Improve Your Writing: 171 Words You Can Use Instead of 'Said'

Updated on December 15, 2017
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Verity is simultaneously pursuing a physics degree and a teaching degree. In her spare time, she likes to cook and play video games.

When reading a piece of dialogue there can be nothing more boring than the repetitive use of "he said" or "she said." Using different words for 'said' such as 'exclaimed' or 'stammered' can give extra context to the scene and help the reader understand the characters' emotions. This article details over 100 words that you can use instead of said.

But be careful, overuse of flowery language can break the immersion of the reader and leave them paying more attention to the author's hand than to the dialogue and just become a distraction.

Source

Beginning with A

Word
Example
Accused
"I bet you stole the diamonds!" She accused.
Advised
"I would wait before you talk to her again," his mother advised.
Apologised
"I'm so sorry, it will never happen again!" He apologised.
Assured
"It's alright darling, the man is gone," her friend assured her.
Acknowledged
"Sorry, you must have been waiting some time," they acknowledged.
Affirmed
"This is the right classroom," affirmed another student.
Approved
"This was very well written," her teacher approved.
Added
"He was also wearing a blue shirt," added one girl.
Agreed
"Yes, you do have the best chance to win a promotion," agreed Helen's boss.
Argued
"But I wasn't even there, I couldn't have done it!" Argued her son.
Addressed
"Ladies, gentlemen and esteemed guests," she addressed the room.
Announced
"This is the last straw! I'm running away and you'll never see me again!" Announced her little brother.
Asked
"Can you meet me here, tomorrow at 3pm?" He asked.
Admitted
"Ok, I did break it, but it was an accident," admitted her husband.
Answered
"The shop closes at 6pm," answered the shop assistant.
Asserted
"You're sure to like her, once you know her," asserted her father.

Beginning with B

Word
Example
Bawled
"No! Please, don't stop me from going to the concert!" Bawled his sister.
Bet
"When we get home, he'll be sat in his new chair watching football," bet her brother.
Boomed
"Good morning everybody!" Boomed the teacher.
Beamed
"I did it! I sold my first piece of art," she beamed.
Bickered
"Yeah, well if you tell on me, then I'll tell dad that you sneaked out last night!" She bickered.
Bragged
"This is my 7th A+ in a row," bragged the rich boy.
Babbled
"Oh now nice to see you, so nice. I was just thinking it would be nice, and now you're here, and it's just so nice!" he babbled, nervously.
Began
"It started about 5 years ago," she began.
Breathed
"Don't make a sound or she'll hear us," he breathed to his friends.
Badgered
"Can you take us to the fair today mum?" badgered her eldest son, endlessly.
Begged
"Please don't leave me! She meant nothing to me, I swear, please," her fiance begged.
Blurted
"He's not as good a kisser as you think," she blurted.
Barked
"Open your jotters and take down today's date," barked the headmaster.
Bellowed
"Boys! Stop fighting this instant!" Bellowed their mother.
Boasted
"I got the most votes in today's mock election," they boasted.

Beginning with C

Word
Example
Cautioned
"Just don't be mean to him, he doesn't take to it kindly," her sister cautioned.
Chided
"I can't believe you just left your dirty clothes on the floor," chided her father
Challenged
"Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?" Challenged his opponent.
Cackled
"You shall stay locked away here forever," the witch cackled.
Chatted
"And then he told me that he wouldn't call me back if I was going to be like that, so I told him..." chatted her friend, endlessly.
Called
"Gary, we're over here!" Fred called.
Cheered
"We did it! We did it!" Cheered the team.
Choked
"Leave me behind, tell the others of what happened here," choked the wounded man.
Confessed
"It was me who sent you that love note," she confessed suddenly.
Confided
"I think my dad is cheating on my mum," Ben confided.
Convinced
"It'll be really easy, and it will only take 5 minutes tops," the other boy convinced him.
Cried
"How could you be so thoughtless?!" They cried.
Chuckled
"I was a troublemaker when I was in school," chuckled her mother.
Confirmed
"The car will be there at 9am," confirmed the driver.
Croaked
"I'm so thirsty... water... please..." croaked her grandfather.
Claimed
"I would never do anything like that," claimed the thief.
Commanded
"Put your phones away at once!" Commanded the headteacher.
Congratulated
"Well done, I'm so proud of you!" His boyfriend congratulated him.
Corrected
"I think you'll find it happened on Tuesday, not Saturday," corrected his mother.
Commented
"I would hate for that to happen to me," commented her brother, unhelpfully.
Continued
"As I was saying," they continued.
Coughed
"Call the fire department," coughed the woman.
Cursed
"God damn it!" Cursed the sailor.

Beginning with D

Word
Example
Denied
"He wasn't even there when the fight started," denied her daughter.
Doubted
"Are you sure that you didn't see him?" Doubted her mother.
Decided
"I will go and ask him tomorrow," she decided.
Described
"The boy there had a yellow hat on and had long blue hair," described the little girl.
Drawled
"That seems likely," the elder woman drawled.
Declared
"This is all nonsense!" Declared her father.
Disagreed
"Don't be so quick to dismiss her, there might be some truth in what she says," disagreed his mother.
Demanded
"Tell us what really happened," he demanded.
Source

Beginning with E

Word
Example
Encouraged
"You can do it, you'll give the best speech ever," encouraged her best friend.
Echoed
"Yeah, you're gonna be great," echoed Thomas.
Exclaimed
"You'll blow them all away!" Exclaimed Alicia.
Explained
"I know I can do it, I just think it might be too short," explained Alice.
Exploded
"Will you girls stop talking during my lesson!" Exploded the teacher.

Beginning with F

Word
Example
Finished
"...in conclusion, correlation does not imply causation," she finished.
Fretted
"If I hadn't gone to the shops earlier I wouldn't be running so late now," fretted her girlfriend
Faltered
"I suppose, um, we could... just..." he faltered.

Beginning with G

Word
Example
Greeted
"Good afternoon, I'm Rachael, it's nice to meet you," the lady greeted him.
Grumbled
"The weather is awful today, my feet are all wet," Andrew grumbled.
Guessed
"I think the shops are...that way?" She guessed.
Groaned
"I think I've twisted my ankle," he groaned.
Giggled
"Oh dear, no strenuous activity for you today," giggled Rachael.
Growled
"It's not funny you stupid woman," Andrew growled.
Gasped
"I'm sorry," she gasped.
Gloated
"My parents are very wealthy and I can afford all kinds of things you've probably never heard of, if I were you, I would stay on my good side," he gloated.
Grunted
"Have it your way," she grunted.

Beginning with H

Word
Example
Huffed
"This chair is so uncomfortable," the old lady huffed.
Hinted
"That necklace we saw yesterday would make a great Christmas present," hinted her girlfriend.
Hissed
"Don't touch me!" he hissed.
Hollered
"All physics students this way! This way all physics students!" Hollered the substitute teacher.
Howled
"Ow, you stood on my foot!" Howled the child.

Beginning with I

Word
Example
Informed
"Choir rehearsals every Tuesday, 2pm," the poster informed them
Inquired
"Who else is signing up for football?" the coach inquired.
Instructed
"Once you've poured the batter into the cake tin, put it in the oven," instructed the teacher.
Insisted
"I've definitely already done all of this," insisted one student.
Interrupted
"Nobody cares!" Interrupted another student.

Beginning with J

Word
Example
Jeered
"Don't give up your day job!" Jeered someone in the audience
Joked
"How quickly can I get a divorce?" She joked.
Jabbered
"Well, actually, according to a book I read, at least, it may be possible to define some of these markings, in more than one way," the professor jabbered.

Beginning with L

Word
Example
Lamented
"I can't believe I dropped my phone. The screen is ruined," lamented his boyfriend.
Laughed
"I can't believe that you dropped that second time too," he laughed.
Lectured
"It's not funny, this is going to cost me so much to repair. It's not fair to laugh at someone else's misfortune," his boyfriend lectured in return.
Lied
"I'm sorry," he lied.

Beginning with M

Word
Example
Mentioned
"It looks as though it's going to rain," mentioned his mother.
Marvelled
"Wow, look at how much there is! I've never seen anything like it," marvelled his sister.
Mimicked
"I've never seen anything like it," he mimicked
Moaned
"Mum, he's making fun of me again!" she moaned
Mumbled
"Why did I ever have kids?" His mother mumbled.
Source

Beginning with N

Word
Example
Nagged
"Have you taken the bins out yet?" Her girlfriend nagged.
Noted
"You haven't taken out the bins in two months," she noted.

Beginning with O

Word
Example
Objected
"That wasn't me!" The student objected.
Observed
"You are wearing the same coat that the boy in the security footage is wearing," the headmistress observed.
Offered
"Maybe it's a really common coat, you should ask someone else" he offered.
Ordered
"Go to my office now," she ordered.

Beginning with P

Word
Example
Panted
"I... ran... all... the... way..." he panted.
Pleaded
"Please just stay for another hour," they pleaded
Pointed Out
"I've already been here for 2 hours," she pointed out
Pondered
"I wonder what would have happened if I'd applied for that job?" I pondered.
Praised
"This is amazing work, well done," her teacher praised.
Prayed
"Please, God help me," he prayed.
Proclaimed
"Long live the King," they proclaimed.
Promised
"I will never leave your side," promised her wife.
Proposed
"Why don't we go out for dinner tonight?" Proposed his fiance.
Protested
"I'm innocent!" He protested.

Beginning with Q

Word
Example
Queried
"What does a spleen even do?" Queried the child.
Questioned
"Where were you last night?" Questioned my mother.
Quipped
"That's assuming we do any sleeping tonight," her date quipped.
Quizzed
"Who are you going with? How long will you be out? What will you be doing? Is that what you're wearing?" Her father quizzed.
Quoted
"Life is like a box of chocolates," they quoted.

Beginning with R

Word
Example
Retorted
"If you weren't lazy you wouldn't have to do extra credit," retorted his friend.
Requested
"Can you get me some milk when you go to the store?" His mother requested.
Revealed
"I was actually there last night when the fight happened," her best friend revealed.
Roared
"How dare you be late to my lesson!" Roared the teacher.
Responded
"Sorry Miss, we had a meeting," responded the students.
Reassured
"You won't get in trouble, if you tell me the truth," her mother reassured her.
Remembered
"You were wearing that dress the day we went to the beach," she remembered
Repeated
"Oh yeah, the day we went to the beach..." she repeated.
Source

Beginning with S

Word
Example
Screamed
"Help me! Someone help me!" The victim screamed.
Shouted
"Come over here!" Her friends shouted to her.
Slurred
"You... you are a... beautiful beautiful woman," he slurred, drunkenly.
Snorted
"As if that's going to work," she snorted, derisively.
Sobbed
"How could you have just left me there, all alone?" They sobbed.
Squealed
"Oh wow, this is perfect!" His daughter squealed, excitedly.
Smiled
"I'm so glad that you like it," smiled her mother.
Spat
"Get out of my sight," spat his brother.
Stammered
"I... I... I..." stammered the little boy.
Scolded
"Interrupting people is very rude," scolded his older sister.
Snickered
"Look at what she's wearing," snickered the tallest girl.
Sang
"It's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful," she sang, as she hung it on the wall.
Sighed
"It's been a very long day sweetheart," her father sighed.
Snapped
"For the last time, stop talking," snapped her teacher.
Spoke
"Tough the screen to begin," the robotic voice spoke, clearly.
Squeaked
"Please don't hurt us," squeaked the smallest boy.

Beginning with T

Word
Example
Theorised
"Perhaps the picture fell off the wall when someone slammed the door?" They theorised.
Threatened
"If you ever embarrass me like that again, I'll break your fingers," Threatened the bully.
Told
"The next train is expected in 15 minutes" the voice over the PA system told him
Thanked
"I'm so grateful to you for helping me with my project," he thanked her.
Taunted
"If you want it, then come and get it," she taunted, winking.
Teased
"You looked so sweet dressed up with your hair in pigtails," his mother teased.

Beginning with U

Word
Example
Uttered
"Damn it," he uttered to himself when he dropped his paintbrush.
Urged
"You should definitely go to the party, everyone else will be there," her friend urged her.
Understood
"So she was lying when she told me she was never there," her mother understood.

Beginning with V

Word
Example
Verified
"The date on the form is the same one as on the letter," he verified.
Voiced
Alice voiced her concern, "I'm not sure that's a sensible idea."
Volunteered
"Would you like any help with the dishes?" she volunteered.
Vowed
"In sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live," they vowed.

Beginning with W

Word
Example
Wailed
"That's not fair!" Wailed her little sister.
Warned
"Don't stand on the table, you'll fall and hurt yourself." His mother warned.
Wept
"I didn't even get to say goodbye," he wept.
Wheezed
"I need to sit down for a moment, can someone get me my inhaler?" Wheezed the elderly man.
Whined
"But it's not fair, she got 3 scoops of ice-cream and I only got one!" His son whined.
Whimpered
"No please don't hit me," she whimpered as he raised his hand.
Whispered
"Don't move and don't make a noise, he won't find us," she whispered.
Wished
"If only I had enough money to go on holiday this summer," they wished.
Wondered
"What would happen if all of the oxygen just suddenly disappeared?" She wondered.

Beginning with Y

Word
Example
Yawned
"I only got 2 hours of sleep last night because of your snoring," her girlfriend yawned
Yelled
"Hey, come back here!" The shopkeeper yelled at the boys who had stuffed sweets into their pockets and then started to run away.
Yowled
"Oooowwww!" He yowled in pain as older boy stepped on his foot.
Source

Thank You for Reading

Thank you for reading this article, I hope that you can use this list to help you with your own writing and that the examples given are able to help add context, and show different circumstances in which you can use each word. If you have any suggestions feel free to comment below.

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Questions & Answers

    © 2017 VerityPrice

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      • profile image

        Armen 

        8 months ago

        Awesome piece and very useful . So many words I don't even know the meaning of. I'm going to print this and paste it next to my monitor and use it every time I want to write said. Thanks for posting.

      • VerityPrice profile imageAUTHOR

        VerityPrice 

        8 months ago from UK

        Thank you renee21, I'm very glad that you found it useful! :)

      • renee21 profile image

        renee21 

        8 months ago

        Great hub! I like writing fiction, and often sometimes find it hard what to write instead of "said." I will be using some of these.

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