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Reporting verbs are a simple but effective way of improving your sentences. Not only does it prevent your writing from becoming repetitive and boring, it can also help you better interpret what the writer or speaker is saying.

You can usually replace ‘said’ with a far more descriptive verb which gives the reader or listener information about how the speaker was feeling at the time.

Good alternatives for the referral letter are: complained, mentioned, stated, demanded, explained etc.

Example sentences:

‘ Sally complained she had been kept waiting for more than 1 hour.’

‘ James’ mother mentioned he is not sleeping as well as normally’

Practice task:

Take a look at the sentences below and use a reporting verb to replace ‘said’.

  • ‘Frank said the music in the waiting room was too loud.’
  • ‘Priya said that the medicine needs to be stored at 36-degrees Celcius.’