With every sentence you write, you need to choose the correct verb.
You can choose between a strong or weak verb or an active or static verb.
Often it depends on collocation and an expectation of which verb will suit your sentence the best.
As with all aspects of writing, you are the decision-maker.
Can you choose the correct verb?
You’re a writer, so you know your way around vocabulary and word choice.
But here’s an interesting and fun challenge for you to test your writing skills.
The puzzle below needs you to find fifteen, well, only fourteen common verbs because the first one is done for you.
It looks easy, and most of the answers will be simple for you to find. But there are a few that might slow you down.
If you think you have great writing skills, you should be able to complete the puzzle in about a minute to ninety seconds.
But if you don’t beat the clock, don’t panic. It’s just a bit of vocabulary fun, and I’m sure you’ll get there.
Verb gymnastics puzzle
Look at the image below. For each cube, you need to choose the correct verb to go with all three sides.
Number one is an example, so you only have fourteen to find.
See if you can beat the clock and complete the challenge in a minute!
How did you go, get on, succeed or manage in finding the answers?
Yes, most of them were very easy, but a couple might have had you scratching your head for a moment.
There’s always another verb
In any sentence you write, you have a choice of verbs you can use. It’s one of the easiest ways to add variety to your writing.
Look at these simple sentence pairs.
He is six foot three.
He stands six foot three.
Mary likes chocolate.
Mary adores chocolate.
The boss canceled the meeting.
The boss called off the meeting.
Can you buy some bread on your way home?
Can you pick up some bread on your way home?
When you change the verb, you can adjust the register to better suit what you want to say.
Very often, you can choose either a single word verb or a phrasal verb to adjust your level of formality.
Another reason to change verbs is to avoid repetition in your writing.
How to find better verbs
The easiest way to find alternative verbs is to use a thesaurus.
Almost all writing programs have one, and most PCs and Macs have a dictionary and thesaurus app installed by default.
If you use an online grammar checker, it only takes one click to get a selection of synonyms.
It makes it easy for you to choose the correct verb for any sentence.
A writer’s greatest asset is an extensive vocabulary.
The more words you have in your arsenal, the easier it is for you to choose the right verb or any other part of speech.
While the puzzle above is quite easy and quick, it’s a good example of how many choices you have when it comes to using and extending your vocabulary.
There’s always another way to write a sentence without changing the meaning.
All it usually takes is a little vocabulary gymnastics.