Use Better Verbs and Stronger Words

Skill: Using Better Verbs and Stronger Words

Avoid weak words that require additional explanation.  For example: “Walk” does not tell us much, you would need another sentence or modifier words to clarify.  Instead of “I walked clumsily” say “I stumbled.”  Think of all the more descriptive words we have for “Walk” (strut, skip, scurry, stomp, hustle…) These are better choices because they do not require additional explanation.

You probably have a weak verb if you are using adverbs (words that describe how something was done).  

Example: “I spoke loudly.” You need the word “loudly” because “spoke” is a weak word. Use “shouted,” “screamed,” “announced” instead.

The same goes for words like “very,” “really,” “extremely,” “super,” “quite,” etc… Instead of saying your are “very smart” say “brilliant,” or “intelligent.”  Review this handout 45 ways to avoid ‘very’.

If you are relying on adverbs and words like “very,” you are being a lazy writer.  You are not exploring your subject deeply and your writing will quickly become boring.  If your reader thinks your writing is boring or lazy, he/she will stop reading.  The worst thing that can happen to writers is that people stop reading their work.


3 Responses to “Use Better Verbs and Stronger Words”


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