16 Speaking Verbs In English

Learn speaking verbs in English.

Learn 16 important verbs to use for “speak” in English. These words will help you build your vocabulary and be more descriptive with powerful alternative verbs to use for ‘speak’ in English, including common synonyms of speak. 

Listen to the podcast Speak Better English with Harry or watch it on YouTube at Learn English with Harry. englishclass101

list of speaking verbs in English

16 Speaking Verbs in English

So in this particular lesson, we’re going to look at advanced English speaking verbs.

The verbs we use to describe how somebody speaks, or how we hear them speaking, or the sounds they make.

So lots of them are very strange and maybe a little bit unusual for you, but I’ll explain them to you and I’ll give you plenty of examples.

So we’re going to talk first of all when people are talking loudly.

So when we’re talking loudly, here are the verbs we can use:

  • yell
  • bark
  • screech
  • scream

yell

Meaning: to speak with a strong, loud, clear sound; to shout (often when angry or in pain)

Example:

I saw my friends on the other side of the park, and I yelled to get their attention.

bark (out)

Meaning: to say something in a loud angry voice (we usually bark orders)

Example:

Somebody from behind the counter barked (out) a few orders to the staff and left.

screech

Meaning: usually speak or shout in a high-pitched voice; for example, if you get a shock

Example:

She screeched out loud when she the size of the spider in the bath.

scream

Meaning: to say or cry something in a loud and high voice (because of pain, surprise, etc)

Example:

If you go to a pop concert, then you’ll hear people screaming out the music.

The bartender couldn’t hear John, so he had to scream to get their attention.

16 Speaking Verbs in English

Top speaking verbs in English. Other ways to say "speak" in English. Advanced English lessons on Zoom and Skype. #learnenglishnglish.

Then the opposite then is to speak quietly.

And the type of verbs that are used for speaking quietly will be:

  • whisper
  • mutter

whisper

Meaning: to speak in a very, very, very low voice (like a mouse)

Example:

People are asked not to make noise in a library, so they have to whisper.

mutter

Meaning: to speak in a low, barely audible voice (often in irritation)

Example:

My mother always encouraged me to speak clearly and not to mutter.

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Now, if we talk about verbs connected with speaking negatively, let’s look at a few of those.

  • rant
  • ramble
  • babble (on)
  • grumble
  • moan
  • growl
  • rave

rant

Meaning: to complain in a way that is unreasonable (usually in a loud manner)

Examples:

He’s been ranting on about the service in that restaurant for days, I wish he would just go and complain.

He always has something to rant about. Now he is going on complaining about the weather.

ramble

Meaning: to talk at length in a confused way, without any structure

babble

Meaning: to talk continuously in a foolish, incomprehensible way 

Example:

He rambles on. He’s been babbling on about that for ages.

grumble

Meaning: to complain about something over a longer period of time

Example:

He grumbled angrily from behind his paper that he had had enough.

moan

Meaning: complain about something in an annoying way 

Example:

I kept moaning all the way through the movie about how ridiculous it was but still watched it.

growl

Meaning: to speak in an unfriendly and aggressive way

Example:

He came into the office with water dripping from everywhere, his colleague asked him if it was raining he growled back in an annoyed tone, ‘What do you think?’

rave

Meaning: to speak about something in a very enthusiastic way 

Example:

He’s been raving about that hotel since he got back from his holiday. You’d think it was the only hotel in the world!

It depends on how you use “rave,” it could be both positive and negative.

mumble

Meaning: to say something in a way that is not clear enough and difficult to understand

Example:

If you’re doing a speaking test, don’t mumble. Speak clearly. The inspector must hear everything you say.

stutter

Meaning: to speak with difficulty, it can also be a medical condition

Example:

King George VI stuttered all his life. It was hard for him to give speeches to the British public.

drawl

Meaning: to speak in a slow way and focus too much on the vowels 

Example:

‘Good morning, folks and welcome to Texas,’ he drawled in a southern American accent.

16 Speaking Verbs in English

Top speaking verbs in English. Other ways to say "speak" in English. Advanced English lessons on Zoom and Skype. #learnenglishnglish.

Okay, so we’re talking here about different verbs in connection with speaking and talking.

Let me give these speaking verbs in English to you one more time.

Speaking loudly:

  • yell
  • bark (out)
  • screech
  • scream

Speaking quietly:

  • whisper
  • mutter

Speaking negatively:

  • rant
  • ramble
  • babble
  • grumble
  • moan
  • growl
  • rave – this is more positive than negative

Speaking unclearly:

  • mumble
  • stutter

And one more without a category:

drawl

Okay, so they’re all advanced ways of speaking in English.

I hope you enjoyed those. You can practice them and practice your American drawl if you really wish to.

I always enjoy it when you listen to and watch my English lessons, I’m very grateful.

If you need anything you can write to me at englishlessonviaskype.com.

And as always, join me again soon, Harry signing off.

speak better English with Harry podcast- episode 401

more information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

C1 English verbs to improve fluency

15 Phrasal verbs with AWAY

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC and British Council Learn English.

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