Learn English Writing with Better Words

Write with Better Vocabulary

Writing Skills: word choice

Learning how to write is a challenge for ESL students. Learning how to improve writing style in English with better word choices often requires direct teaching of vocabulary. That’s the purpsoe of this 20-minute writing lesson.


Writing Solution 1: Better Verbs

Part a. Noticing

The words below are common. They are used a lot in ESL student writing. But, these words are the empty. They take up space and communicate little information.

  1. are, is
  2. it is
  3. had, has
  4. go
  5. say
  6. see
  7. there is, there are

Part b. Revise

Look at these sentences below. Revise the sentences by changing the boring verbs (the ones in Part a).

  1. The tour guided said we should not lean on the fence overlooking the falls.
  2. There is a fat pink pig with a flower hat on the bookshelf.
  3. The painter came down the shaky ladder and put his can and brush on the floor in anger.
  4. The driver drove her van down the highway, passing cars on the icy road very dangerously.
  5. The elementary school teacher could see chalk dust all over the floor and some of it was on her laptop as well as her purse.
  6. Jason said he had a stomachache after eating the chicken for lunch.

Writing Solution 2: Stronger Verbs

Part c. Notice

Look at these words. Can you name two things they have in common?

  • eye     elbow     knee     arm     palm

Part d. Revise

Look at these sentences. Remove the boring verbs by using the words in Part d.

  1. The tourist pushed his way through the Tokyo subway train.
  2. The US government supplied the soldiers with guns.
  3. My student put the cheat sheet in his palm after the quiz.
  4. She looked at the cheesecake with hunger in her eyes.
  5. The hockey player hot the goalie with his knee and knocked him out. Part c.



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