200 Ways to Say “Went”

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Note: I have created a new and improved version of this poster: 250 Ways to Say “Went.” Check it out!

A few weeks ago, I created a graphic poster that listed 100 ways to say “said.” It was quite a hit. But there are plenty of words that young writers settle for, perhaps because they are unaware of the many alternatives.

I doubt there’s another action verb blander than go or it’s past form, went. I mean, why say “Adam went down the corridor” when you could say…

  • Adam bolted down the corridor.
  • Adam bounded down the corridor.
  • Adam dashed down the corridor.
  • Adam ducked out of the corridor.
  • Adam moseyed down the corridor.
  • Adam slogged down the corridor.

I realized that there are a plethora of richer, more vivid alternatives to went, so I started brainstorming. Before long, I not only passed 100, but made it all the way to 200. I’ve thought of more since, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

So, for writers everywhere looking for more interesting ways to make their characters “go,” I proudly present: 200 Ways to Say “Went.

200 Ways to Say "Went"*****

Your comments are always appreciated. Please share your thoughts below.

About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Kitty
    Kitty03-17-2014

    This is awesome and a lifesaver. I <3 it! :3

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko03-17-2014

      Thanks for the nice comment, Kitty! I’m glad you like it. Stay tuned. I will be offering print posters of this soon.

      • Maria Robinson
        Maria Robinson08-23-2014

        I would love copies of your posters…..are they available and if so how do I order them??

        • Brian Wasko
          Brian Wasko08-23-2014

          I’ve got your email address and will let you know as soon as they are ready. Should be soon.

          • Maria Robinson
            Maria Robinson08-24-2014

            Great!!!! Thank you!!!

  2. Heather
    Heather02-04-2014

    Hey! I’m a senior in high school, and I absolutely love to write! I come here almost every single day, because with my writing, I love to use colorful and unusual words to replace the boring ones. I think it’s fundamental to use special words in your writing, but words that common, every day people are going to understand!

    You see, I role play as well. That really helps polish up your writing and it’s great fun to write with other people! Anyways, there was this one player who basically replaced every word with others, and, as much experience in writing as I feel I have (for being 18, I’ve been writing 8 of that. Obviously the older you are the more experience you have, but I’d say I fare pretty well!), I didn’t understand a WORD of it.

    I didn’t want to say that though (I didn’t want to sound like an illiterate!), so I simply looked up every word I didn’t understand -cough- which was a lot -cough-, and replied that way. But eventually, another person that was writing with us called him out on it and said, “So.. I really don’t understand what you’re saying. Use plain, common English!” and I agreed.

    So, the point of that story was: everything in moderation, guys! XD

    Thanks again, Brian!

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko02-05-2014

      Absolutely, Heather. A big, obscure word is not necessarily better than a small, common one. Everything depends on context. In fact, some of the great writers in history were prone to simple, ordinary words–Hemingway, C.S. Lewis, E.B. White. Good writers spend time looking for the right word, not the most impressive one.

      Thanks for the encouraging words. I love hearing about enthusiastic young writers. Keep at it. Keep engaging your creativity through role play too, if that is fun and helpful. Keep us all posted when you publish your first novel! :)

      • Heather
        Heather02-05-2014

        Right! I couldn’t have said it better myself. :)

        You got it! I’m working on that, but you know, it’s different when writing a fan fiction, or doing a role play. If you make an annoying post, that’s okay. No one else is every going to really see it, they won’t judge you for it. There’s more pressure about a book. It’s more long term, you know?

        BUT I am thinking of writing one. Or two.. or.. well, we’ll see! Thanks again! <3

  3. Camie Gould
    Camie Gould11-26-2013

    Hi Brian,

    I’m a homeschool Mom, struggling with my 6th grade son. He was stuck using the word “good” today. He must’ve used it 12 times in 2 paragraghs. We pulled out the thesaurus and dictionary, but how can I inspire him, to want to write? My 4th grader loves to write and it comes naturally to him. Can you offer suggestions to teach a child to “want” to write? Do you have 200 words to replace “good?” :-)

    Sincerely, Camie

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko11-27-2013

      Wait, you have a 6th grade son who doesn’t love to write? Shocking. Expect the 60 Minutes crew to arrive any moment!

      Ha. Please don’t worry. Nothing could be more normal than a 6th-grade boy who is a reluctant writer.

      If your goal is to inspire a love for writing, I recommend keeping it light, minimizing the critique, and doing lots of encouragement. Require writing if you must, but give him leeway about topics. Look hard to find the kind of writing he likes best (if any) and avoiding the kind he likes least. At least for now.

      There’s no guarantees, of course. For some kids, writing will always be the vegetables of the academic world–they do it because it’s good for them, but they don’t like it. Sometimes you have to settle for basic competence and give up on inspired genius. But 6th grade is too early to give up on anything. My oldest didn’t realize she loved to write until her senior year of high school. Now she’s a journalism major. :)

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko11-27-2013

      Oh, and of course, you could always try enrolling him in a WriteAtHome course. We have a really good track record for inspiring young male writers. :)

  4. Julie
    Julie09-29-2013

    I’ve always not allowed my students to utilize “said”. However, I’m excited to implement the variety of ways for went! THANKS!!!!!!

  5. Liz
    Liz08-26-2013

    I will like and share. Should help my 7th & 4th grade daughters as well. Thank you! Liz

  6. Lois Brown
    Lois Brown07-30-2013

    Love it. I’m gonna tweet this and your link.

  7. Lauralee Jorgensen
    Lauralee Jorgensen06-30-2013

    Have you made these “different ways to say” lists available for purchase/download yet?

  8. Rebecca
    Rebecca04-27-2013

    What about bail or jam “I gotta bail, see ya!” Or “Let’s jam” may have missed those however I didn’t see them when reading thru.

  9. Diane
    Diane04-05-2013

    Thank you!

  10. Debby
    Debby02-15-2013

    Any updates on printables or posters? Definitely want to share with my kiddos!

  11. suzi bumbera
    suzi bumbera02-09-2013

    signing off for now…until later…

  12. suzi bumbera
    suzi bumbera02-09-2013

    As my trailer fuel is increasingly running out…where oh where has the fuel gone…or..ahmm…went?
    I is expedient that I write quickly as the raynauds does not serve me well when typing, or other matters.
    So, I am consistantly in a race…I thrive on the adrenaline which pervades my soul, but would not mind some leeway, but will continue to pursue even, if, until the very end.
    I just wanna write and am sick and tired of interference getting in my way!
    Can interference get in your way? ahahhaa

  13. suzi bumbera
    suzi bumbera02-09-2013

    regardless of the computer issues, I’ll go for it, it’s just that if I’m in the middle of something, …well, you all know what I mean, but I will try…I thrive on this, makes me tick…I love this site! I am a happier person indeed!

  14. suzi bumbera
    suzi bumbera02-08-2013

    My thoughts…WENT…out the window…

    • suzi bumbera
      suzi bumbera02-08-2013

      If I reply to myself…am I truly …gone…or , have I…went?dissipated?

      • suzi bumbera
        suzi bumbera02-08-2013

        exfoliated, dismembered, discontinued…this sounds gruesome..lol…ewww sorta reminds me of
        the “bucket list” oh wow…ewww yeah sometimes I don
        t realize what I write and look back and go……….ewww…ahhhh…WTF? This is fun. thanxs!

        • Brian Wasko
          Brian Wasko02-09-2013

          Wow. Thanks for your, um, interesting contribution, Suzi. :)

          • suzi bumbera
            suzi bumbera02-09-2013

            so as long as my computer doesn’t keep shutting off I would love to have a contest…
            Since this stuff always comes on top of my head quickly, and doesn’t leave or go somewhere-ever it “went” I would like to see a challenge of sorts to see who could come up with the quickest and wittiest or “most witty” the quickest wickest…don’t mind the mind…mind you? wow where did “they” come up with that? seriously, writers are always thinking…I mean, it never shuts off…
            anyway…I’m up for the challenge…

  15. DWise
    DWise01-29-2013

    thanks so much! This was fun.

  16. valerie
    valerie11-02-2012

    would be great to print this!! im not sure how it stopps at the 6th row of c’s

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko11-03-2012

      I’m working on a printable version, Valeria. Stay tuned.

  17. Christina
    Christina10-18-2012

    I teach IEW writing in our community group and we are always encouraging the students to find other ways to express themselves – this is a great post. I linked it on my FB page since many of my friends use IEW to teach writing.
    thank you
    Christina

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-18-2012

      That’s great Christina. Andrew Pudewa is one of my favorite guys in the homeschool world. He is whupping me in virtual Scrabble at this very moment. Thanks for sharing my post!

  18. Mary Brueggemann
    Mary Brueggemann10-10-2012

    This is super! I’ll definitely link my students to this page. By the way, is there an easy way to find various posts later on? Sometimes I use the search box and can’t find what I’m looking for. Then I have to scroll through a bunch of posts. I know you list categories, but sometimes I can’t decide which category the topic best fits in. I’m just looking for time savers when I’m working on student papers. :) Thanks!

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-11-2012

      Yes, Mary. Click on Resource Library on the top header. It’s new and I was going to tell all coaches about it this week.

      • Mary Brueggemann
        Mary Brueggemann10-11-2012

        Yippee! That will work great. Thanks a million.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-11-2012

      Sure thing. I’m not quite done linking all the articles there, but there’s already a lot to work with. I’m leaving out the simply entertaining or clever stuff and just linking to anything a teacher or writing coach might find useful.

  19. Becky
    Becky10-10-2012

    This is great! Would love to be able to print it as a poster. It prints as a jpg just fine (your website included!), it’s just tiny. I work with students who are home schooled and I’ve just been helping the parents with this! I’m going to give them your website as a resource. Thanks. :)

  20. Kimiko
    Kimiko10-10-2012

    Lurched, backed, moved, tiptoed, blasted, padded, swung, careened, evaporated, footed, stepped, waltzed, clumped, limped, stalked, hobbled, shambled, stumbled, blew, lumbered, swaggered, staggered, reeled, galumphed, barged, breezed, coasted, doddered, wobbled, weaved, continued, took, headed, passed, came, approached, arrived, returned, subsided, tumbled, accelerated, rallied, endeavoured, toiled, struggled, maundered, oozed, spilled, trooped, retired, gimped, scuffed, nipped, tapped, faltered, ..

    Aww. I was sure I could extend the list to 300 verbs. I seem to be stuck though.

    Still, isn’t the English language amazing, to have words like sashay, skedaddle, gallivant and traipse? ^_^

    • Kimiko
      Kimiko10-10-2012

      .., scram, scarper, started, eased, blazed, belted, bustled, cannonballed, buzzed off, coursed, hied, motored, hurled, pelted, ripped, streaked, whizzed, caught up, beelined, vacated, cantered, bowled, humped, jiggled, forged, repaired, wilted, shrank, relocated, shifted, struck out, budged, carried on, penetrated, bore, prevailed, charged, launched, bailed, booked it, buggered off, peeled, vamoosed, evacuated, lit out, migrated, adjourned.

      There. A few over 100 to add to the list. Now I won’t have to lie awake tonight :þ

      I admit that I used a thesaurus to jog my brain though. But only a few I had to look up in the dictionary, honest.

      • Brian Wasko
        Brian Wasko10-11-2012

        Awesome, Kimiko! I can’t believe believe you put all this effort in. On second thought, yes, I can. It was actually kind of fun, huh?

        Would you mind if I revised my poster to 300 Ways to Say Went? I’m going to be producing some print versions as requested and I’d like to add your verbs.

        • Kimiko
          Kimiko10-12-2012

          Hihi :) Yes, I couldn’t help feeling it as a challenge to find more and more verbs. I actually thought of a few more at night. Clattered, descended, swam, wheeled, wheelied, soldiered on. Use the extras to replace ones that seem iffy.

          And no, I wouldn’t mind at all. No need to ask permission; I certainly don’t own the language.

          Ah, no, now I got hooked finding more verbs again. Oh well. Something fun to do while I go take a shower.

          • Kimiko
            Kimiko10-12-2012

            Voyaged, skated, rollerbladed, rowed, twisted, navigated, embarked, undulated, ..

            Argh, no, I have to stop. I still need to buy groceries today.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-10-2012

      Thanks for plugging the site. I’ll need to reformat the list to create a printable poster, but I’m going to do it. I may even add the new contributions from Kimiko. 300 ways to say “went.” :)

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-11-2012

      I completely agree. I love many of these words. If we knew each other, I think we’d be friends. :)

  21. Amy
    Amy10-09-2012

    Could you make a lovely list like this for the word “then”?

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-09-2012

      I could try, but I’m doubtful I could get anywhere near 200 options! Is this a word you see often in your students’ writing?

  22. Kimberly
    Kimberly10-06-2012

    Hi, Brian,

    Can this be ordered? Printed/downloaded?

    Looks fab.

    Kimberly

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-06-2012

      I’m working on a print/poster version. I’ll keep you posted. (ha)

  23. Rachel
    Rachel10-06-2012

    Saw this on Pinterest and am printing it for my 11 year old. Thank you!

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-06-2012

      Great! How well did it print? I’m looking into printing it as a poster.

  24. Amanda
    Amanda10-05-2012

    LOVE this…and so do my kids =) thanks for sharing!

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-06-2012

      That’s nice to hear, Amanda. Glad you all enjoy it.

  25. Brian Wasko
    Brian Wasko02-28-2013

    Thanks, Ambien. We’ll look into that.

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