Adverbs vs. Verbs

While working to improve my own writing, I’ve come across some tips that have proved quite useful. I’ll do my best to share with you what has worked for me. You can find my main suggestions on the “Writing Tips” page, but I’ll also make an effort to include additional tips through blog posts. Here’s my first blog post tip: Avoid adverbs. When you write, instead of sticking in a weak verb plus an adverb, use one strong verb.

Example: She walked quickly.

Better choice: She strode.

Adverbs clutter up the text. Strong verbs are clean, save space, and make the writing sound more fluent. Use them! Here are a few strong verbs:

  • to splutter
  • to stumble
  • to shriek
  • to groan
  • to scamper
  • to dash
  • to nibble
  • to rasp
  • to gnaw

Of course, there are many more! But the main idea is this: strong verbs are better than weak verbs plus adverbs. However, don’t forget – for a verb to be strong, it doesn’t have to be long (that rhyme was unintentional but it did make me smile). My point is, you don’t need to try impressing anyone with big words. “He puked” is probably better than “he regurgitated.” The most important thing is to write naturally and with your own style!

35 thoughts on “Adverbs vs. Verbs

  1. You’re welcome; I’m glad it was useful. And yes, I can add more information. I’ll do another post on it.

  2. looks like you’re onto something Sarrah! I’m studying for the MCAT right now and one of the tips they gave for the free response essays was your blog post verbatim. Keep up the great tips!

  3. Thanks 🙂
    And Nicole DuBlanc – thanks for reading my post; what points do you disagree with? I’m just curious.

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