Examples of how to use:
Words to use instead of SAID

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Below are some examples of words to use instead of said. While it nice to have a list of several hundred words to use instead of said, the list is meaningless if you don't know how to use them. The purpose of this page is to fire up your imagination so that you can use the words in your own stories. As I wrote on the words to use instead of said page, when using words instead of said, be sure you utilize them properly. For example, you cannot laugh and talk, or sneeze and talk at the same time. "That is so funny, laughed Bob," should not be used. A person can laugh before or after they speak, but not while they speak. Think about how your character is going to speak and the emotion that they are experiencing. Think it out before you write it down. Let me give you some examples. The following sentence does not use the word said:
"I hate you," spat Bob in disgust. Now think about that sentence. Can a person spit in disgust and speak at the same time?
Watch what happens this time when I use the word said and describe Bob's actions:
"I hate you," said Bob as he clenched his fists. His lips snarled with rage as he stormed out the room, vowing never to return.
Here is another example where the word said works just fine:
"Do have some more gravy, Bob," said Darla, spooning it out herself.
For dialogue to be effective it must appear to be realistic. The person reading your story must believe that your characters actually talk this way. You should use dialogue to reveal insights into characters, set the mood, and even to clarify plot points. I was once told that when writing dialogue, to think of it as action. Use dialogue to make something happen.

The sentences and example dialogue below are simply meant to give you ideas and inspire your own dialogue as you write. Have fun with writing, and be creative. Please remember that the words below all have more than one definition, but only one is used in each example. Click or touch the word to see even more definitions.

  • accused (to charge with the fault, offense, or crime) “Professor Plum murdered Colonel Mustard!” accused Miss Peacock.
  • assured (to be sure or certain of something; very confident) “The monsters don't come out during the day,” assured Mack. (submitted by Kayla F.)
  • avowed (acknowledged; declared): “I have not eaten chocolate for over thirty days!” she avowed rather forcefully.
  • boasted (to be excessively proud, to brag, or be vain) “Winning the kickball tournament was as easy as pie,” Sean boasted. (submitted by Kayla F.)
  • badgered (to harass or urge persistently; pester; nag) “Why are you not responding?” She badgered, poking him in the ribs. (submitted by Rhianna H.)
  • cackled (to laugh in a shrill, broken manner) “You'll never escape!” She cackled. (submitted by Rhianna H.)
  • chided (to express disapproval of; scold; reproach) “It's not your hair that needs to brushed, it's your teeth that need it,” chided Mary as she watched her husband in the mirror.
  • chirped (to say something in a lively and cheerful way) “Come sit down,” she chirped, as she scooted over, leaving me a seat. (submitted by Tatum P.)
  • coached (to give instruction or advice) She paused, not knowing what to say. “Tell them about your socks,” he coached. (submitted by Neil F)
  • complimented (an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration) “You look nice today,” complimented Ben. (submitted by Nathaniel T.)
  • concurred (to accord in opinion; agree) “Shall we dine?” Alice asked. “Indeed!” Bob concurred. (submitted by Anastasia K.)
  • confirmed (made certain as to truth, accuracy, validity, availability, etc.) “She has a concussion,” the nurse confirmed. (submitted by Alorie F.)
  • contributed (to give something; i.e. time, information, suggetions, etc.) “I don't know what to do!” Sue cried. “Maybe you could talk to him?” Allen contributed. (submitted by Emilia R.)
  • defended (to support in the face of criticism) “He didn't mean to,” defended Michael quickly. (submitted by Alexa C.)
  • demurred (to make objection, especially on the grounds of scruples; take exception; object) “Sure.” He jumped to his feet. “I'm sorry to have kept you.” “No, no,” Anne demurred. (submitted by Jennie G.)
  • effused (to talk in an unrestrained, excited manner) “You look so radiant, so stunning, so fabulous in that dress, that I, I, I, just don't know what to say,” effused Alice.
  • encouraged (to inspire with courage or confidence) “Do it,” he encouraged. (submitted by Alysha B.)
  • exasperated (to irritate or provoke) “This is the last time I help you,” exasperated Maddison as she sighed heavily. (submitted by Maddy & David)
  • exclaimed (to cry out or speak suddenly and vehemently, as in surprise, strong emotion, or protest) “I made the team!” Lizzy exclaimed. (submitted by Helenaluciana M.)
  • exploded (to burst forth violently or emotionally, especially with noise, laughter, violent speech) “You told me this report was finished last Friday!” exploded Bob “You haven't even started on it!”
  • exulted (to show or feel a lively or triumphant joy; rejoice exceedingly; be highly elated or jubilant) He hurled the ball as hard as he could at the stumps, and to his delight, it clipped the offside one, and the bail flicked off. “Yes!” he exulted, pumping his fist in the air in delight. (submitted by Chris G.)
  • gibed / jibed (to make insulting, taunting, heckling, or jeering remarks): “Still afraid of the dark, aren't you!” gibed Tom at Sam's cowardice.
  • grimaced (a facial expression, often ugly or contorted, that indicates disapproval, pain, etc.) “Just stitch me up and let's get out of here,” He grimaced, his face vainly trying to conceal the pain. (submitted by Rhianna H.)
  • harshy (grim or unpleasantly severe; stern; cruel; austere) “You're a fool, boy!” Randall said harshly. (submitted by Bridgette H.)
  • hummed (an inarticulate sound uttered in contemplation, hesitation, dissatisfaction, doubt, etc.) “Shall we leave?” He asked. “Yes,” She hummed, grabbing his hand. (submitted by Rhianna H.)
  • intoned (to utter with a particular tone or voice modulation, such as singing or chanting): “Don't be concerned” Lilith gently intoned, “I never meant to insult you.”
  • lamented (mourned for, as a person who is dead): “The spires used to be so shiny and beautiful,” she lamented. “It's such a shame they're gone.”
  • marvelled (something that causes wonder, admiration, or astonishment): “You saved my live,” marvelled Amy. (submitted by Alison S.)  marveled (U.S. spelling) marvelled (U.K. spelling)
  • mocked (to treat with ridicule or contempt): “Sure you do,” he mocked, rolling his eyes. “You know everything.” (submitted by Tara N.)
  • opined (to hold or express an opinion) “My brother is a genius,” he opined.
  • perplexed (bewildered; puzzled): “I don't understand,” she said perplexed. (submitted by Elvey T.)
  • puzzled (unable to understand; perplexed): “Why did you cheat on your math test?” my mom passed her hand over her face and looked puzzled. (submitted by Cindy P.)
  • quietly (making little to no noise or sound): Ms. Maple covered her lips with her index finger until she had the attention of the entire class. “Let's use our inside voices,” she said quietly.
  • quizzed (to question closely) “What exactly was Humpty Dumpty?” quizzed the teacher after she had read aloud the nursery rhyme.
  • raged (a fit of violent anger) “Put down my cup!” raged David's dad as he attempted to steal the last of the delicious juice. (submitted by Maddy & David)
  • reasoned (a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action) “It's impossible to finish by tomorrow,” Ashley reasoned. “Can't we have another day?” (submitted by Sarah S.)
  • recounted (to give an account of an event or experience) “No, Mr. Johnson told us that the homework was due on Tuesday,” Sherri recounted, documenting the teachers previous instructions. (submitted by Hannah L.)
  • reiterated (to repeat something you have already said in order to emphasize it) “For the last time, whales do not eat humans,” reiterated Bob as he wondered how many times he would have to repeat himself.
  • retaliated (to return like for like, especially evil for evil): “You are an insignificant fool!” she retaliated. (submitted by Arden G.)
  • simpered (to smile in a silly, self-conscious way): “I really like Troy,” she said a little bit too loudly. Then she noticed him looking at her, and simpered.
  • sneezed: “I thought you knew I was allergic to daisies.” David scrunched up his face and sneezed. “ Please take them out of the room, I can hardly breath.”
  • spat (a petty quarrel; to express contempt; to eject forcefully: “Sally!” Adam spat, “it's time for bed. Go wash up.” Sally walked tiredly with her eyes almost completely shut, towards the house. (written by student in grade 4)
  • spilled (to divulge, disclose, or tell): “Did he confess?” “Yes, under duress, he spilled the whole story.” (submitted by Holly T.)
  • spluttered (to speak hastily and incoherently, as when confused or angry): “But, like ... when, um, ... how?” he spluttered.
  • started (the first part or beginning segment of anything): “Well,” started Jill, “I think we should go to the park.” (submitted by Charlotte C.)
  • stressed (importance attached to a thing): “I need it,” he stressed. (submitted by K.J.)
  • testified (to bear witness; give evidence): “Well your honor, there is no evidence that he stole the diamond,” the lawyer testified. (submitted by Grace R.)
  • wondered (to desire or to be curious to know something): “How many times have I written that, I wonder?”
  • yelled (give a loud, sharp cry): “Get out of here!” he yelled. “The house is on fire!” (submitted by Amelia W.)

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