Make Your Writing More Interesting with 37 Alternatives for He Said and She Said

by Louellen Coker on July 15, 2011

Quotation Marks in a BubbleWe’re word nerds here at Content Solutions and I’ll have to admit, we quite often toss around synonyms for common phrases and words so that we can add a bit of variety, more clearly convey the idea we’re talking about, and make the content we write more interesting.

When working on our periodical publications (such as Bryan Texas Utility’s pages of Texas Co-op Power Magazine and the Denton County Lawyer), we reserve an editorial pass specifically for introducing direct quotes. We do this for several reasons:

  • While writing, we often focus on the big picture and might repeat “He said” or “She said” too many times within a particular feature.
  • Often, when we’re combining the works of several authors into a single publication, the most common phrases are used repeatedly and can feel redundant to the reader.
  • When two articles are put together in the same publication, we may notice a consistent pattern of usage of key phrases between the articles.
  • Over the course of a year, if we use the same few phrases time and again it can become, well, um, BORING!

Because we have worked on these publications for many years, we’re able to vary common phrases up so it’s a bit more interesting and engaging for our readers. Over the eight years we’ve worked on these, and other publications, we’ve accumulated a list of our favorites.

Recently we were in search of a special variation for an article we were working on and had a quick brainstorming session with our team. To expand our focus a little bit, we posed the question on our Facebook page and to our Twitter, and LinkedIn friends and got some great responses. Here is a combined list of a variety of ways we’ve used to attribute a quotation:

according to
added
advised
announced
articulated
commented
communicated
conveyed
declared
described
detailed
disclosed
elaborated
expanded
explained
expounded
expressed
implied
indicated
informed
made known
mentioned
notified
observed
pronounced
reflected
reinforced
related
relayed
remarked
reported
specified
stated
stressed
suggested
verbalized
went on to say

 

Do you have some favorites that aren’t in this list? Let us know in the comments. Didn’t realize we’re on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn? Follow the links above or in our sidebar and “like” and “follow” away! 🙂

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: