in reality people don't always use it.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
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End of Session 1

Well done. If you'd like to practise these again, we suggest you go back to Activity 1 and listen to 6 Minute Vocabulary! If not, we'll see you in Session 2.

Session Grammar

  • Reporting verbs

    1) Reporting verb + 'that' + clause: admit, deny, insist, suggest.

    He admitted that he was mean.

    Note: People often leave out the that in spoken English. The meaning is the same:

    I suggest you arrive early.

    2) Reporting verb + verb-ing: deny, suggest

    Lucia denied meeting the businessman last week.

    3) Reporting verb + preposition + verb-ing: apologise, insist

    She apologised for forgetting my birthday.

    4) Reporting verb + 'to' + infinitive: demand, offer

    Barry demanded to know the answer.

    5) Reporting verb + indirect object + infinitive: advise

    advised him to apply.

    6) Reporting verb + indirect object + 'that' + clause: advise

    advised him that he should apply.

Session Vocabulary

  • deny
    to say that something is not true, especially when other people are saying it is

    to say that something is true, although you don’t want to say this

    apologise for
    to say that you are sorry for something that you have done

    to say firmly that something is or isn’t correct, when other people are saying the opposite

    suggest (meaning one)
    to tell someone your ideas about what to do, where to go, etc.

    suggest (meaning two)
    to say something is true but not in a strong or direct way

    to tell someone what you think they should do, in a polite way

    to ask for something very firmly or aggressively

    to say that you are willing to do something