78 Words to Use Instead of Ask (Write Killer Speech Tags)

Using other words instead of ask will spice up your dialogue.                                                    

question markAsk is a common word used when writing dialogue. Using alternate words instead of ask gives you the opportunity to add emotion to your dialogue.

There is some controversy among writers about using other words beside said and ask.

Many writers believe said and ask are invisible. They believe using alternate words is distracting. These writers feel that by using other words instead of ask the writer is adding their own comments to the dialogue.

Actually, we created this list because we disagree with that philosophy.  We believe by using other verbs instead of ask the dialogue can be strengthened.

I will admit that the words your character says are far more important than the dialogue tag. But that doesn’t mean a stronger tag does not improve the dialogue.

Strong Verbs Instead of Ask

One of the main purposes of dialogue is to give our readers a glimpse into our character’s attitudes.

Obviously, there is a great difference between a speaker who asks and a speaker who demands.

Consider these examples:

He asked her.                               He interrogated her.                     

He grilled her.                              He implored her.

Can you see how writing with strong verbs instead of ask adds to the characterization of the people who are speaking. To us, using strong verbs instead of ask creates more powerful dialogue.

We are all striving to be better writers. Dialogue is an essential part of storytelling. With practice, you can learn to write meaningful dialogue. This list can help you do just that.

Grab a PDF list of 78 Strong Verbs to use Instead of Askwords to use instead of ask

Adding Adverbs the Dialogue Tags

Some writers like to add adverbs like: loudly or shyly. To us, adverbs tend to dilute the power of the dialogue. We developed this list because we were looking for strong verbs that would eliminate the use of adverbs.

adverbs instead of ask

Killer speech tags are created with strong, descriptive verbs. A speech tag should provide valuable clues, not only about which character is speaking but how they are saying it. That’s what this list is for.

List of 78 Words to Use Instead of Ask

Since you are here, you must agree with our philosophy about dialogue tags. So here is our list of strong, descriptive verbs to use instead of ask. We believe they will add pizzazz to your speech tags.

Craved             Griped            interpreted       petitioned           demanded    Examined       interjected      Disputed            Complained        Incited          Pumped          protested        doubted             commanded       solicited        Deliberated     petition          supplicated         proposed            pry          prompted        Queried          Requested          investigated      encouraged  Provoked         Entreated       grilled                 invited               appealed      Plead               studied            revised              dubious               beseech        Scrutinize        disputed          doubted              undecided          Urged          Begged            meddled         Pushed               compelled          snooped      Suspected       Dug                 jabbed               pressed               Quizzed    searched         explored         pried                  meddled              Surveyed    prodded          delved             Interfered          studied                  explored    implored         needled           Considered        Inspected             analyzed    probed            Deliberated     clarified             debrief                  wished        Question         inquire             query                 seek                     search          objected          checked           reviewed           pop the question

Punctuating Dialog

One thing we ran into was figuring out how to punctuate dialogue correctly. It was hard for us to remember when to put a comma, and when to put a period. So, we created a cheat sheet. As a bonus today you can download this cheat sheet for yourselves.

How to Punctuate Dialogue Info Graph punctuate DialogueMore Information about words to use Instead of Ask See:

What words can I use instead of ask, Quara 

43 words to use instead of ask

Don’t forget to share This valuable list. It’s just a few clicks. You will be helping others to find and use this information.

Check out our PDF list of Replacement Words for Said. 

Happy Writing

John & Patty    @writingagreatbook.com 2020


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