More Specific Verbs 1   Leave a comment

Many of my students do not use some really common verbs enough and use other verbs that are not as helpful. Here is a good example:

I took my child along the trail when she was too tired to walk any further.

Before you look ahead, can you think of a better verb to use in this sentence?

“Take” is a good verb for many uses, but there is a better word that will put a better picture in your listener’s mind: “carry.”

We use “carry” when we mean to emphasize that something was lifted and taken somewhere else. The emphasis is having to hold it and take it to another location. “Take” does not get the idea of lifting AND taking something elsewhere across to your listener.

She carried the heavy pitcher of water to the table without spilling it.
(You can use “took” here, but it is not as descriptive)

He carries his guitar to school every day.
(The verb “take” is okay again here, but the emphasis on the heaviness of the instrument, and likely the student’s dedication to music, is lost.)

When I am hiking, I usually am carrying my GPS and a Sony A-1 camera.
(Here you cannot use “take” at all; it is poor usage)

In all of these sentences, the emphasis is on the fact that the item has been lifted and taken elsewhere, because we have used “carry” instead of “take.”

You are all at a level in which you need to learn and use more descriptive verbs and nouns to expand your proficiency and English vocabulary. As you go through your day, think of things you or others are carrying, and try to make a sentence in English with the verb “carry” for each action.

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Posted August 6, 2013 by laurieflood in Uncategorized

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