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Closely Related Verbs

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Team Digital

Basics on the topic Closely Related Verbs

Join Pip and Koko and learn how to use different types of verbs in your writing.

Transcript Closely Related Verbs

"Pip, tell Bertha the story!" "We’re sitting by the campfire telling stories, just like this, when I see something in the bushes. I say to Koko that we must run to the car! But, she doesn’t believe me and says I’m just making up stories again.” "Hmmm, that doesn't sound quite right." Let's improve Pip's story telling by looking at closely related verbs. Synonyms are words that are closely related in meaning, but they have little differences between them. A verb, or action word, can also have synonyms! Weaker or stronger verbs can help us show what we want to explain. The differences between the weaker and stronger verbs can be called shades of meaning. This is because some words may be more powerful than the others when describing actions. Let's look at some examples of shades of meaning using verbs from Pip's story. Pip says he sees something in the bushes. Spot and notice are synonyms for see. Even though these verbs are all closely related to the same action, let’s think about putting them in order from weakest action to strongest. See is the weakest verb, since it is just a general way of describing the action that is used most often. The next verb, is notice. When we notice something, we see it and it gets our attention. Spot would be the strongest verb because it means you see something that isn't easy to find. Let's look at another example. Next, Pip says something to Koko. Mumble and whisper are synonyms for say. Think about these actions. Whisper, say and mumble. Which is the weakest action? Mumble. If we mumble, then our words are so soft that others may not hear them. Which action would come next? Whisper, because whispering is talking softly but loud enough for others to hear. And say would be the strongest action in this group because it means to speak in a normal voice. Although say is the strongest verb, it doesn't mean we always choose it. Sometimes we may need to choose a weaker action to match the situation. Here's one to try on our own. Pip tells Koko to run to the car. Rush, sprint and hurry are all synonyms used to describe running. Put these closely related verbs in order from weakest to strongest. Press pause if you need more time, and press play when you are ready. Hurry would be the weakest action because hurry means to move quickly but not necessarily run. The next verb would be rush, because it describes the action of moving at a fast pace. Run would be the next quickest action. And sprint would be the strongest action. When we sprint, we are running at full speed. Whilst Pip gets ready to retell the story, let's review. Remember verbs can have synonyms to describe an action. We can use weaker or stronger verbs to help show what we want to explain. The differences between the weaker and stronger verbs can be called shades of meaning. This is because some words may be more powerful than the others when describing actions. The story will determine whether you use weaker or stronger shades of meaning for verbs! "We’re sitting by the campfire telling stories, just like this, when I spot something in the bushes. I whisper to Koko that we must sprint to the car! But, she doesn’t believe me and says I’m just making up stories.” "Better, but I still don't believe you." "I spy something in the bushes and we need to bolt to the car!"

Closely Related Verbs exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Closely Related Verbs .
  • What are the synonyms?

    Hints

    Synonyms are words that are different but have similar meanings.

    Shout and yell are examples of synonyms.

    Solution

    Two synonyms for the word break are wreck and smash because they have very similar meanings, but are slightly different.

  • Which words are synonyms?

    Hints

    Synonyms are words that have similar meanings.

    Hop and jump are examples of synonyms.

    Look at the word run. If you were running, which of the actions below would be most similar?

    • jogging
    • requesting
    • building
    • throwing
    Solution

    These words are synonyms because they have similar meanings to each other, but have small differences between them.

    • run and jog
    • request and ask
    • build and make
    • toss and throw
  • How does knowing about shades of meaning help improve your storytelling?

    Hints

    You can choose which verbs are more powerful so your story is more detailed.

    You could change the word see in a story to the word spot to make it more clear and detailed.

    Solution

    Using weaker or stronger verbs helps you to describe in more detail what you want to say in the story.

    Shades of meaning helps you understand which verbs are more powerful to use in the story to describe the action.

  • Which verbs have the weakest and strongest action?

    Hints

    Imagine running water. Which verb is the weakest way to describe this? Put that at the top.

    Imagine running water. Which verb is the strongest way to describe this? Put that at the bottom.

    Look at these images. Which word describes each picture?

    Solution

    The correct order is:

    1. drip
    2. drizzle
    3. pour
    4. cascade
    A drip is a very small amount of water. Drizzle is more than a drip but quite light rain. Pour suggests a lot of heavy rain. Cascade conjures up an image of a lot of water falling at speed.

  • What is a synonym?

    Hints

    Hop and jump are synonyms.

    Jump and throw are not synonyms. The actions are different.

    Heard and herd sound the same but they are not synonyms. Heard is a verb (hearing something in the past tense) and herd (a group of animals) is a noun.

    Solution

    Synonyms are words that are closely related in meaning, but have little differences between them.

    Synonyms are words that have similar meaning, but have small differences.

  • Find the right verbs for each situation.

    Hints

    Tipping it down is a phrase associated with it raining very heavily.

    Request means to politely ask for something whereas beg means to persistently ask for something that you really want.

    Read the whole sentence to choose the correct shade of meaning.

    The bunny is only getting over a small flower. Which verb is the weakest action the bunny would take?

    Solution

    Today it is tipping it down. The weather is very bad and the rain is coming down really hard. You definitely need to bring an umbrella and raincoat to school. Without an umbrella or raincoat you will be soaked!

    • Tipping is the correct answer as it is the strongest verb here to describe a lot of rain.

    I had to beg my parents for a new toy at the shop that I really wanted. I said please a hundred times and didn't give up until they said yes.

    • Beg is the correct answer as they had to ask their parents a lot and they didn't give up.

    The bunny had to hop over the small flower that was on the ground in front of her.

    • Hop is the correct verb here as it was just a small movement that the bunny made.