Those Pesky Ly Words

Adverbs are words that normally end in an ly and should usually be avoided when possible. I used two ly words in the last sentence; nobody can avoid them all. Many new writers delete all of their ly words but don’t use a stronger verb in its place. The reason to delete ly words is because stronger verbs can replace them. Here’s a list of a few strong verbs you can use to replace your weaker verbs and adverbs.

Walk:

slowly walked – sauntered, strolled, loped, moseyed, wandered, meandered

quickly walked – strode, darted, rushed, treaded, marched, advanced

Look:

angrily looked – glowered, glared

longingly looked – gaped, ogled, stared

quickly looked – glanced

Talk:

loudly talked – shouted, bellowed

softly talked – whispered, mumbled

Sit:

sat slowly – perched, rested, settled

sat quickly or angrily or clumsily – plopped, plodded

Whenever you see an ly word, look up the verb it describes in the thesaurus, and see if you can find a stronger verb to convey the same thing without the adverb.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Editing, Sharpening Our Writing and tagged , , , , , by Tamera Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Kraft

Tamera Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

8 thoughts on “Those Pesky Ly Words

  1. This is such an important subject. It’s amazing how much more vivid our writing becomes when we concentrate on strong verbs. Not that adverbs don’t have their place, of course – but that place needs to be a very small ratio of the overall most of the time.

  2. Pingback: MS Word Features For Writers: Template, Find & Replace, Bookmarks | Word Sharpeners

  3. Pingback: 10 Tips to Editing Your Own Novel | Word Sharpeners

  4. I think you have to be very careful to ensure that the word you substitute for the adverb actually conveys the same meaning. In many examples I’ve seen, it doesn’t and the writing is the poorer for it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s