Reporting nouns are nouns such as comment, criticism, remark, statement. We can represent indirect speech with reporting nouns as well as with reporting verbs. These are more common in writing than speaking, and are usually quite formal. (Reported speech is underlined.)
His remarkthat we hadn’t worked hard enough upset everyone. (original remark: ‘You haven’t worked hard enough.’)
The Prime Minister’s commentthat this was not the right time for an election has made headlines in all today’s papers.
Jason’s claimthat he was ignored by everyone is hard to believe.
Her excusethat she had been abroad at the time was not accepted by the court.
Common reporting nouns
Reporting nouns and reported clauses
The reported clause after a reporting noun is usually a that-clause which acts as the complement of the noun. We do not usually omit that after reporting nouns:
For years, nobody listened to the warnings that global temperatures were rising.
Not: For years, nobody listened to the warnings global temperatures were rising.
We can also use some reporting nouns (for example claim, offer, promise, suggestion and threat) with a to-infinitive:
She made a promise to visit him at least once a month.
Nobody took seriously her threat to sell the business.
Reporting nouns and adjectives
We often use adjectives with reporting nouns to describe particular qualities of what someone said:
Her suddenannouncement that she was getting divorced came at 5 pm yesterday.
His feebleexcuse that he had missed the train convinced nobody.