Home > Journal writing, Tips and Tricks > Using strong verbs to enhance your writing. Write simply or write powerfully.

Using strong verbs to enhance your writing. Write simply or write powerfully.

Strong verbs make sentences more powerful. Simple verbs are okay to use when writing, but they are not as powerful as strong verbs.

Strong verbs make your writing more powerful to the reader. Choose powerful verbs and enhance your writing. You can express yourself simply with the usual simple verbs, or powerfully with strong verbs.

Be careful when choosing your stronger verbs. The verbs you choose depend on the context. Here are some simple verbs with the stronger verbs listed below them:

SAID

  • announced, commanded, declared, echoed, emphasised, exclaimed, mumbled, murmured, ordered, predicted, quoted, reiterated, repeated, replied, shouted, stressed, verbalised, whispered.

WENT/WALKED

  • advanced, ambled, crawled, continued, dashed, embarked, flew, followed, hiked, hobbled, hurried, journeyed, marched, patrolled, proceeded, ran, sailed, sauntered, sprinted, stormed, travelled, trudged, waddled, walked.

GET/GOT

  • achieved, acquired, attained, borrowed, bought, derived, earned, guessed, inherited, obtained, produced, received, won.

DO/DID

  • accomplished, achieved, arranged, completed, discharged, executed, fulfilled, performed.

Try it. Start by writing a sentence using simple verbs and then write the same sentence using stronger verbs.

SIMPLE VERBS: ‘I did my homework then walked to the shop and got ice cream.’

STRONGER VERBS: ‘I completed my homework then hurried to the shop and bought ice cream.’

You are welcome to share your sentences here (write a comment).

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  1. Hannah
    October 25, 2011 at 12:38 am

    How do you get rid of the word is in your writing?

  2. March 30, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Hey, I do agree with it. Strong verbs really make my writing more powerful. But should I always include strong verb in every sentence?

    • April 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Hi David, you don’t need to include strong verbs in every sentence. It depends on the context ie what you are writing about and who you are writing for. For example, if you are writing a blog, it is better to use stronger verbs. Blog readers usually like reading often and are therefore attracted to writing that catches their attention. I hope this helps. Thanks, Maria.

  3. dyane
    March 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I really appreciated your last email about strong verbs.

    • March 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks Dyane! I am glad you found it useful. Keep writing!

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