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Descriptive Writing: Using Powerful Verbs

In this worksheet, students practise choosing more powerful verbs to make their descriptive writing more effective.

'Descriptive Writing: Using Powerful Verbs' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   English

Curriculum subtopic:   Grammar: Nouns, Verbs & Tenses

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The words we use in descriptive writing can have a powerful effect on our readers. This is particularly true of verbs (action words).

 

For example, there is nothing wrong with the first sentence below, but the second one creates a more vivid impression by using the verb hurtled.

 

The train left the station at top speed.

The train hurtled from the station.

 

In this worksheet you can practise replacing everyday verbs with more powerful ones. You may find a dictionary helpful.

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the one in bold.

 

As the storm approached, the cattle ran to shelter in the barn.

fled

ambled

jogged

strolled

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The elderly lady went slowly up the stairs, stopping every few steps to put down her shopping bag and catch her breath.

ran

walked

struggled

climbed

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The baby cried loudly all night.

whimpered

bawled

whined

sobbed

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Alex threw the ball hard at the window and it broke with a loud smash.

chucked

flung

tossed

dropped

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Katie walked home slowly. She didn't want to face her brother after what she had done.

dawdled

went

strolled

ambled

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Jamie ate his tea quickly and hurried out to meet his friends.

gulped

gobbled

chewed

swallowed

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Mr Jones doesn't like groups of teenages to wait around outside his shop.

loiter

stay

stand

meet

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The young man walked confidently along the road, looking at his reflection in the shop windows as he went.

strolled

ran

strutted

ambled

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The wind blew loudly down the chimney, making Sarah shiver with fright.

gasped

rattled

whispered

roared

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the ones in bold.

 

The puppy was so excited it barked in a high-pitched way and wriggled its whole body.

whimpered

yelped

growled

screamed

  • Question 1

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the one in bold.

 

As the storm approached, the cattle ran to shelter in the barn.

CORRECT ANSWER
fled
EDDIE SAYS
The best choice is 'fled' because it suggests that they ran quickly and may have been frightened.
  • Question 2

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The elderly lady went slowly up the stairs, stopping every few steps to put down her shopping bag and catch her breath.

CORRECT ANSWER
struggled
EDDIE SAYS
The best choice here is \'struggled\', as it suggests that the lady was finding it difficult to walk up the stairs.
  • Question 3

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The baby cried loudly all night.

CORRECT ANSWER
bawled
EDDIE SAYS
'Bawled' is the best choice because the other words do not describe loud crying.
  • Question 4

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Alex threw the ball hard at the window and it broke with a loud smash.

CORRECT ANSWER
flung
EDDIE SAYS
To fling something means to throw it with some force.
  • Question 5

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Katie walked home slowly. She didn't want to face her brother after what she had done.

CORRECT ANSWER
dawdled
EDDIE SAYS
The best choice here is \'dawdled\'. Although \'ambled\' and \'strolled\' also mean to walk slowly, they suggest that the person is walking in a relaxed way, and Katie is clearly not relaxed!
  • Question 6

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Jamie ate his tea quickly and hurried out to meet his friends.

CORRECT ANSWER
gobbled
EDDIE SAYS
The correct word is \'gobbled\'. The word \'gulped\' can be used for drinking something quickly.
  • Question 7

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

Mr Jones doesn't like groups of teenages to wait around outside his shop.

CORRECT ANSWER
loiter
EDDIE SAYS
If people \'loiter\' it suggests that they are up to no good, and that is probably what Mr Jones thinks.
  • Question 8

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The young man walked confidently along the road, looking at his reflection in the shop windows as he went.

CORRECT ANSWER
strutted
EDDIE SAYS
To 'strut' means to walk in a confident and showing off way.
  • Question 9

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the words in bold.

 

The wind blew loudly down the chimney, making Sarah shiver with fright.

CORRECT ANSWER
roared
EDDIE SAYS
\'Roared\' is the only verb in the list that suggests a loud noise.
  • Question 10

Read the sentence below and choose the best verb from the list to replace the ones in bold.

 

The puppy was so excited it barked in a high-pitched way and wriggled its whole body.

CORRECT ANSWER
yelped
EDDIE SAYS
A whimper can also be high-pitched, but it would suggest that the puppy was unhappy rather than excited.
---- OR ----

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