Posted by: anitanolan | June 16, 2012

Use Strong Verbs/Eliminate Adverbs

Some writers tend to use weak verbs and then add an adverb (-ly word).

They might say: said nervously or walked quickly.

But instead, it strengthens your writing to use strong verbs and eliminate the adverbs. So, you might say stammered or scurried.

Here is a list of weak verbs that you may want to search for and strengthen:

Was            Went                Get
Should       Have                Got
Could         Had                  Go
Would       Take                  Do
Put             Make


  1. Hi Anita, I just have to take a moment to thank you for your wonderful blog tips and tricks, which are helping me take my writing to the next step by polishing up my manuscript. You are helping me tweak my skills and for that I am grateful. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Debbie!

  2. Can you give examples for each of how they could be strengthened. I am unsure about some like ‘do’ and ‘would’. thanks

    • Sometimes those words can be eliminated. “she would like to go” could be changed to “she wished to go”.

  3. Great info. Thanks so much, Anita! 🙂


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