English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Reporting verbs

1. Report the sentences using the reporting verbs below and that.

admin      announce      argue      complain      deny      insist       promise

1) Ian said ‘I didn’t leave the door open.’

 Ian denied that ___ . ________

2) ‘I think it would be dangerous to go out in this weather,’ said George.


3) Molly said, ‘The traffic is so noisy that I can’t hear self think!’


4) ‘I’ve decided to dye hair orange,’ said Mike.


5) ‘Don’t worry. I definitely won’t tell anyone your secret,’ Laura told me.


6) Jackie said, ‘This can’t be bag because it’s the wrong colour.’


7) ‘Yes, it was me who took the money,’ said Fred.


Show answers

1) Ian denied that he had / insisted that he hadn’t left the door open.

2) George insisted / argued that it would be dangerous to go out in that weather.

3) Molly complained that the traffic was so loud that she couldn’t hear herself think.

4) Mike announced that he’d decided to dye his hair orange.

5) Laura promised (me) that she wouldn’t tell anyone secret.

6) Jackie argued / insisted that it couldn’t be her bag because it was the wrong colour.

7) Fred admitted that it had been him who had taken the money.

2. Listen and match the speakers with the reported speech.

a She complained that the weather was too hot. ___________

b She agreed that the weather was too hot. ___________

c She explained that she would be late. ___________

d She promised that she wouldn’t be late. ___________

e She denied that she was ill. ___________

f She insisted that she was ill. ___________

g She argued that it was too expensive. ___________

h She agreed that it was too expensive. ___________

Show answers

a 1   b 2   c 4   d 3   e 5   f 6   g 8   h 7


1) The weather’s too hot for me. I can’t stand it!

2) Yes, you’re right. It is a bit too hot, actually.

3) I know I’ve got that appointment but I won’t be late, I guarantee you!

4) I have an appointment so I may be a little late, I’m afraid.

5) I feel fine. There’s nothing wrong with me, honestly!

6) I really feel unwell. I’m far too ill to come in today.

7) Yes, the price is a bit too high, isn’t it?

8) How much? That’s ridiculous! That’s a lot more than I’m prepared to pay.

3. Write the words in the correct order to make sentences.

1) to / for / invited / lunch / them / they / us / join


2) helping / escape / to / denied / thieves / he / the


3) into / on / lift / she / me / insisted / town / giving / a


4) that / picnic / have / suggested / should / a / Jo / we


5) Ned / losing / me / tickets / blamed / for / our


6) tomorrow / that / to / me / she / promised / lend / DVD


7) advised / go / not / doctor / running / the / him / to


8) answer / that / didn’t / admitted / she / Nina / the / know


Show answers

1) They invited us to join them for lunch.

2) He denied helping the thieves to escape.

3) She insisted on giving me a lift into town.

4) Jo suggested that we should have a picnic.

5) Ned blamed me for losing our tickets.

6) She promised to lend me that DVD tomorrow.

7) The doctor advised him not to go running.

8) Nina admitted that she didn’t know the answer.

4. Correct the underlined mistakes in the sentences. Use the correct reporting structures.

1) She begged him not telling anyone what he’d heard.


2) I suggested to meet him outside the cinema at eight.


3) Belinda reminded me not forgetting the festival tickets.


4) Anna recommended us to try the new burger bar in town.


5) The teacher accused Jon to cheat in the test.


6) Suzie apologised of not remembering to invite me.


Show answers

1) begged him not to tell   2) suggested meeting him

3) reminded me not to forget   4) recommended that we (should) try  

5) accused Jon of cheating   6) apologised for not remembering

5. Complete the sentences with a preposition if necessary and the correct form of the verb in brackets.

1) Nick boasted ____________ (come) top in the test.

2) Our teacher forbade us ____________ (use) a dictionary.

3) dad criticised me ____________ (spend) too much.

4) His neighbour demanded ____________ (he / turn down) his music.

5) She warned us ____________ (not / stay) in that part of town.

6) He confessed ____________ (sell) stolen goods.

7) I proposed ____________ (we / find) somewhere to have a coffee.

8) Clara insisted ____________ (give) them a hand with the cooking.

Show answers

1) about coming   2) to use   3) for spending

4) (that) he turn down   5) not to stay   6) to selling

7) (that) we find   8) on giving

6. Report the dialogue in your notebook using appropriate reporting verbs. There may be more than one answer.

Greg    Hi, Katya. I’m so sorry I didn’t come to your barbecue yesterday.

Katya  Actually, I was quite upset about it, Greg.

Greg    It really wasn’t fault!

Katya  I won’t listen to any more of your lies, Greg.

Greg    But I couldn’t come because I broke wrist and had to go to hospital!

Katya  Oh, I see ___ Well, why don’t you come over this afternoon?

Greg    Great – and I’ll definitely be there this time!

Katya  OK. Oh, and don’t forget to bring birthday present with you!

Show answers

Greg apologised to Katya for not going to her barbecue the day before. Katya admitted (to Greg) that she’d been quite upset about it. Greg insisted / argued that it hadn’t been his fault. Katya refused to listen to any more of his / Greg’s lies. Greg explained that he hadn’t been able to go because he’d broken his wrist and had had to go to hospital. Katya suggested that he go / went over that afternoon. Greg promised that he’d definitely be there that time. Katya reminded him to take her birthday present with him.

7. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs in brackets.

1) Kevin insisted on ____________ for our meal, although I was quite happy to share the bill. (pay)

2) We congratulated uncle on ____________ the photo competition. (win)

3) You promised ____________ anyone about our secret place. (not / tell)

4) I’ve agreed ____________ with our school’s next fund-raising event. (help)

5) grandmother apologised for ____________ me a birthday card. (not / send)

6) Charlotte’s friends encouraged her ____________ the drama group. (join)

7) The waiter recommended ____________ two portions of chips instead of four. (order)

8) The doctor advised me ____________ basketball for a week. (not / play)

Show answers

1) paying   2) winning   3) not to tell   4) to help

5) not sending   6) to join   7) ordering   8) not to play