One of the most interesting ways to learn vocabulary is by DOMAIN- a group of different words that are associated with the same concept. The words last month were all in the WALK domain. This month, we have a few examples of the big SPEAK domain. See how many of these verbs you already know:

1. YELL: To speak or shout very loudly because you are angry or you are trying to speak to someone at a distance. His father yelled at him because he broke the window.
2. WHISPER: Speak very softly because you don’t want other people to hear you. “Close the door quietly,” Mark whispered, “so we don’t wake the baby.”
3. WHINE: This is the high-pitched, sing-song and very annoying way that children talk when they are complaining about something. Sometimes adults do it too, and then it’s even more annoying. “Why do I always have to watch my baby brother?” the little girl whined.
4. SOB: Talk and cry at the same time. After the car accident, Julia sobbed out her story to the police officer.
5. SCREAM: To shout, but in a very high voice, usually because you are very frightened. When I saw the mouse run across the room, I screamed for help.
6. BABBLE: To talk nonsense. Small children babble before they learn to speak properly. Sometimes adults babble if they are confused or very excited. I know you’re upset, but you need to stop babbling, calm down, and tell me exactly what happened!
7. GRUMBLE: Complain, usually in a low voice. Some people grumble about the weather here in June – it’s usually very cloudy.
8. YAK: To talk a lot, too much, and about things that are of little importance. My children spend hours yakking on the telephone.

Using verbs like this instead of the usual say/tell/speak/talk will give your speaking and your writing more impact and more life!

A. WHICH VERB FITS BEST? Remember, the meaning of the sentence is very important! (Answers at end of page)

1.When I saw the child begin to run out into the street, I __________, “Stop!”
2. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit around the coffee shop and ___________ with your friends.
3. When Michael won the lottery last month, he phoned me, but he was ___________like a crazy person, and it took me a few minutes to understand what he was saying.
4. I know you’re really angry, but please don’t ___________at me like that!
5. “The movie has already started,” I ____________to my friend as we walked down the aisle looking for our seats.
6. The children were hungry and tired and all during the long drive, they ___________, “When are we going to get home!”
7. “My new puppy is lost,” Mary __________to her mother.
8. It doesn’t make much sense to _____________about the cold weather – there’s nothing we can do about it!

ANSWERS: DOMAINS: 1.yelled OR screamed; 2. yak; 3. babbling; 4. yell OR scream
5. whispered ; 6. whined OR were whining; 7. sobbed; 8. grumble OR whine – depends on the tone of voice!