Let’s talk about some creative ways that you can say the word “said”.
So why is this important? Well, first, it allows you to be more descriptive.
It’s also going to keep the reader’s attention because these words are just more engaging, they’re more captivating, and you will avoid redundancies because you don’t want to keep saying he said, she said, we said, they said you need to mix it up.
Let’s begin and say that. You would like to persuade someone to do something or think something.
Here are some verbs to help make your writing more descriptive.
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You could use pleaded, and this is when you’re making an urgent or emotional request. Like, don’t leave, he pleaded.
This is very similar to the next one, which is begged, except I feel like begged is probably a little stronger than pleaded.
But once again, this is a strong way to make an urgent request. I want a balloon, the child begged.
Begged / Entreted
In this case, it’s just more descriptive. I’m capturing that feeling. I want a balloon, the child begged.
You can also use entreated, which means to try hard to persuade someone to do something.
Now this verb, it’s probably not as common as these others. However, it’s still very useful because it’s specific.
And if I want to capture a direct quote, I could say if you help me with the presentation, then I’ll work your weekend shift for you, he entreated.
This means to ask someone to do something or not to do something in a very sincere and emotional way. Think about this situation.
Say that a woman gets pulled over by the police for speeding and she’s getting ready to get a ticket, so she says please don’t give me a speeding ticket, she implored.
She’s imploring the police officer not to give her a ticket and doing this in a sincere way.
I had to include the picture of that dog because I think this is a good association with these verbs because dogs may plead for things or beg for things or implore.
Their owners to do something and to continue using these verbs like that last one.
Because if you’re writing a story, you’re probably going to use many different reporting verbs. You will use the verb said, but you can also use a lot of these other verbs to be more descriptive.
If you’d like to persuade someone, you could use beseeched, which means to ask for something in a way that shows you need it very much. I need this raise.
He beseeched his boss. Now, this is not the most common verb in the world, but once again, it helps you get that variety.
This means to persuade someone to do something that they might not want to do. And you’re persuading them by just talking pleasantly and nicely.
Like please, please say yes, she cajoled. This is a good reporting verb that I could use if I want to capture my little girl’s direct speech.
If she wants something and I maybe I don’t want to give it to her, she might cajole me into giving it to her.
The next two verbs, I think are definitely more common.
This means to say something firmly, especially when others either disagree or just oppose what you’re saying.
I want to see my client, the lawyer insisted. In this context I it makes me think of a situation in which somebody is asking more than once, and then they start insisting.
The next verb, I think it is similar, but it’s a bit stronger.
This means to ask for something forcefully and really in a way that you don’t expect to be refused. “I want another candy,” the child demanded.
If you are wanting to express happiness or excitement, there are some great verbs that you can use such as GUSHED.
This means to express a positive feeling, especially praise, but doing so in a way that it may not seem sincere. Perhaps they’re doing it a little too much.
If I’m writing a story and my character is just praising someone over and over and he says you look amazing, he gushed.
That tells the reader that perhaps they’re going a bit overboard, it’s a little too much, and maybe the other person does not find it all that sincere.
Then we have cheered, which is to give a loud shout of approval or encouragement. We won, she cheered. All right, really expressing.
That happiness, and I think this verb is commonly used it in the context of maybe a competition and you’re really trying to encourage others.
Then we have the verb touted. It means to advertise, talk about or praise something repeatedly.
And you’re really, you’re doing this because you want the other person to accept what you’re saying or maybe even buy something.
You won’t find another car like this, the salesman touted.
In this case, it’s like, well, the salesman’s really proud of the car. They’re really happy about it and.
They’re kind of advertising it. They’re praising it. Yeah, you won’t find another car like this. This is a good verb for that context.
And we have these three verbs which are somewhat similar but also express happiness.
And in all of the examples they really provide that extra bit of information to show you that well that something is funny.
It means that you are smiling and making sounds. You believe that this is a funny situation.
I knew it was you, she laughed. We also have the verb chortled, which is not as commonly used.
It means to laugh and really just showing some satisfaction.
Did you hear the news? She chortled, giving that extra information.
That this news is funny, it’s satisfying.
This means to laugh nervously, in kind of an uncontrolled way, I think it’s perhaps not as strong as saying laugh, but again, this is something we all do giggle.
We all giggle from time to time. Where did you get that hat? He giggled. I’m telling you that this hat, maybe it looks a little funny, which is why he giggled.
Proclaimed / Announced / Declared
Here are some more verbs proclaimed.
This means to announce something officially, especially something that is positive. This is the start of a new beginning, he proclaimed.
Another verb announced, which means to make something known or to tell people something officially, we got engaged, she announced.
All right, really happy news, there’s also the verb declared, and this means to announce something clearly, firmly, officially, publicly.
I could say we made it to the finals, the coach declared.
So, with each of these verbs they may be used interchangeably depending on the context, but it’s still good to get that variety.
Let’s move from happiness to sadness. If you want to show that you are upset about something, there are many different verbs that you could use, like pouted.
This is when you want to show that you are annoyed and you’re pushing your lips together and really pushing out your lower lips.
And you’re just unhappy about something. I want some ice cream, the child pouted.
Complained / Sobbed
You can also use the verb complained, which is very common.
It just means that you’re saying that something is wrong or just not satisfactory. We don’t want to work over the weekend.
The employees complained. All right, it’s not a good situation. I would complain about it as well. If you want to emphasize that sadness, you could use a verb like sobbed.
It means to cry noisily and you’re really taking these deep breaths, so think about this situation.
If someone says I work so hard on this project and now it has been destroyed in a matter of seconds, she sobbed.
You could also use cried, which means you are, well, producing tears and expressing that strong emotion. He told me it was over. He cried and really conveying that sadness.
Lamented / Sneered / Whined
Let’s keep it going with some more sad verbs.
Keep building your writing vocabulary with verbs like lamented and this means that you are expressing sadness and really just feeling sorry about something.
And I think that’s a key part of it, just feeling sorry, maybe a little bit of regret. I should never have accepted the offer, he lamented.
You could also use the verb sneered when talking about someone or something in an unkind way that shows no respect. Is that the best you can do? She sneered.
It’s not a good thing to sneer at someone, but it does. It really captures that emotion. Wind is making that long, high, sad sound.
I’m sure you can think of someone from your life who has whined before my ice cream melted the boy whined. You’re really sad and upset about this.
Bemoaned / Bellowed / Yelled
And then there’s the verb bemoaned. This means to complain or express sadness about something.
Our department has to lay some people off, the manager bemoaned. All right, the manager is not happy about this situation, bemoaning this situation.
Now let’s raise the noise level and talk about, well, if somebody is being loud, you could use verbs such as shout it.
This means to speak in a loud voice, especially when you’re in a situation that, well, it’s very noisy around you and you want others to hear, so you have to shout. “We won”, they shouted.
In this context I feel like the atmosphere is very noisy. And he’s very excited and just shouting this. We won.
We also have the verb exclaimed, which means to shout something suddenly because of surprise, fear or pleasure. “That’s not fair”, she exclaimed. In this situation makes me think, well, perhaps she’s a little surprised.
And then there’s bellowed, which is to shout in a loud voice. Who’s there? He bellowed tells the reader that, wow this, this is a very loud voice when someone bellowed.
Let’s move on with some more loud verbs like yelled. This means to shout and make a loud noise because you’re angry, you’re in pain, maybe you’re excited, get out, she yelled.
In this case, it makes me think she’s not happy and I should probably get out. Then there’s the verb screamed, which is similar to yelled.
Screamed / Hollered
You may use these verbs interchangeably but let me give you a different context. If people say help us. They screamed, and in this situation, they are screaming for help.
And then there’s the verb hollered. This means to shout loudly. Pass me the ball, he hollered. And you really want to get someone else’s attention when you’re hollering at them. Pass me the ball!
Let’s now bring the noise level down a little bit and talk about some verbs that you can use if you want to say someone’s trying to be quiet. Like this verb right here, murmured.
Murmured / Muttered
It means to say something very quietly. I love you, the boy murmured.
And in this context, it makes me think that, well, the boy is a little shy. Perhaps he doesn’t want the other person to hear it, but he really just still feels the need to say it and he murmurs this.
Then we have the verb muttered. It means to speak quietly in a low voice so that it’s not easy to hear.
And when I think about this verb muttered, I think that people do this because they don’t really want the other person to hear what they’re saying. It could perhaps cause an argument.
If we are in a classroom and maybe a teacher gets angry and they call a student lazy and the student’s a little upset, you’re the lazy one, the student muttered.
And they say it in that low voice because they don’t necessarily want the teacher to hear and that’s why you would mutter something.
And this verb is also used in the phrase to mutter something under someone’s breath, which has the same meaning.
You’re speaking softly, it’s not easy to hear because you don’t really want the other person to hear, and you mutter something under your breath.
Mumbled / Whispered
It means to speak quietly and in a way that’s not easy to understand.
To give you an example of someone mumbling, I could say I can’t believe they, he mumbled. And you’re like, wait, wait, what was that last part? I can’t believe they remember, he mumbled.
When I’m mumbling, it’s kind of like you’re just being trailing off and you just don’t understand what someone’s saying because it’s like they’re trailing off, it becomes quieter and they may be mixing some sounds together and you’re like, wait, what was that? Can you say that again?
And then there’s whispered, OK, if somebody’s really trying to be quite whispered, it means that you are speaking quietly really, so only the person next to you or close to you can hear what you’re saying, and you would whisper.
Something. Don’t tell anyone, she whispered.
This is a very common and a great verb to use if you really want to show that somebody’s trying to be quiet.
I just gave you many different verbs that you can use instead of saying the verb said. These are very useful reporting verbs that that’ll really help you improve your writing.
They’re more descriptive, they’re more precise, and it’s just going to make your writing that much more captivating.
What’s your favorite word from this piece?