Meaning and reporting verbs

Please explain what is the difference between “in developing” and “developing”.

In developing new facilities for the incineration of solid
wastes, we must avoid the danger…

developing new facilities for the incineration of solid
wastes, we must avoid the danger…

This is another question.
I see that if I want to report someone’s statement, I must change the verb tense in the person’s statement. For example:
“he said that he would go to the party”

My problem is that I am not sure what the criterion is to realize “reporting verbs”, i.e. say, tell, etc. I only know about two or three reporting verbs.
do we recognize those reporting verbs by their meaning? Or is there a limited list of reporting verbs?

Please clarify the confusion.
Thank you.

‘In developing’ or ‘When developing’ would be correct.
A sentence without such a word before ‘developing’ is a shortened form where one of those words is assumed.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, Manhhiep:

I found your comments very, very interesting.

I found some information from a very popular book used by many learners and native speakers.

Here some points from that book:

  1. The commonest reporting verbs are: SAY, TELL, and ASK.
  2. But there are many other reporting verbs.
  3. A number of these do NOT strictly report speech (actual spoken words) but thoughts and feelings.

Therefore, this book says that “indirect speech” is preferable to “reported speech.”

The book gives these excellent examples:

  1. Direct: Andrew said, “You really must let me pay the bill.”
    Indirect: Andrew INSISTED on paying the bill.

  2. Direct: Diana said, “Why don’t we go sailing?”
    Indirect: Diana SUGGESTED they should go sailing.

  3. Tom said, “You’ve just won a lottery!”
    Jennifer exclaimed, “Really?”

Jennifer was AMAZED when Tom told her that she had won a lottery. (Here an adjective is being used.)

The book is LONGMAN ENGLISH GRAMMAR. I have the 1988 edition written by Mr. L.G. Alexander. There are, of course, newer editions. In my edition, for example, Mr. Alexander lists more than 100 reporting verbs. (They are listed in the appendix at the end of the book.)


Hello James.

Thank you for your explanation.

Please explain whether when I use the reporting verb I have to change “the verb” as my example does, i.e. change “will” to “would”.

I have to ask the question because it could help me decide whether verb tense in a sentence having a reporting verb is correct.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, Manhhiep:

I believe that you are 100% correct.

Tom: I WILL visit you on Saturday. > Tom said that he WOULD visit me on Saturday.

Mona: CAN I visit you? > Mona asked whether / if she COULD visit me.

Teresa: HAVE you ever eaten French food? > Teresa wanted to know whether / if I HAD ever eaten French food.

Sometimes the matter is not so clear.

Diana (on Monday): I am very sick.

You (on Friday): Diana told me that she IS / WAS very sick.

a. “is” = she still is sick.
b. “was” = she is no longer sick.

I guess that if you want the security of a rule, then it is better to simply change the present to the past.

Of course, there are always exceptions:

George: The moon IS x miles from the earth. > George told me that the moon IS X miles from the earth. (Many books suggest that we keep the present because the distance from the earth is something that is not going to change.)