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Words To Use Instead Of Said

Updated on July 2, 2013

Different Words for Said

Are you looking for words to replace said? I can help you out.

I know what it is like when you are writing a story. It starts to feel like you've written the word "said" a million times and you start wondering about alternatives.

There are definitely words to use instead of said and I've shared them in a list below.

Before you start writing "exclaimed", "pontificated", or "screeched", read why you should probably stick with the word said.

What do you think?

Do you think said gets overused when writing dialog?

Do you think said gets overused when writing dialog?

See results

Said is a tried and true verb!

Said may not be sexy or exciting, but it is the BEST word to use when attributing dialogue. It is short, to the point, and not distracting. I know many writers, especially new ones, want to use different words out of boredom or to make their own writing sound more exciting, but I must recommend you RESIST!

While it may seem like your pages are full of the word "said", your reader is not likely to notice them. They would notice if you threw around "he fumed", "she seethed", or "they yelled joyfully" though. Not necessarily in a good way.

When you write do not try to impress the reader with how many fancy words you know. Impress them with your story instead. This goes back to the old "show, don't tell" writing advice.

Now about adverbs...

As you probably know, adverbs modify a verb. An adverb tells how a verb performs. In my example above, "they yelled joyfully", joyfully is the adverb that tells how they (the subject) yelled (verb).

In his excellent book On Writing, Stephen King wrote, "All I ask is that you do as well as you can, and remember that, while to write adverbs is human, to write he said or she said is divine."

"All I ask is that you do as well as you can, and remember that, while to write adverbs is human, to write he said or she said is divine." ~ On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

The list is coming up next, but first, please check out my two book recommendations below. If you are serious about improving your writing, then either one, or both, will help you!

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

I own this wonderful book and I recommend it to anyone starting to wrie or that wants to improve their writing. It would also be enjoyed by Stephen King fans. King talks about how he started writing at a very early age, his life story, and the things he learned on the way. He gives great advice!

Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course

This is my favorite book about writing. The author, Jerry Cleaver, is an accomplished writer and an experienced writing coach. He teaches the fundamentals of writing a great story. He can even help you "rescue" a story that has gotten hopelessly offtrack. This is great stuff!

Words to use instead of said...

So, you've decided you still want your character to mutter, murmur, or mumble? Go right ahead, but please consider using words to replace said sparingly. Your writing will look amateurish if you do it too much.

  • blurted
  • grunted
  • grumbled
  • growled
  • spat
  • seethed
  • sneered
  • rebuked
  • whinged
  • jeered
  • scoffed
  • snarled
  • frown
  • grimaced
  • scowled
  • stammered
  • stuttered
  • slurred
  • blubbered
  • burped
  • belched
  • sighed
  • whispered
  • muttered
  • murmured
  • lied
  • cursed
  • evaded
  • exaggerated
  • reported
  • laughed
  • snorted
  • smirked
  • grinned
  • chortled
  • stirred
  • remarked
  • suggested
  • interjected
  • pointed out
  • added
  • offered
  • answered
  • countered
  • continued
  • reminded
  • remembered
  • reminisced
  • panted
  • puffed
  • huffed
  • breathed
  • coughed
  • wheezed
  • gasped
  • exasperated
  • gave in
  • conceded
  • apologised
  • told
  • stated
  • commented
  • claimed
  • called
  • called back
  • spoke
  • spoke up
  • interrupted
  • cut-off
  • injected
  • corrected
  • shouted
  • spouted
  • joined in
  • screamed
  • told off
  • admonished
  • snapped
  • insisted
  • disagreed
  • objected
  • disapproved
  • frowned
  • warned
  • gestured
  • cautioned
  • denied
  • agreed
  • confirmed
  • shrugged
  • retorted
  • nodded
  • responded
  • decided
  • approved
  • reassured
  • admitted
  • assured
  • soothed
  • acknowledged
  • asked
  • pleaded
  • appealed
  • inquired
  • requested
  • queried
  • questioned
  • demanded
  • commanded

Did you find the alternatives to said that you were looking for?

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    • victoriuh profile image
      Author

      victoriuh 4 years ago

      @SavioC: Yay! Thanks for visiting :)

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 4 years ago

      This is excellent. I never really even thought of this . Its very helpful . Your lens started a train of thought right away. Thank you for sharing this with us. Cheers . :)

    • victoriuh profile image
      Author

      victoriuh 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Glad to help!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes thx

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thx I enters a word compo at school to find as many words to replace said really great help