Before you go, be sure to grab a FREE copy of my ultimate self-editing checklist that will help you make your writing lean and powerful. Sometimes, a weak verb is the one to use, but if all or most of your verbs are weak, your writing will be dull and lifeless. If you know the answer to the question, “What is a verb?” and if you enjoy reading, it won’t take long to answer the bigger question of how to replace weak verbs with strong ones. The fox ran quickly dashed through the forest. We make no guarantees regarding its services. Because you know the purpose of the verb isn’t just to give you a pencil tracing of what’s going on. Maybe they’ll at least get your mind so in tune with powerful verbs that you have an easier time thinking of just the right one. We’re only human. She menacingly looked glared at her rival. Use this tool to generate a random one that will help get you back on track. And if you can indicate who’s speaking without using a dialogue tag at all, so much the better. Weak verbs are everywhere because they’re easy to use. How easy is it, though, to replace your weak verbs with strong ones? Powerful verbs are strong enough to stand alone. Remember that it’s not so much a question of good verbs vs. bad verbs. Strong verbs are the best verbs for a specific context because they do the following: The strongest verb is the one that communicates exactly what someone is doing and how they are doing it — without any need for an adverb. Take this free assessment now and learn to unlock your true potential. In English grammar, verbs are one of the nine parts of speech.. A verb is a word or group of words that describes an action, experience or expresses a state of being.. Alphabetical list of verbs in English (from A to Z) with verbs examples.. Verbs List (A) List of verbs that start with A with verb examples. If you’re looking for a verb with a strong and undeniable presence — one that gets the message across with a one-two punch and without apologies — consider the verbs in this list. … Just my opinion. Verbs are perhaps the most important part of speech in the English language. Sometimes, “said” is just fine. Just enjoy yourself. When your reader’s attention is at stake, it’s worth it to find verbs that will get the response you want. Your email address will not be published. Verbs that describe movement. Note that there are some spelling variations in American English (for example, practise becomes practice in American English). It’s like finding out there are more than the five-pack of Crayolas. Examples. Some verbs are just more fun than others. You’ll find them in this piece. We all use them. Join Now Novel to get constructive feedback on your writing or work one-on-one with a coach to stay on track and finish your current project. Impotent: The man was walking on the platform. So, read the word aloud in the context of your sentence and make sure it reads easily, sounds like it belongs there, and creates the right visual effect. Determining when a state-of-being verb is the culprit creates a problem—and finding a better, more powerful verb to replace it—is what makes us writers. Odds are it features a snooze-inducing verb. May your ingenuity and compassion influence everything you do today. Here is a list of 150+ verbs to help you describe those movements with clarity. But when you’re more conscious of the verbs you choose, chances are your readers will be more conscious, too. Good point! They evoke an emotional response in the reader. You'll find more on those verbs below. Use this tool to generate a random one that will help get you back on track. Verbs are everywhere, and it’s about time you got to know them with this list of verbs of many types. Instead of ‘they sat’, you could use a verb that describes characters’ mental or emotional states and other qualities. Sometimes, phrases using weak verbs — like “Need more coffee” — say everything you need to say. I used three in the title and first paragraph of this post alone. Side Note: I’m omitting the word “exclaimed” on purpose; the word is overused and pure torture to read. Something simple I learned from The Elements of Style years ago changed the way I write and added verve to my prose. You don’t want purple prose, but you do want to keep your reader interested. The adverbs don’t really make the verb more compelling. Before: The family was starting to gather…. With so many actions to instill upon the main character in your latest short story, romance novel or television show script, it's no wonder you've run out of verbs to use. Feel free to share them in the comments section. It’s also worth changing combinations like the following to eliminate the extra “to be” verb: These verbs are used alone and as part of compound verbs like “are used” and “has been scared.”. Click here. It won’t paint a clear picture, and it won’t evoke an emotional response. EnglishClub: Learn English: Vocabulary: Word Classes: Verbs: Irregular Irregular Verbs List. However, here are some alternatives: ‘He ran for the departing train’ is another use of an adequate but not particularly descriptive verb. Your first hint is your own discomfort with a sentence. These might not be the most vivid verbs, but they do show you more detail than your average “basic” verb. accept add admire admit advise afford agree alert allow: amuse analyse (BrE) She menacingly looked glared at her rival. You want a verb with visuals that pop in your reader’s mind. The fox ran quickly dashed through the forest. And if you’re starting out as a writer, invest in a good thesaurus that will help you find the best verbs for any context. For example, you can say someone ran down the hallway, and that gives you the basic idea of what’s happening, but it’s also bland. Hi Desdemona’s bane, the word being referred to was ‘snigger’ which is not offensive in non-US contexts where a certain horrible racist epithet contained in the word isn’t as common. It has less of an impact than a strong verb. Read these livelier words for motionless states: Even when a person (or object) stands, you can invest this not-very-active action with tone and mood. As the more appropriate verb, it feels more like the appropriate response to the danger at hand, and it leads the reader deeper into the story. Why should it matter so much whether your verbs are strong or weak? And how do you even know if you’re using weak verbs? ; Accuse: Tom accused me of lying. Required fields are marked *, Strong first person narrative: Engaging narrators, Descriptive verb list: 30 words to replace dull actions, Creating the mood of a story: 6 tips for strong atmosphere, Writing a good book: 10 ingredients of great novels, Character description: 7 ways to avoid weak imagery. Explore these alternatives: Stronger verbs for walking Advance—move forward. They add an extra dimension to the character taking action. Powerful: The man strode along the platform. Sayings such as ‘the road to hell is paved with adverbs’ scare many aspiring authors off using adverbs to describe characters’ actions. Action verbs tell about something a person, animal, force of nature or thing can do or be. It’s not a competition; it’s just how it is. Lol, in today’s easily offended world, where any little thing that can be taken wrong is, I think ‘snicker’ might draw fewer raised eyebrows. The point is that good writing is more about well-chosen nouns and strong verbs than it is about adjectives and adverbs, regardless what you were told as a kid. The following should give you some ideas. Verbs that rely on adverbs. 100 Most Common English Verbs List. Don’t overdo them, though. Powerful: Three things convince me… 2. Of course ‘snigger’ is actually a variant of ‘snicker’ in origin, but OP was saying that people could take offence at the closeness of the two words in sound and letters. It’s supposed to show you as much as possible with an economy of words. The character running frantically down the hallway is as much a stick figure as the one running like a cheetah. © 2020 - Jerry Jenkins | Proven Writing Tips | All rights reserved |. Impotent: Jim is a lover of country living. But don’t try to make every verb a strong one. And that’s okay. We’ve broken the following list of strong verbs into subsets to help you more quickly find the strong verb with the exact quality you want — from vivid to forceful to fun. You want Make your prose to be your own creation, not yours plus Roget or Webster or Jenkins. Grammarly Review: Is This the Best Grammar Checker? Actions involving the voice – speech and laughter – also have many descriptive alternatives (for alternative dialogue tags specifically, see this blog post). Irregular verb forms are in red The offensive potential of the word wasn’t immediately apparent as the offensive version isn’t one used much outside the US. All rights reserved, describes characters’ mental or emotional states, Join Now Novel to get constructive feedback on your writing. Regular Verbs List. He secretly listened eavesdropped while they discussed their plans. You show the reader some of the emotion behind the action. Yet writers say this because there are often more descriptive verbs you could use instead of a duller verb-plus-adverb. At the end of this post I suggest a list of 249 vivid verbs you can experiment with to replace tired ones. The following verbs are also helpful in other contexts where you might use the word “said.”.
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