350 Other Words For Said For Your Dialogue Writing

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350 words said

Do you need synonyms for said?

Dialogue tags should be used as a seasoning and not as the main ingredient in your writing.

Readers have a blind spot for the word said, so you can use it without any concern when you write dialogue.

Stephen King wrote in On Writing, regarding dialogue tags. “The best form of dialogue attribution is said, as in he said, she said, Bill said, Monica said.”

However, there are times when the use of said synonyms helps to convey an extra element of emotion or tone of voice. Also, using a descriptive dialogue reporting verb avoids the use of adverbs.

I am sure every writer has read this quote about adverbs, again by Stephen King.

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.”

When you are writing dialogue, you need to be aware that dialogue tags are the tones of voice of the author and not the characters. So keep them to a minimum.

When only two characters are speaking, it is often possible to avoid using them almost completely.

But when dialogue tag verbs are necessary, think carefully about your choice of vocabulary. Of course, go very easy on the use of adverbs.

 

Other ways to say said

There are times when you might want to make a line of dialogue a little more expressive. Perhaps in a novel or short story. Selecting other words for said can help you.

The infographic at the end of this article gives you a full list of 350 words you can use in place of said. There is also a full-text listing with words for said categorised by emotion or association.

Using a one-word reporting verb is a much better alternative than to add an adverb to a dialogue tag.

They are quick and to the point. But they still give a sense of an understandable emotive description.

Here are a few simple examples.

 

Bad: “I want to go home,” she said sadly.

Better: “I want to go home,” she cried.

 

Bad: “Where did they find it?” he asked curiously.

Better: “Where did they find it?” he wondered.

 

Bad: “Why did you do that?” he asked angrily.

Better: “Why did you do that?” he snarled.

 

Another quick and easy way to find a new synonym for reporting verbs is if you are a Grammarly user.

You are only one right-click away from a long list of suggested replacements for words to use instead of said.

grammarly synonyms

 

If you use ProWritingAid, you can get even more help with both simple or contextural choices for said synonyms.

prowritingaid synonyms

 

Said by emotions

Before we get to the full list of 350 verbs to replace said, here is a quick concise selection.

They are listed by emotions and situations that you might want to use for your quick reference.

 

Answering or responding

answered, conceded, concurred, explained, replied, responded

 

Confusion or uncertainty

doubtfully, guessed, hesitated, vacillated

 

Questioning or curiosity

asked, inquired, puzzled, queried, questioned, quizzed, wondered

 

Surprise

bleated, blurted, exclaimed, gasped, sputtered

 

Sadness or sorrow

bawled, bewailed, blubbered, cried, lamented, sniffled, sobbed, wailed, wept

 

Provocation or incitement

bragged, gibed, jeered, lied, nagged, provoked

 

Romance and love

breathed, promised, purred, sighed

 

Persuasion and inducing

advised, appealed, asserted, begged, beseeched, cajoled, entreated, implored, urged

 

Happiness and joy

beamed, bubbled, cheered, chirped, chuckled, giggled, grinned, joked, sang, smiled, trilled

 

Anger and rage

barked, cursed, exploded, fumed, growled, hissed, raged, ranted, roared, scowled, snarled, swore, yelled

 

Disgust or loathing

cringed, grimaced, groused, grunted, rasped, sniffed, snorted

 

Fear or anxiety

gulped, prayed, quavered, shrieked, squealed, stuttered, whimpered, whined

 

Embarrassment

admitted, confessed, hesitated, mumbled

 

350 synonyms for said infographic

Here is the full list of verbs you can use instead of said.

You can use the infographic below for your writing reference. Or you can share it on your blog with your readers.

If you prefer, you can also view the infographic in pdf.

 

350 other words for said
You are welcome to share or re-post this image with attribution to justpublishingadvice.com

 

More reading: The Sentence Fragment, Run On Sentence And Compound Sentence

 

The full-text listing of 350 other words for said by emotion and association

Feel free to copy and paste these words to replace said for your own use.

The emotion of ANGER

accused, argued, badgered, barked, bellowed, bickered, chastised, chided, clipped, clucked, commanded, complained, corrected, countered, cursed, dared, demanded, disagreed, exploded, fumed, goaded, growled, grumbled, harshed, hissed, hollered, howled, huffed, insulted, interrupted, muttered, objected, ordered, raged, ranted, retaliated, retorted, roared, scoffed, scolded, scowled, screamed, screeched, seethed, shot, shouted, shrilled, snapped, snarled, sneered, spluttered, stormed, swore, taunted, threatened, warned, yelled

The action of ANSWERING

answered, clarified, conceded, concurred, deflected, disputed, explained, interjected, protested, reassured, remarked, replied, responded, stated

The emotion of DISGUST

cringed, grimaced, groused, grunted, mocked, rasped, refused, smirked, sniffed, snorted

The emotion of EMBARRASSMENT

admitted, confessed, hesitated, mumbled

The emotion of FEAR

babbled, croaked, denied, doubted, fretted, groaned, gulped, moaned, panted, prayed, quavered, shrieked, slurred, squeaked, squealed, stammered, stuttered, whimpered, whined, whispered

The emotion of HAPPINESS

approved, beamed, bubbled, burst, cackled, chatted, chattered, cheered, chirped, chortled, chorused, chuckled, complimented, congratulated, cooed, crowed, effused, exulted, forgave, giggled, grinned, gurgled, gushed, hummed, joked, praised, resounded, sang, simpered, smiled, thanked, trilled

The emotion of LOVE or ROMANCE

breathed, expressed, proclaimed, promised, purred, sighed

Words associated with PERSUASION

advised, appealed, asserted, assured, avowed, begged, beseeched, cajoled, claimed, convinced, encouraged, entreated, implored, needled, pleaded, stressed, suggested, urged

Words associated with PROVOCATION

bragged, exasperated, gibed, jested, jeered, joked, lied, mimicked, nagged, provoked, quipped, sassed

The emotion of SADNESS

apologized, bawled, bewailed, blubbered, comforted, consoled, cried, lamented, mumbled, murmured, sighed, sniffled, sobbed, spilled, wailed, wept

The emotion of SURPRISE

bleated, blurted, exclaimed, gasped, marvelled, perplexed, sputtered, yelped

Words associated with QUESTIONS or CURIOSITY

asked, challenged, coaxed, hinted, inquired, pleaded, puzzled, queried, questioned, quizzed, wondered

Words associated with UNCERTAINTY or CONFUSION

cautioned, doubtfully, guessed, hesitated, vacillated

NON-EMOTIVE

acknowledged, acquiesced, added, addressed, affirmed, agreed, alliterated, announced, articulated, began, bet, boasted, boomed, broke in, called, chimed in, coached, commented, concluded, confided, confirmed, considered, continued, contributed, conversed, deadpanned, decided, declared, defended, demurred, described, disclosed, divulged, drawled, echoed, emphasized, ended, finished, gloated, greeted, hypothesized, imitated, implied, informed, insinuated, insisted, intoned, instructed, jabbered, lectured, lisped, maintained, mentioned, monotoned, mouthed, mused, motioned, nodded, noted, notified, observed, offered, opined, pestered, piped, pointed out, pondered, prattled, pressed, pronounced, proposed, put in, quoted, rambled, rattled on, read, reasoned, recalled, reckoned, recited, recounted, reiterated, related, remembered, reminded, repeated, reported, requested, restated, revealed, rhymed, ridiculed, sibilated, sneezed, snickered, speculated, spoke, started, surmised, sympathized, teased, tempted, tested, testified, theorized, thought aloud, told, uttered, ventured, verified, volunteered, vowed, went on, wheezed, wished, yakked, yapped, yawned

 

Summary of words other than said

Synonyms can always improve your writing by avoiding repetition.

Finding new words and new ways to say things is one of the pleasures of being a writer. It doesn’t mean that you need to use long, uncommon or complex vocabulary.

There are usually simple alternatives for most words.

Considering other words instead of said is always a good idea. That’s even if said is a word that most people are blind to when reading.

By replacing said with a more active reporting verb, you can quickly add much more descriptive value to your novel or short story.

 

More reading: So, Can You Start A Sentence With But, And Or Yet?

 

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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

2 thoughts on “350 Other Words For Said For Your Dialogue Writing

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