Direct and indirect speech: Reporting hopes, promises and intentions

To report a promise, hope or intention we use an appropriate reporting verb followed by a that-clause or a to-infinitive.

  • He said, „I will pay you the money tomorrow.“
  • He promised to pay me the money the next day.
  • He promised that he would pay me the money the next day.

Other verbs used to report hopes, intentions, and promises include: hope, propose, threaten, guarantee and swear.

  • „I will be back by lunch time,“ he said.
  • He promised to be back by lunchtime.
  • He promised that he would be back by lunchtime.
  • „We would arrive in London before nightfall,“ they said.
  • They hoped to arrive in London before nightfall.
  • They hoped that they would arrive in London before nightfall.
  • „Give me the money or I will shoot you.“
  • He threatened to shoot me if I didn’t give him the money.
  • He threatened that he would shoot me if I didn’t give him the money.

Verbs that can be followed by either a that-clause or a to-infinitive include: decide, expect, guarantee, hope, promise, swear, and threaten.

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