strong verbs list

Strong Verbs List (your ultimate guide for more captivating writing)


Strong Verbs List

Why should it matter so much whether or not your verbs are robust or weak?

And how do you even know should you’re using weak verbs?

If you realize the answer to the question, “What is a verb?” and for those who take pleasure in studying, it gained’t take lengthy to answer the larger question of tips on how to exchange weak verbs with robust ones.

As a result of you already know the aim of the verb isn’t simply to offer you a pencil tracing of what’s happening.

It’s supposed to point out you as much as potential with an financial system of words.

That is why adverbs get so little love from writers these days.

They attempt to compensate for the inadequacies of weak verbs, but all they find yourself doing is making the sentence more durable to learn (with out cringing).

Who knew there were two forms of verbs, anyway, though?

Don’t all verbs principally do the same factor?

Nicely, yes and no.

Weak verbs can inform your reader what’s occurring, however solely robust verbs can catapult them right into the motion.

Need to understand how? In fact, you do!

What writer doesn’t need to master the art of captivating their readers with robust, evocative language?

And that will help you do that, we’ve included a robust verbs listing, which you’ll be able to draw from to show a primary narration into a full-color IMAX in-house movie.

But how do you tell a weak verb from a robust one?

What Are Strong Verbs

Strong verbs are the perfect verbs for a selected context as a result of they do the next:

  • They stand out as both unusual (or sudden) and applicable.
  • They paint a selected picture of what’s happening — creating a stronger visual.
  • They evoke an emotional response within the reader.

The strongest verb is the one that communicates exactly what someone is doing and how they are doing it — with none need for an adverb.

a dictionary strong verbs list

Against this, the weakest verb is the simplest one to use, and it communicates as little as attainable while supplying you with the essential concept of what’s happening.

Typically, a weak verb is the one to use, but when all or most of your verbs are weak, your writing shall be uninteresting and lifeless. It gained’t paint a transparent image, and it gained’t evoke an emotional response.

And it’s approach too straightforward to place down.

Strong Verbs Vs. Weak Verbs

While robust verbs are specific, weak verbs are basic.

For example, you’ll be able to say someone ran down the hallway, and that provides you the essential concept of what’s occurring, nevertheless it’s also bland.

However should you say he bolted down the hallway, you communicate more of the urgency and even panic behind it.

You show the reader a number of the emotion behind the motion. Weak or “basic” verbs don’t do this.

If you use weak verbs like “ran” or “walked” or “smiled,” it’s tempting to use an adverb or a clichéd adverbial phrase to make the verb sound more fascinating by telling the reader how the topic is doing something.

Strong verbs SHOW. Weak verbs — and their supporting adverbs — TELL.

  • He ran like a cheetah.
  • He ran frantically.
  • She smiled
  • She smiled from ear to ear.

The adverbs don’t really make the verb more compelling. They add detail but with out making the motion feel more real.

The character operating frantically down the hallway is as a lot a stick figure as the one operating like a cheetah. However the character bolting down the hallway makes the reader marvel what could be pursuing him or what’s at stake.

Or if the reader already knows the why, the phrase “bolted” is more satisfying than simply “ran.” As the more applicable verb, it feels more like the appropriate response to the danger at hand, and it leads the reader deeper into the story.

Strong verbs paint clearer and more vivid pictures in the reader’s mind, making them care more about what is going to happen next. They add an extra dimension to the character taking motion.

How straightforward is it, though, to exchange your weak verbs with robust ones?

Replacing To Be Verbs

Weak verbs are all over the place because they’re straightforward to use.

If there was a grocery store for verbs, the weak ones can be at eye-level and right throughout from the ice cream freezer. We’re solely human.

The weakest of the weak verbs are “to be” verbs (additionally referred to as simply “be verbs”). They’re not evil incarnate, though. and there are times once they’re the most effective phrases to use.

For those who can say the same factor with a robust verb — in a means that doesn’t sound such as you’re forcing it in there — go together with it. However don’t try to make every verb a robust one.

No one needs to read something that feels like the author swallowed a thesaurus and chased it with some ipecac, however attempt to mix it up as a lot as you’ll be able to.

When your reader’s attention is at stake, it’s value it to seek out verbs that may get the response you need.

It’s also value altering mixtures like the following to get rid of the extra “to be” verb:

  • From “I was wanting“ to “I wanted”
  • From “He’s already been waiting” to “He’s already waited.”
  • From “She was being sad“ to “She was sad.”

To Be Verbs List

These verbs are used alone and as part of compound verbs like “are used” and “has been scared.”

For those who’re yawning proper now, you’re not alone. While there’s undoubtedly a place for “to be verbs,” don’t allow them to do all of the work.

Don’t beat your self up, though, in case you look by means of something you’ve written and you find that the majority of your verbs (or even all of them) are weak verbs. As I discussed earlier, they’re low-hanging fruit. We all use them.

Associated: 15 Widespread Grammar Errors That Kill Your Writing Credibility

But if you’re more acutely aware of the verbs you choose, likelihood is your readers can be more acutely aware, too.

In the event you’re not already accustomed to the “to be” verbs, here’s an inventory:

  • Am
  • Are
  • Be
  • Been
  • Being
  • Can
  • Might
  • Did
  • Do
  • Does
  • Had
  • Has
  • Have
  • Is
  • Might
  • May
  • Should
  • Shall
  • Should
  • Was
  • Have been
  • Will
  • Would

The Ultimate Strong Verbs List

We’ve damaged the next listing of robust verbs into subsets that will help you more shortly discover the robust verb with the exact quality you need — from vivid to forceful to fun.

Verbs do have a tone, and even verbs that imply usually the identical factor gained’t work equally properly in the same context.

In case your character is having a nighttime telephone dialog within earshot of her sleeping captors, you’ll need to avoid dialogue tags with verbs like “broadcasted,” “blabbered,” or “announced.”

The thesaurus does open the door to an entire new universe of more evocative verbs, although, and the lists under offer you a style.

A part of what makes the verb applicable, though, is the sound it makes and the way it affects the rhythm of your sentence.

So, learn the phrase aloud within the context of your sentence and make sure it reads simply, sounds prefer it belongs there, and creates the proper visible showing a dictionary app strong verbs list

The identical verb can belong to a number of categories, based mostly on the influence you need to make and on the temper you’re in as you learn this.

Take a sluggish learn via the lists that comply with and pay attention to those that stand out for you.

Energy Verbs

In the event you’re rereading considered one of your sentences and feeling the necessity for a more powerful verb — one which grabs the reader’s consideration and leaves them in little question as to your which means — see if one of many following verbs are a greater fit.

Perhaps they’ll at the very least get your mind so in tune with highly effective verbs that you’ve a neater time considering of simply the fitting one.

  • Advance
  • Amplify
  • Assault
  • Blast
  • Bolt
  • Broadcast
  • Bust
  • Charge
  • Clutch
  • Command
  • Devour
  • Drag
  • Engulf
  • Explode
  • Struggle
  • Fling
  • Fly
  • Glare
  • Grasp
  • Growl
  • Hack
  • Ignite
  • Leap
  • Plunge
  • Rip
  • Rise
  • Scorch
  • Seize
  • Shatter
  • Slash
  • Smash
  • Soar
  • Storm
  • Supercharge
  • Swipe
  • Wrestle
  • Yank

Vivid Verbs

Some verbs simply don’t create a vivid sufficient image for your reader. You need a verb with visuals that pop in your reader’s thoughts. The following should offer you some concepts.

  • Batter
  • Beam
  • Blab
  • Burst
  • Catapult
  • Clasp
  • Climb
  • Collide
  • Crash
  • Dash
  • Dismantle
  • Drain
  • Expose
  • Gleam
  • Glitter
  • Grope
  • Gush
  • Hobble
  • Intertwine
  • Jostle
  • Launch
  • Lurk
  • Peek
  • Paint
  • Pinpoint
  • Plant
  • Poison
  • Retreat
  • Scratch
  • Scrawl
  • Sizzle
  • Slide
  • Skip
  • Stoop
  • Snag
  • Starve
  • Wrestle
  • Surge

Forceful Verbs

For those who’re wanting for a verb with a robust and plain presence — one which will get the message throughout with a one-two punch and with out apologies — think about the verbs in this record.

  • Seize
  • Crush
  • Decimate
  • Deviate
  • Demolish
  • Devastate
  • Dominate
  • Extract
  • Expel
  • Oppress
  • Revitalize
  • Rip
  • Spoil
  • Stare
  • Smash
  • Smite
  • Strip
  • Terrorize
  • Wreck
  • Wrench
  • Wrest
  • Wring

Fascinating Verbs

Perhaps you just need a verb that sounds more fascinating than your unique selection — however with out sounding pressured or flowery.

You don’t need purple prose, however you do need to maintain your reader . So, mix it up with one of many dazzling verbs under.

  • Brood
  • Discover
  • Ensnare
  • Envelop
  • Fuse
  • Gaze
  • Glisten
  • Illuminate
  • Intuit
  • Journey
  • Mystify
  • Perceive
  • Place
  • Understand
  • Refashion
  • Reveal
  • Reverberate
  • Transfigure
  • Rework
  • Journey
  • Uncover
  • Unearth
  • Withdraw

Enjoyable Verbs

Some verbs are simply more fun than others. It’s not a contest; it’s just how it is.

Some verbs get all of the oohs and ahhs however not one of the laughs. They’re cool with it. They know their place.

Should you’re wanting for verbs with more of the enjoyable issue, listed here are a couple of to think about:

  • Eyeball
  • Fizz
  • Garble
  • Gobble
  • Plop
  • Pop
  • Prickle
  • Prune
  • Splat
  • Swoon
  • Tattle
  • Tussle
  • Trudge
  • Whiz
  • Wrangle
  • Zap
  • Zing

Descriptive Verbs

Some verbs simply do a greater job of describing how a personality is doing one thing.

It paints a clearer picture, so the reader is best capable of visualize what’s happening.

image of a dictionary on top of a map strong verbs list

These won’t be probably the most vivid verbs, however they do show you more element than your common “basic” verb.

  • Balloon
  • Bash
  • Clutch
  • Obtain
  • Eavesdrop
  • Escort
  • Increase
  • Discover
  • Extract
  • Frown
  • Hack
  • Hobble
  • Lead
  • Lurch
  • Peer
  • Probe
  • Pluck
  • Recite
  • Rush
  • Saunter
  • Scamper
  • Scrape
  • Shepherd
  • Skulk
  • Slink
  • Snarl
  • Sneak
  • Snowball
  • Spray
  • Sparkle
  • Sprinkle
  • Stroll
  • Strut
  • Stumble
  • Survey
  • Toddle
  • Untangle
  • Unveil
  • Usher

Cooler Methods to Say “Said”

You’ll find a few of these in the different lists, nevertheless it is sensible to collect up other methods to say “said” into an inventory of their own.

Typically, “said” is simply high quality. However for those who’re using a variety of dialogue tags, and also you’d like to point out somewhat more of how your character is saying something (with making things awkward), an inventory of robust “said” verbs will are available mighty useful.

Related: Grammarly Assessment: Is This the Greatest Grammar Checker?

Don’t overdo them, though. And for those who can indicate who’s speaking without utilizing a dialogue tag in any respect, a lot the better.

The following verbs are additionally useful in other contexts where you may use the word “said.”

Aspect Notice: I’m omitting the phrase “exclaimed” on objective; the word is overused and pure torture to learn.

  • Advertised
  • Affirmed
  • Alleged
  • Announced
  • Articulated
  • Asserted
  • Avowed
  • Bellowed
  • Blabbered
  • Blurted (out)
  • Broadcasted
  • Breathed
  • Chanted
  • Chirped
  • Commented
  • Crooned
  • Declared
  • Drawled
  • Enunciated
  • Gasped
  • Growled
  • Gushed
  • Hinted
  • Imparted
  • Implied
  • Instructed
  • Lisped
  • Mumbled
  • Murmured
  • Paraphrased
  • Piped up (with)
  • Pontificated
  • Postulated
  • Proclaimed
  • Purred
  • Put into words
  • Rattled off
  • Recited
  • Reeled off
  • Remarked
  • Repeated
  • Rephrased
  • Reported
  • Restated
  • Roared
  • Shared
  • Shouted
  • Snarled
  • Spluttered
  • Spouted
  • Said
  • Stuttered
  • Steered
  • Summarized
  • Vented
  • Voiced
  • Wailed
  • Whimpered
  • Whined
  • Whispered

Was this listing of robust verbs helpful?

Now that you’ve a good sampling of robust verbs to choose from, we hope you keep this submit useful, and that it serves you properly.

Keep in mind that it’s not so much a query of excellent verbs vs. dangerous verbs.

The Ultimate Strong Verbs List And Guide To Power Up Your Writing Click on To Tweet

The weak spot of a “to be” verb or a basic verb doesn’t make it dangerous; it simply makes it less communicative. It has less of an impression than a robust verb.

But as we mentioned before, typically a weak verb is truthfully the perfect fit. Consider dialogue, for instance. How many people have you learnt who all the time use robust verbs in every spoken sentence?

I don’t know any. And that’s okay. Typically, phrases using weak verbs — like “Need more coffee” — say all the things it is advisable to say. So, no verb shaming allowed.

Might your ingenuity and compassion affect the whole lot you do immediately.