Click Here for our Site Map

Add Color With Your Verbs

Many persons settle for less than they could when they use verbs. As a result, they find it necessary to use adverbs in order to refine or modify the verb's meaning. This isn't necessary. Just select a more appropriate verb. Verbs can add color and spark interest if you select them carefully.

For example, instead of get, you can use obtain, acquire, gain, attain, realize, purchase or procure. Let the thesaurus in Microsoft Word's Tools help you to make better choices. And when you finish your draft, review the writing to identify any pedestrian choices of verbs. You know the kind I mean - - - boring. Replace them. Instead of walk, use stroll, amble, stride, saunter, or pace. Change went to traveled, reached, departed, set out, or became.

Verbs of one syllable tend to be overworked. The fun and color have been drained out of these verbs due to overuse and familiarity.

In contrast, many verbs of two-syllables are used less frequently. They still retain character and are fun to use. They usually permit you to express your thoughts more precisely. As a result, they less frequently necessitate the use of an adverb to add another dimension to the action.

Of course, those verbs of three or more syllables are so little used that they are very distinctive. However, be judicious in your use of three-syllable verbs. The temptation to use some of these verbs can be strong. However, you can quickly become perceived to be a show-off and lose the important link between you and your reader - his empathy.

Nevertheless, attempt to obtain more from your use of verbs. Use them to add color to your writing.

A glossary of 3-syllable verbs may be viewed online at

About The Author

George Robinson is the chief editor of , a North American editing service that helps you to improve your scientific paper, technical article, thesis, dissertation, or other technical writing or business document.

Need content? You may use this article at your website, or in your newsletter. The only requirement is that you include the foregoing paragraph in its entirety, including a live link.

articles about writing

English Proofreading Main Page
English Proofreading Site Map