Reporting Verbs
Part 1

Here is a free grammar lesson plan about reporting verbs. Learning grammar doesn't have to be boring, it can be interactive and fun. If you would like to download this lesson plan so that you can print it off and use it for your lesson, you will find the download button at the end of this page.

Grammar Presentation

Reporting verbs are verbs that we use instead of the words 'say' or 'tell', and they give us more accurate information about the intention of the person talking. Unfortunately for students, there are different structures for different reporting verbs.

Present each reporting verb structure to the students, one at a time. Elicit as much information as possible. When you have finished presenting the grammar point, get the students to write a sentence for each word in the table provided.

Structure A

encourage, invite, remind, warn, advise

Reporting verb +

I encouraged

He reminded

They advised

object +





to study Spanish.

to buy some bread.

to find a new job.


Structure B

agree, decide, offer, promise, refuse, threaten

Reporting verb +

David agreed

I have decided

She refused


to make

to study

to eat




her beans.


Structure 3

admit, agree, decide, deny, explain, insist, promise, recommend, suggest

Reporting verb +

He admitted

Sally denied

I promised






he had eaten the last piece of cake.

she had drawn on the wall.

I would do my homework.


Fun Practice

Cut up the following table of questions. The students need to ask each other the questions, and answer using full sentences with the grammar structure they have just learnt.

Do you think that you are good at encouraging other people?
Would you invite your mother-in-law to go to the cinema with you?
If your husband/wife forgot to wash the dishes, would you remind them to do it, or would you wash them yourself?
You see a stranger walking into a dangerous situation. Would you warn them to stop, or would you walk away?
You have a friend who is 18 and doesn’t know what to do after school. Would you advise them to study something or take a year off?
Have you ever agreed to do something, and then really regretted it?
You have a limited budget for a holiday. Would you decide to (a) go on a more expensive, shorter holiday, or (b) go on a longer, cheaper holiday or (c) save your money for later?
Your teacher asks the class to take turns doing a presentation. Would you offer to go at the beginning or the end?
Have you ever made a promise that you couldn’t keep?
What food would you refuse to eat?
Have you ever threatened to do something violent to someone?
When you find out that you have made a mistake, do you admit it?
Would you agree that someone is right, when you know they are actually wrong?
If you decided that your fiancé was the wrong person for you, would you call off the wedding?
If you were caught doing something wrong, would you deny it?
Who was the last person to explain something to you, and what did they explain?
If you get horrible food at a restaurant would you insist that they give you another meal?
What would you suggest that I do this weekend?
Are there any restaurants that you would recommend?

More Practice

These activities can be done either straight after presenting the grammar for reporting verbs, but you may want to break it up a bit, and use these activities as revision during a later lesson:

  1. Write all the reporting verbs onto flashcards and place them face down on the table. The first student picks up a card and starts a story. The second student picks up another card and continues the story. Continue in this way until all the words have been used.
  2. Write the reporting verbs onto flashcards and place them face down on the table. Write some of the vocabulary words that you have recently taught the students onto flashcards and place them face down on the table. You should have 2 piles of cards on the table. Each student has to pick up one card from both piles, and then give a sentence using both words.

Download the lesson plan


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