Vocabulary: Use Colorful Verbs

This page was first published on the 23rd of January, 2017 and last updated on the 23rd of January, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

Verbs give life to your sentences. They can be compared to the motors of cars: they make sentences go. But how well do your sentences go? That depends largely on the verb you use. Consider sentences A and B below:

 

  1. He walked across the room.

 

  1. He strode across the room.

 

Which of the two underlined verbs above gives more expression and insight?

Below are two groups of sentences. The first group contains dull, vague verbs while the second group makes use of colorful, expressive verbs.

First Group

  1. A young child walked across the lawn.

 

  1. Into the cabin walked a half-starved prospector.

 

  1. The injured ruby player walked to the bench.

 

  1. A few of us walked through the mud and slush.

 

  1. Angrily, the science teacher walked into the room.

 

  1. At 9.03 he walked into the school.

 

  1. Being early, we walked through the park.

 

  1. In company formation the cadets walked down the street.

 

  1. The proud winner of the prize walked to the platform.

 

  1. Having nothing to do, he walked into the office.

Second Group

 

  1. A young child tottered across the lawn.

 

  1. Into the cabin staggered a half-starved prospector.

 

  1. The injured rugby player limped to the bench.

 

  1. A few of us trudged through the mud and slush.

 

  1. Angrily, the science teacher rushed into the room.

 

  1. At 9.03 he paced into the school.

 

  1. Being early, we strolled through the park.

 

  1. In company formation, the cadets marched down the street.

 

  1. The proud winner of the prize strutted to the platform.

 

  1. Having nothing to do, he toddled into the office.

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