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How to write a speech that your audience remembers

Confident-woman-giving-a-conference-with-a-digital-presentation-how-to-give-a-speech

Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.

Man-holding-microphone-at-panel-while-talking--how-to-give-a-speech

How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.

People-clapping-after-coworker-gave-a-speech-how-to-give-a-speech

How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.

Woman-at-home-doing-research-in-her-laptop-how-to-give-a-speech

Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.

Man-holding-microphone-while-speaking-in-public-how-to-give-a-speech

5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

Boost your speech skills

Enhance your public speaking with personalized coaching tailored to your needs

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio)

Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio)

Speaking is amazing, don’t you think?

Words and phrases come out of our mouths — they communicate meaning, and we humans understand each other (well, sometimes)!

But there are countless different ways of speaking.

Sometimes, we express ourselves by speaking quietly, loudly, angrily, unclearly or enthusiastically.

And sometimes, we can express ourselves really well without using any words at all — just sounds.

When we describe what someone said, of course we can say, “He said …” or “She said …”

But there are so many alternatives to “say” that describe the many different WAYS of speaking.

Here are some of the most common ones.

Words for talking loudly in English

Shout / yell / scream.

Sometimes you just need to say something LOUDLY!

Maybe you’re shouting at your kids to get off the climbing frame and come inside before the storm starts.

Or perhaps you’re just one of those people who just shout a lot of the time when you speak. And that’s fine. I’ve got a friend like that. He says it’s because he’s the youngest kid in a family full of brothers and sisters — he had to shout to make sure people heard him. And he still shouts.

Yelling is a bit different. When you yell, you’re probably angry or surprised or even in pain. Yelling is a bit shorter and more “in-the-moment.”

Screaming is similar but usually higher in pitch and full of fear or pain or total fury, like when you’ve just seen a ghost or when you’ve dropped a box of bricks on your foot.

Comic-style drawing of a man who has just dropped a brick on his foot. He's screaming and "Argh!" is written in large black letters.

“Stop yelling at me! I’m sorry! I made a mistake, but there’s no need to shout!”

Bark / Bellow / Roar

When I hear these words, I always imagine something like this:

Text: Bark, bellow, roar / Image: Aggressive man shouting at two boys on a football field

These verbs all feel rather masculine, and you imagine them in a deep voice.

I always think of an army general walking around the room telling people what to do.

That’s probably why we have the phrase “to bark orders at someone,” which means to tell people what to do in an authoritative, loud and aggressive way.

“I can’t stand that William guy. He’s always barking orders at everyone!”

Shriek / Squeal / Screech

Ooooohhh …. These do not sound nice.

These are the sounds of a car stopping suddenly.

Or the sound a cat makes when you tread on her tail.

Or very overexcited kids at a birthday party after eating too much sugar.

These verbs are high pitched and sometimes painful to hear.

“When I heard her shriek , I ran to the kitchen to see what it was. Turned out it was just a mouse.”

“As soon as she opened the box and saw the present, she let out a squeal of delight!”

Wailing is also high pitched, but not so full of energy.

It’s usually full of sadness or even anger.

When I think of someone wailing, I imagine someone completely devastated — very sad — after losing someone they love.

You get a lot of wailing at funerals.

“It’s such a mess!” she wailed desperately. “It’ll take ages to clear up!”

Words for speaking quietly in English

When we talk about people speaking in quiet ways, for some reason, we often use words that we also use for animals.

In a way, this is useful, because we can immediately get a feel for the sound of the word.

This is the sound that snakes make.

Sometimes you want to be both quiet AND angry.

Maybe someone in the theatre is talking and you can’t hear what Hamlet’s saying, so you hiss at them to shut up.

Or maybe you’re hanging out with Barry and Naomi when Barry starts talking about Naomi’s husband, who she split up with last week.

Then you might want to hiss this information to Barry so that Naomi doesn’t hear.

But Naomi wasn’t listening anyway — she was miles away staring into the distance.

“You’ll regret this!” he hissed , pointing his finger in my face.

To be fair, this one’s a little complicated.

Whimpering is a kind of traumatised, uncomfortable sound.

If you think of a frightened animal, you might hear it make some kind of quiet, weak sound that shows it’s in pain or unhappy.

Or if you think of a kid who’s just been told she can’t have an ice cream.

Those sounds might be whimpers.

“Please! Don’t shoot me!” he whimpered , shielding his head with his arms.

Two school students in a classroom whispering to each other with the text "gossip" repeated in a vertical column

Whispering is when you speak, but you bypass your vocal cords so that your words sound like wind.

In a way, it’s like you’re speaking air.

Which is a pretty cool way to look at it.

This is a really useful way of speaking if you’re into gossiping.

“Hey! What are you whispering about? Come on! Tell us! We’ll have no secrets here!”

Words for speaking negatively in English

Ranting means to speak at length about a particular topic.

However, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Ranting is lively, full of passion and usually about something important — at least important to the person speaking.

Sometimes it’s even quite angry.

We probably see rants most commonly on social media — especially by PEOPLE WHO LOVE USING CAPS LOCK AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!

Ranting always sounds a little mad, whether you’re ranting about something reasonable, like the fact that there’s too much traffic in the city, or whether you’re ranting about something weird, like why the world is going to hell and it’s all because of people who like owning small, brown dogs.

“I tried to talk to George, but he just started ranting about the tax hike.”

“Did you see Jemima’s most recent Facebook rant ? All about how squirrels are trying to influence the election results with memes about Macaulay Culkin.”

Babble / Blabber / Blather / Drone / Prattle / Ramble

Woman saying, "Blah blah blether drone ramble blah blah." Two other people are standing nearby looking bored.

These words all have very similar meanings.

First of all, when someone babbles (or blabbers or blathers or drones or prattles or rambles), it means they are talking for a long time.

And probably not letting other people speak.

And, importantly, about nothing particularly interesting or important.

You know the type of person, right?

You run into a friend or someone you know.

All you do is ask, “How’s life?” and five minutes later, you’re still listening to them talking about their dog’s toilet problems.

They just ramble on about it for ages.

These verbs are often used with the preposition “on.”

That’s because “on” often means “continuously” in phrasal verbs .

So when someone “drones on,” it means they just talk for ages about nothing in particular.

“You’re meeting Aunt Thelma this evening? Oh, good luck! Have fun listening to her drone on and on about her horses.”

Groan / Grumble / Moan

These words simply mean “complain.”

There are some small differences, though.

When you groan , you probably don’t even say any words. Instead, you just complain with a sound.

When you grumble , you complain in a sort of angry or impatient way. It’s not a good way to get people to like you.

Finally, moaning is complaining, but without much direction.

You know the feeling, right?

Things are unfair, and stuff isn’t working, and it’s all making life more difficult than it should be.

We might not plan to do anything about it, but it definitely does feel good to just … complain about it.

Just to express your frustration about how unfair it all is and how you’ve been victimised and how you should be CEO by now and how you don’t get the respect you deserve and …

Well, you get the idea.

If you’re frustrated with things, maybe you just need to find a sympathetic ear and have a good moan.

“Pietor? He’s nice, but he does tend to grumble about the local kids playing football on the street.”

Words for speaking unclearly in English

Mumble / murmur / mutter.

These verbs are all very similar and describe speaking in a low and unclear way, almost like you’re speaking to yourself.

Have you ever been on the metro or the bus and seen someone in the corner just sitting and talking quietly and a little madly to themselves?

That’s mumbling (or murmuring or muttering).

What’s the difference?

Good question!

The differences are just in what type of quiet and unclear speaking you’re doing.

When someone’s mumbling , it means they’re difficult to understand. You might want to ask them to speak more clearly.

Murmuring is more neutral. It might be someone praying quietly to themselves, or you might even hear the murmur of voices behind a closed door.

Finally, muttering is usually quite passive-aggressive and has a feeling of complaining to it.

“I could hear him muttering under his breath after his mum told him off.”

Drunk-looking man in a pub holding a bottle and speaking nonsense.

How can you tell if someone’s been drinking too much booze (alcohol)?

Well, apart from the fact that they’re in the middle of trying to climb the traffic lights holding a traffic cone and wearing grass on their head, they’re also slurring — their words are all sort of sliding into each other. Like this .

This can also happen if you’re super tired.

“Get some sleep! You’re slurring your words.”

Stammer / Stutter

Th-th-th-this is wh-wh-when you try to g-g-g-get the words ou-ou-out, but it’s dif-dif-dif-difficu-… hard.

For some people, this is a speech disorder, and the person who’s doing it can’t help it.

If you’ve seen the 2010 film The King’s Speech , you’ll know what I’m talking about.

(Also you can let me know, was it good? I didn’t see it.)

This can also happen when you’re frightened or angry or really, really excited — and especially when you’re nervous.

That’s when you stammer your words.

“No … I mean, yeah … I mean no…” Wendy stammered .

Other words for speaking in English

If you drawl (or if you have a drawl), you speak in a slow way, maaakiiing the voowweeel sounds loooongeer thaan noormaal.

Some people think this sounds lazy, but I think it sounds kind of nice and relaxed.

Some regional accents, like Texan and some Australian accents, have a drawl to them.

“He was the first US President who spoke with that Texan drawl .”

“Welcome to cowboy country,” he drawled .

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

That’s my impression of a dog there.

I was growling.

If you ever go cycling around remote Bulgarian villages, then you’re probably quite familiar with this sound.

There are dogs everywhere, and sometimes they just bark.

But sometimes, before barking, they growl — they make that low, threatening, throaty sound.

And it means “stay away.”

But people can growl, too, especially if they want to be threatening.

“‘Stay away from my family!’ he growled .”

Using speaking verbs as nouns

We can use these speaking verbs in the same way we use “say.”

For example, if someone says “Get out!” loudly, we can say:

“‘Get out!’ he shouted .”

However, most of the verbs we looked at today are also used as nouns. (You might have noticed in some of the examples.)

For example, if we want to focus on the fact that he was angry when he shouted, and not the words he used, we can say:

“He gave a shout of anger.”

We can use these nouns with various verbs, usually “ give ” or “ let out .”

“She gave a shout of surprise.”

“He let out a bellow of laughter.”

“I heard a faint murmur through the door.”

There you have it: 30 alternatives to “say.”

So next time you’re describing your favourite TV show or talking about the dramatic argument you saw the other day, you’ll be able to describe it more colourfully and expressively.

Did you like this post? Then be awesome and share by clicking the blue button below.

8 thoughts on “ Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio) ”

Always enlighten and fun.. thank you

Great job! Thank you so much for sharing with us. My students love your drawing and teaching very much. So do I of course.

Good news: I found more than 30 verbs for “speaking”. Bad news, only four of them were in your list. That is to say “Good news I’m only 50 I still have plenty of time to learn new things, bad news I’m already 50 and still have so much learn. Thanks for your posts, they’re so interesting and useful!

Excellent. Can I print it?

Thanks Iris.

And yes — Feel free to print it! 🙂

Thanks so much! It was very interesting and helpful❤

Great words, shouts and barks, Gabriel. I’m already writing them down, so I can practise with them bit by bit. Thanks for the lesson!

Thank you so much for sharing with us. .It is very useful

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50 Speech Closing Lines (& How to Create Your Own) | The Ultimate Guide

Hrideep barot.

  • Public Speaking , Speech Writing

speech closing lines

While speech openings are definitely one of the most important components of a speech, something that is equally as important is the way you conclude your speech.

There are few worse ways to end your speech than with a terse ‘thank you’–no elaboration or addition whatsoever.

Speech endings are just as crucial to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening.

The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.

Speech endings can put even the most experienced speaker in flux, and increase their anxiousness manifold as they sit there attempting to figure out the perfect way to end your speech.

If you’re someone who’s in flux about your speech ending too, don’t worry. We’ve got some amazing ways to conclude your speech with a bang!

1. Circling Back To The Beginning

The idea behind circling back to the beginning of your speech is to reinforce the idea of your speech being a complete whole. By circling back to the beginning and connecting it to your ending, you let the audience understand that the idea of your speech is complete & standalone.

Circling back to the beginning of your speech also acts as an excellent way of reinforcing the central idea of your speech in the audience’s mind, and makes it more likely that they will remember it after the speech ends.

Need more inspiration for speech opening lines? Check out our article on 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines & Tips To Create Your Own.

How To Circle Back To The Beginning

The easiest way to do this is to set up your beginning for the conclusion of your speech. That is, if you’re saying something like, say, a story or joke in the beginning, then you can leave your audience in a cliffhanger until the ending arrives.

Another great way to circle back to the beginning is by simply restating something you said at the start. The added knowledge from attending the rest of your speech will help the audience see this piece of information in a new–and better–light.

1. Will Stephen

Ending Line: “I’d like you to think about what you heard in the beginning, and I want you to think about what you hear now. Because it was nothing & it’s still nothing.”

2. Canwen Xu

Speech Ending: My name is Canwen, my favorite color is purple and I play the piano but not so much the violin…

Think of a memorable moment from your life, and chances are you’ll realize that it involved a feeling of happiness–something that we can associate with smiling or laughter. And what better way to generate laughter than by incorporating the age-old strategy of good humor.

The happy and lighthearted feeling you associate with good memories is the kind of emotional reaction you want to create in your audience too. That’s what will make your speech stick in their memory.

Done incorrectly, humor can be a disaster. Done right, however, it can entirely transform a speech.

Humor doesn’t only mean slapstick comedy (although there’s nothing wrong with slapstick, either). Humor can come in many forms, including puns, jokes, a funny story…the list is endless.

How To Incorporate Humor In Your Speech Ending

The simplest way to incorporate humor into your speech ending is by telling a plain old joke–something that’s relevant to your topic, of course.

You can also tell them a short, funny anecdote–may be an unexpected conclusion to a story you set up in the beginning.

Another way would be by employing the power of repetition. You can do this by associating something funny with a word, and then repeating the word throughout your speech. During the end, simply say the word or phrase one last time, and it’s likely you’ll leave off your audience with a good chuckle.

1. Woody Roseland

Ending Line: “Why are balloons so expensive? Inflation.”

2. Andras Arato

Ending Line: “There are three rules to becoming famous. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.”

3. Hasan Minhaj

Ending Line: “And you want to know the scariest part? Pretty soon every country on the earth is going to have its own TLC show.”

4. Sophie Scott

Speech Ending: In other words, when it comes to laughter, you and me baby, ain’t nothing but mammals.

5. Tim Urban

Speech Ending: We need to stay away from the Instant Gratification Monkey. That’s a job for all of us. And because there’s not that many boxes on there. It’s a job that should probably start today. Well, maybe not today, but, you know, sometime soon.

6. Hasan Minhaj

Speech Ending: Showing my legs on TV is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And keep in mind last week I went after the Prince of Saudi Arabia.

3. Question

The idea behind posing a question at the end of your speech is to get the wheels in your audience’s minds turning and to get them thinking of your speech long after it has ended. A question, if posed correctly, will make your audience re-think about crucial aspects of your speech, and is a great way to prompt discussion after your speech has ended.

How To Add Questions To Your Speech Ending

The best type of questions to add to your speech ending is rhetorical questions. That’s because, unlike a literal question, a rhetorical question will get the audience thinking and make them delve deeper into the topic at hand.

Make sure your question is central to the idea of your speech, and not something frivolous or extra. After all, the point of a question is to reinforce the central idea of your topic.

1. Lexie Alford

Speech Ending: Ask yourself: How uncomfortable are you willing to become in order to reach your fullest potential?

2. Apollo Robbins

Speech Ending: If you could control somebody’s attention, what would you do with it?

Quotes are concise, catchy phrases or sentences that are generally easy to remember and repeat.

Quotes are an age-old way to start–and conclude–a speech. And for good reason.

Quotes can reinforce your own ideas by providing a second voice to back them up. They can also provoke an audience’s mind & get them thinking. So, if you add your quote to the end of your speech, the audience will most likely be thinking about it for long after you have finished speaking.

How To Use Quotes In Your Speech Ending

While adding quotes to your speech ending, make sure that it’s relevant to your topic. Preferably, you want to pick a quote that summarizes your entire idea in a concise & memorable manner.

Make sure that your quote isn’t too long or complicated. Your audience should be able to repeat it as well as feel its impact themselves. They shouldn’t be puzzling over the semantics of your quote, but its intended meaning.

1. Edouard Jacqmin

Speech Ending: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

2. Chris Crowe

Speech Ending: “It’s more certain than death and taxes.”

3. Olivia Remes

Speech Ending: I’d like to leave you with a quote by Martin Luther King: “You don’ have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

4. Tomislav Perko

Speech Ending: Like that famous quote says, “In twenty years from now on, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.

5. Diana Nyad

Speech Ending: To paraphrase the poet, Mary Oliver, she says, “So, what is it? What is it you’re doing with this one wild and precious life of yours?”

5. Piece Of Advice

The point of giving a piece of advice at the end of your speech is not to pull your audience down or to make them feel bad/inferior about themselves. Rather, the advice is added to motivate your audience to take steps to do something–something related to the topic at hand.

The key point to remember is that your advice is included to help your audience, not to discourage them.

How To Add Piece Of Advice To Your Speech Ending

To truly make your audience follow the advice you’re sharing, you must make sure it resonates with them. To do so, you need to inject emotions into your advice, and to present it in such a manner that your audience’s emotions are aroused when they hear it.

Your advice shouldn’t be something extra-complicated or seemingly impossible to achieve. This will act as a counter-agent. Remember that you want your audience to follow your advice, not to chuck it away as something impossible.

Our article, 15 Powerful Speech Ending Lines And Tips To Create Your Own , is another great repository for some inspiration.

1. Ricardo Lieuw On

Speech Ending: “Learn something new, or a new way of approaching something old because there are a few skills are valuable as the art of learning.”

2. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Speech Ending: “If we want to improve the competence level of our leaders, then we should first improve our own competence for judging and selecting leaders.”

3. Sharique Samsudheen

Speech Ending: “Some people love money, some people hate money, some people crave money, some people even kill for money. But what they miss is they just need to learn how to manage money well, and that will give them financial freedom.”

4. Kate Simonds

Speech Ending: Teens, you need to believe in your voices and adults, you need to listen.

5. Melissa Butler

Speech Ending: When you go home today, see yourself in the mirror, see all of you, look at all your greatness that you embody, accept it, love it and finally, when you leave the house tomorrow, try to extend that same love and acceptance to someone who doesn’t look like you.

6. Iskra Lawrence

Speech Ending: Speak to your body in a loving way. It’s the only one you got, it’s your home, and it deserves your respect. If you see anyone tearing themselves down, build them back up And watch your life positively grow when you give up the pursuit of perfection.

6. Contemplative Remark

As the name itself suggests, contemplative remarks are intended to make your audience contemplate or mull over something. The ‘something’ in question should be the idea central to your speech, or a key takeaway that you want them to return home with.

The idea is to get your audience thinking and to keep them thinking for a long, long time.

How To Add A Contemplative Remark To Your Speech Ending

To add a contemplative remark to your speech ending, you first need to figure out your key takeaway or main theme. Then, you want to arrange that as a question, and propose it to your audience at the end of your speech.

Remember that your question shouldn’t be something too wordy or complicated to understand. As with the quotes, you don’t want your audience stuck on the semantics. Rather, you want them to focus on the matter at hand.

1. Lisa Penney

Speech Ending: “So I invite you to pay more attention to your thoughts & consider the legacy you leave behind.”

2. Grant Sanderson

Speech Ending: “Some of the most useful math that you can find or teach has its origin in someone who was just looking for a good story.”

3. Greta Thunberg

Speech Ending: “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up & change is coming whether you like it or not.”

4. Bill Eckstrom

Speech Ending: Now, think about this: it’s not the complexity-triggering individuals or events you should fear the most, but it’s your own willingness to accept or seek discomfort that will dictate the growth of not just you, but our entire world.

5. Robert Hoge

Speech Ending: Choose to accept your face, choose to appreciate your face, don’t look away from the mirror so quickly; understand all the love, and the life, and the pain that is the part of your face, that is the art of your face. Tomorrow when you wake up, what will your choice be?

7. Personal Anecdote

Personal anecdotes, as the name suggests, are anecdotes that are personal to the speaker or instances from their life. Personal anecdotes are a great way to incorporate the magical powers of storytelling in your speech, as well as to make a personal connection with the audience. Using personal anecdotes, you can hit two birds with one stone!

How To Add Personal Anecdotes To Your Speech Ending

To add personal anecdotes to your speech ending, you need to filter through your life experiences to find out ones that directly relate to your topic at hand. You don’t want to include an anecdote, no matter how compelling it is, if it doesn’t relate to your topic.

Remember to not keep your anecdote too long. Your audience will most likely lose their attention if you do so.

1. Sheila Humphries

Speech Ending: “Why do you go work for these people?” My answer to them was, “If I could help one child make it in this world, it’ll be worth it all.”

8. Call To Action

A call-to-action is one of the absolute best ways to conclude a speech with a bang. A well-written speech should aim to alter the audience’s mind or belief system in some way and to make them take an action in that direction. One crucial way to assure your audience does this is by using a call to action.

How To Add A Call To Action To Your Speech Ending

A call to action comes right before the ending of your speech to provide your audience with a clear idea or set of instructions about what they’re supposed to do after your talk ends.

A call to action should provide a roadmap to the audience for their future steps, and to outline clearly what those future steps are going to be.

1. Armin Hamrah

Speech Ending: “So tonight, after you finish your Math homework & before you lay your head down on that fluffy pillow, bring a piece of paper and pen by your bedside…”

2. Graham Shaw

Speech Ending: “So I invite you to get your drawings out there & spread the word that when we draw, we remember more!”

3. Andy Puddicombe

Speech Ending: You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take out 10 minutes out a day to step back, familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm, and clarity in your life.

4. Amy Cuddy

Speech Ending: Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes, try doing this in the elevator…

5. Jia Jiang

Speech Ending: When you are facing the next obstacle or the next failure, consider the possibilities. Don’t run! If you just embrace them, they might become your gifts as well.

9. Motivational Remark

As the name clearly explains, a motivational remark motivates your audience to carry out a plan of action. It ruffles the audience’s mind and emotions and has a powerful impact on the steps that your audience will take after you’ve finished speaking.

How To Add A Motivational Remark To Your Speech Ending

The key to a good motivational remark is to inspire your audience. Your motivational remark should act as a ray of hope to your audience and positively inspire them to take a desired course of action.

Your motivational remark should not be negative in any way. You don’t want to guilt or coerce your audience into doing something or feeling a certain way. You want to leave them on a positive note to move forward with their life.

1. Khanh Vy Tran

Speech Ending: “No matter what you’re going through right now & no matter what the future holds for you, please don’t change yourself. Love yourself, accept yourself & then transform yourself.”

2. Mithila Palkar

Speech Ending: “Get a job, leave a job, dance, sing, fall in love. Carve your own niche. But most importantly: learn to love your own randomness.”

3. Andrew Tarvin

Speech Ending: “Anyone can learn to be funnier. And it all starts with a choice. A choice to try to find ways to use humor. A choice to be like my grandmother, to look at the world around you and say WTF–wow, that’s fun.”

4. Laura Vanderkam

Speech Ending: There is time. Even if we are busy, we have time for what matters. And when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.

5. Julian Treasure

Speech Ending: Let’s get listening taught in schools, and transform the world in one generation into a conscious listening world, a world of connection, a world of understanding, and a world of peace.

6. Mariana Atencio

Speech Ending: Let’s celebrate those imperfections that make us special. I hope that it teaches you that nobody has a claim on the word ‘normal’. We are all different. We are all quirky and unique and that is what makes us wonderfully human.

10. Challenge

Much like a call to action, the aim of proposing a challenge at the end of your speech is to instigate your audience to take some desired course of action. A challenge should make an appeal to your audience’s emotion, and motivate them to meet it.

How To Add A Challenge To Your Speech Ending

To apply a challenge effectively to your speech ending, you need to make sure that it’s something relevant to your topic. Your challenge should drive the central topic of your speech forward, and make your audience engage in real-life steps to apply your idea in the real world.

While its always a good idea to set a high bar for your challenge, make sure its an achievable one too.

1. Jamak Golshani

Speech Ending: “I challenge you to open your heart to new possibilities, choose a career path that excites you & one that’s aligned to who you truly are.”

2. Ashley Clift-Jennings

Speech Ending: So, my challenge to you today is, “Do you know, would you even know how to recognize your soulmate?” If you are going out in the world right now, would you know what you are looking for?

11. Metaphor

Metaphors are commonly used as a short phrase that draws a comparison between two ideas in a non-literal sense. People use metaphors quite commonly in daily life to explain ideas that might be too difficult or confusing to understand otherwise. Metaphors are also great tools to be used in speech, as they can present your main idea in a simple and memorable way.

How To Add Metaphors To Your Speech Ending

To add a metaphor to your speech ending, you need to first decide on the main idea or takeaway of your speech. Your metaphor should then be organized in such a way that it simplifies your main idea and makes it easier for your audience to understand & remember it.

The key is to not make your metaphor overly complicated or difficult to retain and share. Remember that you’re trying to simplify your idea for the audience–not make them even more confused.

1. Ramona J. Smith

Speech Ending: “Stay in that ring. And even after you take a few hits, use what you learned from those previous fights, and at the end of the round, you’ll still remain standing.”

2. Shi Heng YI

Speech Ending: “If any of you chooses to climb that path to clarity, I will be very happy to meet you at the peak.”

3. Zifang “Sherrie” Su

Speech Ending: “Are you turning your back on your fear? Our life is like this stage, but what scares are now may bring you the most beautiful thing. Give it a chance.”

12. Storytelling

The idea behind using stories to end your speech is to leave your audience with a good memory to take away with them.

Stories are catchy, resonating & memorable ways to end any speech.

Human beings can easily relate to stories. This is because most people have grown up listening to stories of some kind or another, and thus a good story tends to evoke fond feelings in us.

How To Incorporate Stories In Your Speech Ending

A great way to incorporate stories in your speech ending is by setting up a story in the beginning and then concluding it during the end of your speech.

Another great way would be to tell a short & funny anecdote related to a personal experience or simply something related to the topic at hand.

However, remember that it’s the ending of your speech. Your audience is most likely at the end of their attention span. So, keep your story short & sweet.

1. Sameer Al Jaberi

Speech Ending: “I can still see that day when I came back from my honeymoon…”

2. Josephine Lee

Speech Ending: “At the end of dinner, Jenna turned to me and said…”

Facts are another excellent speech ending, and they are used quite often as openings as well. The point of adding a fact as your speech ending is to add shock value to your speech, and to get your audience thinking & discussing the fact even after your speech has ended.

How To Add Facts To Your Speech Ending

The key to adding facts to your speech ending is to pick a fact that thrusts forward your main idea in the most concise form possible. Your fact should also be something that adds shock value to the speech, and it should ideally be something that the audience hasn’t heard before.

Make sure that your fact is relevant to the topic at hand. No matter how interesting, a fact that doesn’t relate to your topic is going to be redundant.

1. David JP Phillips

Speech Ending: 3500 years ago, we started transfering knowledge from generation to generation through text. 28 years ago, PowerPoint was born. Which one do you think our brain is mostly adapted to?

14. Rhethoric Remark

Rhetoric remarks are another excellent way to get the wheels of your audience’s minds turning. Rhetoric remarks make your audience think of an imagined scenario, and to delve deeper into your topic. Rhetoric remarks or questioned don’t necessarily need to have a ‘right’ or one-shot answer, which means you can be as creative with them as possible!

How To Add Rhethoric Remarks To Your Speech Ending

Since rhetorical questions don’t need to have a definite answer, you have much freedom in determining the type of question or statement you wish to make. However, as with all other speech endings, a rhetorical question shouldn’t be asked just for the sake of it.

A rhetorical question should make your audience think about your topic in a new or more creative manner. It should get them thinking about the topic and maybe see it from an angle that they hadn’t before.

Rhetorical questions shouldn’t be too confusing. Use simple language & make sure it’s something that the audience can easily comprehend.

1. Mona Patel

Speech Ending: Pick your problem, ask “What if?” Come up with ideas. Bring them down. Then execute on them. Maybe you’re thinking, “What if we can’t?” I say to you, “What if we don’t?”

2. Lizzie Velasquez

Speech Ending: I want you to leave here and ask yourself what defines you. But remember: Brave starts here.

Another great way to end your speech with a literal bang is by using music! After all, if there’s something that can impact the human mind with just as much force as a few well-placed words, it’s the correct music.

How To Add Music To Your Speech Ending

To add music to your speech ending, you must make sure that the music has something to do with your speech theme. Remember that you’re not playing music in your concert. The piece of music that you choose must be relevant to your topic & work to have a contribution in your overall speech.

1. Tom Thum

Speech Ending: *ends the TED Talk with beat boxing*

16. Reitirate The Title

The title of your speech is its most important component. That’s why you need to pay careful attention to how you pick it, as it is something that your viewers will most likely remember the longest about your speech.

Your title will also act as a guiding hand towards how your audience forms an initial idea about your speech and is what they will associate your entire speech with.

By repeating your title at the end of your speech, you increase the chances that your audience will remember it–and your speech–for a long time.

How To Retierate The Title In Your Speech Ending

Your title is something that your audience associates your entire speech with. However, you don’t want to simply add the title in your speech end for the sake of adding it. Instead, make it flow naturally into your speech ending. This will make it seem less forced, and will also increase the chances of your audience remembering your entire speech ending and not just the title of your speech.

1. Ruairi Robertson

Speech Ending: I feel we can all contribute to this fight worth fighting for our own health, but more importantly, our future generations’ health by restoring the relationship between microbe and man. There is SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

Need more inspiration for speech closing lines? Check out our article on 10 Of The Best Things To Say In Closing Remarks.

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To sum up, speech endings are just as imperative to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening. The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.

Still looking for inspiration? Check out this video we made on closing remarks:

Hrideep Barot

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Each list of articulation sounds contains words with the target sound in the beginning, middle, and end position, including blends when applicable, as well as words that...

  • are common and functional (words we use all day...everyday)
  • are mostly 1 syllable (multi-syllabic words are more difficult)
  • have a phonemic context that don't interfere with production of the target sound (most words)

If "R" is the problem sound using the word "Rope" makes saying the "R" sound harder because the "O" sound is considered a round vowel.

A round vowel is one where you round your lips to say it. Go ahead...try it by saying "O" as in "boat". You rounded your lips didn't you? I thought you might.

Children who have difficulty with the "R" sound tend to say the "W" sound...they say "Wabbit" instead of "Rabbit".

The "W" sound is considered a rounded sound too. Try saying the "W" sound without rounding your lips...you can't because that is how the sound is made.

So by pairing the "R" sound with the "O" sound like in the word "Rope", this makes the word extra difficult for a child who has a problem saying the "R" sound because the "O" that follows the "R" will naturally make them want to round there lips.

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Synonyms of speech

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Thesaurus Definition of speech

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • presentation
  • declamation
  • keynote speech
  • keynote address
  • mother tongue
  • terminology
  • colloquialism
  • regionalism
  • vernacularism
  • provincialism

Phrases Containing speech

  • figure of speech

Thesaurus Entries Near speech

Cite this entry.

“Speech.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/speech. Accessed 4 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on speech

Nglish: Translation of speech for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of speech for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about speech

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The 9 Parts of Speech: Definitions and Examples

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

A part of speech is a term used in traditional grammar for one of the nine main categories into which words are classified according to their functions in sentences, such as nouns or verbs. Also known as word classes, these are the building blocks of grammar.

Every sentence you write or speak in English includes words that fall into some of the nine parts of speech. These include nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections. (Some sources include only eight parts of speech and leave interjections in their own category.)

Parts of Speech

  • Word types can be divided into nine parts of speech:
  • prepositions
  • conjunctions
  • articles/determiners
  • interjections
  • Some words can be considered more than one part of speech, depending on context and usage.
  • Interjections can form complete sentences on their own.

Learning the names of the parts of speech probably won't make you witty, healthy, wealthy, or wise. In fact, learning just the names of the parts of speech won't even make you a better writer. However, you will gain a basic understanding of sentence structure  and the  English language by familiarizing yourself with these labels.

Open and Closed Word Classes

The parts of speech are commonly divided into  open classes  (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) and  closed classes  (pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections). Open classes can be altered and added to as language develops, and closed classes are pretty much set in stone. For example, new nouns are created every day, but conjunctions never change.

In contemporary linguistics , parts of speech are generally referred to as word classes or syntactic categories. The main difference is that word classes are classified according to more strict linguistic criteria. Within word classes, there is the lexical, or open class, and the function, or closed class.

The 9 Parts of Speech

Read about each part of speech below, and practice identifying each.

Nouns are a person, place, thing, or idea. They can take on a myriad of roles in a sentence, from the subject of it all to the object of an action. They are capitalized when they're the official name of something or someone, and they're called proper nouns in these cases. Examples: pirate, Caribbean, ship, freedom, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Pronouns stand in for nouns in a sentence . They are more generic versions of nouns that refer only to people. Examples:​  I, you, he, she, it, ours, them, who, which, anybody, ourselves.

Verbs are action words that tell what happens in a sentence. They can also show a sentence subject's state of being ( is , was ). Verbs change form based on tense (present, past) and count distinction (singular or plural). Examples:  sing, dance, believes, seemed, finish, eat, drink, be, became.

Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns. They specify which one, how much, what kind, and more. Adjectives allow readers and listeners to use their senses to imagine something more clearly. Examples:  hot, lazy, funny, unique, bright, beautiful, poor, smooth.

Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs. They specify when, where, how, and why something happened and to what extent or how often. Many adjectives can be turned into adjectives by adding the suffix - ly . Examples:  softly, quickly, lazily, often, only, hopefully, sometimes.

Preposition

Prepositions  show spatial, temporal, and role relations between a noun or pronoun and the other words in a sentence. They come at the start of a prepositional phrase , which contains a preposition and its object. Examples:  up, over, against, by, for, into, close to, out of, apart from.

Conjunction

Conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses in a sentence. There are coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions. Examples:  and, but, or, so, yet.

Articles and Determiners

Articles and determiners function like adjectives by modifying nouns, but they are different than adjectives in that they are necessary for a sentence to have proper syntax. Articles and determiners specify and identify nouns, and there are indefinite and definite articles. Examples of articles:  a, an, the ; examples of determiners:  these, that, those, enough, much, few, which, what.

Some traditional grammars have treated articles  as a distinct part of speech. Modern grammars, however, more often include articles in the category of determiners , which identify or quantify a noun. Even though they modify nouns like adjectives, articles are different in that they are essential to the proper syntax of a sentence, just as determiners are necessary to convey the meaning of a sentence, while adjectives are optional.

Interjection

Interjections are expressions that can stand on their own or be contained within sentences. These words and phrases often carry strong emotions and convey reactions. Examples:  ah, whoops, ouch, yabba dabba do!

How to Determine the Part of Speech

Only interjections ( Hooray! ) have a habit of standing alone; every other part of speech must be contained within a sentence and some are even required in sentences (nouns and verbs). Other parts of speech come in many varieties and may appear just about anywhere in a sentence.

To know for sure what part of speech a word falls into, look not only at the word itself but also at its meaning, position, and use in a sentence.

For example, in the first sentence below,  work  functions as a noun; in the second sentence, a verb; and in the third sentence, an adjective:

  • Bosco showed up for  work  two hours late.
  • The noun  work  is the thing Bosco shows up for.
  • He will have to  work  until midnight.
  • The verb  work  is the action he must perform.
  • His  work  permit expires next month.
  • The  attributive noun  (or converted adjective) work  modifies the noun  permit .

Learning the names and uses of the basic parts of speech is just one way to understand how sentences are constructed.

Dissecting Basic Sentences

To form a basic complete sentence, you only need two elements: a noun (or pronoun standing in for a noun) and a verb. The noun acts as a subject, and the verb, by telling what action the subject is taking, acts as the predicate. 

In the short sentence above,  birds  is the noun and  fly  is the verb. The sentence makes sense and gets the point across.

You can have a sentence with just one word without breaking any sentence formation rules. The short sentence below is complete because it's a verb command with an understood "you" noun.

Here, the pronoun, standing in for a noun, is implied and acts as the subject. The sentence is really saying, "(You) go!"

Constructing More Complex Sentences

Use more parts of speech to add additional information about what's happening in a sentence to make it more complex. Take the first sentence from above, for example, and incorporate more information about how and why birds fly.

  • Birds fly when migrating before winter.

Birds and fly remain the noun and the verb, but now there is more description. 

When  is an adverb that modifies the verb fly.  The word before  is a little tricky because it can be either a conjunction, preposition, or adverb depending on the context. In this case, it's a preposition because it's followed by a noun. This preposition begins an adverbial phrase of time ( before winter ) that answers the question of when the birds migrate . Before is not a conjunction because it does not connect two clauses.

  • A List of Exclamations and Interjections in English
  • Sentence Parts and Sentence Structures
  • 100 Key Terms Used in the Study of Grammar
  • Closed Class Words
  • Word Class in English Grammar
  • Prepositional Phrases in English Grammar
  • Foundations of Grammar in Italian
  • The Top 25 Grammatical Terms
  • What Are the Parts of a Prepositional Phrase?
  • Open Class Words in English Grammar
  • What Is an Adverb in English Grammar?
  • Definition and Examples of Function Words in English
  • Telegraphic Speech
  • Sentence Patterns
  • Pronoun Definition and Examples
  • Lesson Plan: Label Sentences with Parts of Speech

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you create an effective speech by establishing the purpose of your speech and making it easily understandable. It will also help you to analyze your audience and keep the audience interested.

What’s different about a speech?

Writing for public speaking isn’t so different from other types of writing. You want to engage your audience’s attention, convey your ideas in a logical manner and use reliable evidence to support your point. But the conditions for public speaking favor some writing qualities over others. When you write a speech, your audience is made up of listeners. They have only one chance to comprehend the information as you read it, so your speech must be well-organized and easily understood. In addition, the content of the speech and your delivery must fit the audience.

What’s your purpose?

People have gathered to hear you speak on a specific issue, and they expect to get something out of it immediately. And you, the speaker, hope to have an immediate effect on your audience. The purpose of your speech is to get the response you want. Most speeches invite audiences to react in one of three ways: feeling, thinking, or acting. For example, eulogies encourage emotional response from the audience; college lectures stimulate listeners to think about a topic from a different perspective; protest speeches in the Pit recommend actions the audience can take.

As you establish your purpose, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want the audience to learn or do?
  • If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
  • If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
  • How can your audience benefit from what you have to say?

Audience analysis

If your purpose is to get a certain response from your audience, you must consider who they are (or who you’re pretending they are). If you can identify ways to connect with your listeners, you can make your speech interesting and useful.

As you think of ways to appeal to your audience, ask yourself:

  • What do they have in common? Age? Interests? Ethnicity? Gender?
  • Do they know as much about your topic as you, or will you be introducing them to new ideas?
  • Why are these people listening to you? What are they looking for?
  • What level of detail will be effective for them?
  • What tone will be most effective in conveying your message?
  • What might offend or alienate them?

For more help, see our handout on audience .

Creating an effective introduction

Get their attention, otherwise known as “the hook”.

Think about how you can relate to these listeners and get them to relate to you or your topic. Appealing to your audience on a personal level captures their attention and concern, increasing the chances of a successful speech. Speakers often begin with anecdotes to hook their audience’s attention. Other methods include presenting shocking statistics, asking direct questions of the audience, or enlisting audience participation.

Establish context and/or motive

Explain why your topic is important. Consider your purpose and how you came to speak to this audience. You may also want to connect the material to related or larger issues as well, especially those that may be important to your audience.

Get to the point

Tell your listeners your thesis right away and explain how you will support it. Don’t spend as much time developing your introductory paragraph and leading up to the thesis statement as you would in a research paper for a course. Moving from the intro into the body of the speech quickly will help keep your audience interested. You may be tempted to create suspense by keeping the audience guessing about your thesis until the end, then springing the implications of your discussion on them. But if you do so, they will most likely become bored or confused.

For more help, see our handout on introductions .

Making your speech easy to understand

Repeat crucial points and buzzwords.

Especially in longer speeches, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your audience of the main points you’ve made. For example, you could link an earlier main point or key term as you transition into or wrap up a new point. You could also address the relationship between earlier points and new points through discussion within a body paragraph. Using buzzwords or key terms throughout your paper is also a good idea. If your thesis says you’re going to expose unethical behavior of medical insurance companies, make sure the use of “ethics” recurs instead of switching to “immoral” or simply “wrong.” Repetition of key terms makes it easier for your audience to take in and connect information.

Incorporate previews and summaries into the speech

For example:

“I’m here today to talk to you about three issues that threaten our educational system: First, … Second, … Third,”

“I’ve talked to you today about such and such.”

These kinds of verbal cues permit the people in the audience to put together the pieces of your speech without thinking too hard, so they can spend more time paying attention to its content.

Use especially strong transitions

This will help your listeners see how new information relates to what they’ve heard so far. If you set up a counterargument in one paragraph so you can demolish it in the next, begin the demolition by saying something like,

“But this argument makes no sense when you consider that . . . .”

If you’re providing additional information to support your main point, you could say,

“Another fact that supports my main point is . . . .”

Helping your audience listen

Rely on shorter, simpler sentence structures.

Don’t get too complicated when you’re asking an audience to remember everything you say. Avoid using too many subordinate clauses, and place subjects and verbs close together.

Too complicated:

The product, which was invented in 1908 by Orville Z. McGillicuddy in Des Moines, Iowa, and which was on store shelves approximately one year later, still sells well.

Easier to understand:

Orville Z. McGillicuddy invented the product in 1908 and introduced it into stores shortly afterward. Almost a century later, the product still sells well.

Limit pronoun use

Listeners may have a hard time remembering or figuring out what “it,” “they,” or “this” refers to. Be specific by using a key noun instead of unclear pronouns.

Pronoun problem:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This cannot continue.

Why the last sentence is unclear: “This” what? The government’s failure? Reality TV? Human nature?

More specific:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This failure cannot continue.

Keeping audience interest

Incorporate the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos.

When arguing a point, using ethos, pathos, and logos can help convince your audience to believe you and make your argument stronger. Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

Use statistics and quotations sparingly

Include only the most striking factual material to support your perspective, things that would likely stick in the listeners’ minds long after you’ve finished speaking. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwhelming your listeners with too much information.

Watch your tone

Be careful not to talk over the heads of your audience. On the other hand, don’t be condescending either. And as for grabbing their attention, yelling, cursing, using inappropriate humor, or brandishing a potentially offensive prop (say, autopsy photos) will only make the audience tune you out.

Creating an effective conclusion

Restate your main points, but don’t repeat them.

“I asked earlier why we should care about the rain forest. Now I hope it’s clear that . . .” “Remember how Mrs. Smith couldn’t afford her prescriptions? Under our plan, . . .”

Call to action

Speeches often close with an appeal to the audience to take action based on their new knowledge or understanding. If you do this, be sure the action you recommend is specific and realistic. For example, although your audience may not be able to affect foreign policy directly, they can vote or work for candidates whose foreign policy views they support. Relating the purpose of your speech to their lives not only creates a connection with your audience, but also reiterates the importance of your topic to them in particular or “the bigger picture.”

Practicing for effective presentation

Once you’ve completed a draft, read your speech to a friend or in front of a mirror. When you’ve finished reading, ask the following questions:

  • Which pieces of information are clearest?
  • Where did I connect with the audience?
  • Where might listeners lose the thread of my argument or description?
  • Where might listeners become bored?
  • Where did I have trouble speaking clearly and/or emphatically?
  • Did I stay within my time limit?

Other resources

  • Toastmasters International is a nonprofit group that provides communication and leadership training.
  • Allyn & Bacon Publishing’s Essence of Public Speaking Series is an extensive treatment of speech writing and delivery, including books on using humor, motivating your audience, word choice and presentation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Boone, Louis E., David L. Kurtz, and Judy R. Block. 1997. Contemporary Business Communication . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ehrlich, Henry. 1994. Writing Effective Speeches . New York: Marlowe.

Lamb, Sandra E. 1998. How to Write It: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write . Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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  • Conjunctions
  • Prepositions

Speech Adjectives: Examples of Describing Words

words for the speech

Have you ever struggled to find the right words to describe someone’s speech? Whether you’re a writer, a public speaker, or just someone who appreciates the power of language, having a diverse vocabulary to describe speech can make all the difference. In this article, I’ll be sharing a comprehensive list of adjectives that you can use to describe different types of speech, along with examples to help you understand how to use them effectively.

From passionate and persuasive to hesitant and monotonous, the way we speak can convey a wide range of emotions and characteristics. By using descriptive adjectives, you can paint a vivid picture of someone’s speech, capturing its nuances and impact. Whether you’re looking to add depth to your writing or simply want to be more articulate in your conversations, these adjectives will prove to be invaluable tools in your linguistic arsenal.

So, if you’re ready to elevate your descriptive skills and bring your descriptions of speech to life, let’s dive into the world of adjectives for speech and explore the various ways we can capture the essence of communication.

Table of Contents

How to Describe speech? – Different Scenarios

Describing speech is an important skill that allows us to effectively convey the nuances and impact of someone’s words. By using descriptive adjectives, we can paint a vivid picture of how someone speaks in various scenarios. Let’s explore different scenarios and the adjectives that can be used to describe speech in each context:

  • Casual Conversations:
  • Formal Presentations:
  • Emotional Discussions:
  • Intellectual Debates:
  • Inspirational Speeches:

Remember, the key to effectively describing speech is to choose adjectives that accurately capture the tone, mood, and impact of the words being spoken. By utilizing a diverse vocabulary, we can enhance our writing and communication skills, allowing us to paint a more vibrant picture for our readers or listeners.

So, whether you’re describing a casual conversation, a formal presentation, an emotional discussion, an intellectual debate, or an inspirational speech, having a variety of adjectives at your disposal will help you convey the essence of someone’s speech more vividly.

Describing Words for speech in English

As a language expert, I believe that having a diverse vocabulary is crucial when it comes to describing speech. It enables us to capture the nuances, tone, and impact of the words being spoken. Whether it’s casual conversations, formal presentations, emotional discussions, intellectual debates, or inspirational speeches, using the right adjectives can enhance our ability to effectively convey someone’s speech.

Adjectives for speech

Speech is a powerful and versatile tool for communication. The choice of words and the tone we use can greatly impact how our message is received. As a writer and communicator, I understand the importance of using descriptive adjectives to accurately portray speech in various situations. In this section, I will explore positive and negative adjectives that are commonly used to describe speech, along with example sentences.

Positive Adjectives for Speech

When it comes to describing speech in a positive light, we have a range of adjectives that can be used. These adjectives not only highlight the speaker’s effectiveness but also convey a sense of enthusiasm, passion, and confidence. Here are some examples:

Negative Adjectives for Speech

In some situations, it may be necessary to describe speech in a negative light. These adjectives help to convey a sense of disappointment, lack of clarity, or even deception in someone’s speech. Here are some examples:

By using these descriptive adjectives, we can paint a more vivid and accurate picture of someone’s speech. Whether it is to highlight the effectiveness and impact of a positive speech or to highlight the weaknesses in a negative one, descriptive adjectives allow us to capture the nuances of communication more effectively.

Synonyms and Antonyms with Example Sentences

Synonyms for speech.

When it comes to describing speech, there are several synonyms that can be used to add variety and depth to our language. Here are some synonyms for “speech” along with example sentences:

By using these synonyms, we can make our descriptions more interesting and engaging, capturing the different ways people communicate their ideas.

Antonyms for speech

On the other hand, we may also want to describe speech using antonyms, which provide a contrast to the positive aspects. Here are some antonyms for “speech” along with example sentences:

Including these antonyms in our descriptions adds depth and realism to the portrayal of speech, allowing us to capture the nuances of communication more effectively.

In this article, we’ve explored the power of adjectives in describing speech and how they can enhance our language. By using synonyms and antonyms, we can bring variety and depth to our descriptions, making them more engaging and captivating for our readers.

Through the examples provided, we have seen how different adjectives can be used to portray speech in unique and nuanced ways. By incorporating these adjectives into our writing, we can effectively capture the different ways people communicate their ideas, adding realism and depth to our descriptions.

Using synonyms and antonyms for the word “speech” allows us to paint a more vivid picture of how individuals express themselves, creating a more immersive experience for our readers. It enables us to go beyond the mundane and explore the intricacies of communication.

So, the next time you’re describing speech, remember to leverage the power of adjectives. Use them wisely to bring your descriptions to life and make your writing more dynamic and engaging. Let your words paint a vivid picture of the diverse ways people communicate their thoughts and ideas.

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Adjectives for Fight: Examples and Describing Words

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When you start breaking it down, the English language is pretty complicated—especially if you're trying to learn it from scratch! One of the most important English words to understand is the.

But what part of speech is the word the, and when should it be used in a sentence? Is the word the a preposition? Is the a pronoun? Or is the word the considered a different part of speech?

To help you learn exactly how the word the works in the English language, we're going to do the following in this article:

  • Answer the question, "What part of speech is the ?"
  • Explain how to use the correctly in sentences, with examples
  • Provide a full list of other words that are classified as the same part of speech as the in the English language

Okay, let's get started learning about the word the !

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What Part of Speech Is the Word The?

In the English language the word the is classified as an article, which is a word used to define a noun. (More on that a little later.)

But an article isn't one of the eight parts of speech. Articles are considered a type of adjective, so "the" is technically an adjective as well. However, "the" can also sometimes function as an adverb in certain instances, too.

In short, the word "the" is an article that functions as both an adjective and an adverb, depending on how it's being used . Having said that, the is most commonly used as an article in the English language. So, if you were wondering, "Is the a pronoun, preposition, or conjunction," the answer is no: it's an article, adjective, and an adverb!

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While we might think of an article as a story that appears in a newspaper or website, in English grammar, articles are words that help specify nouns.

The as an Article

So what are "articles" in the English language? Articles are words that identify nouns in order to demonstrate whether the noun is specific or nonspecific. Nouns (a person, place, thing, or idea) can be identified by two different types of articles in the English language: definite articles identify specific nouns, and indefinite articles identify nonspecific nouns.

The word the is considered a definite article because it defines the meaning of a noun as one particular thing . It's an article that gives a noun a definite meaning: a definite article. Generally, definite articles are used to identify nouns that the audience already knows about. Here's a few examples of how "the" works as a definite article:

We went to the rodeo on Saturday. Did you see the cowboy get trampled by the bull?

This (grisly!) sentence has three instances of "the" functioning as a definite article: the rodeo, the cowboy, and the bull. Notice that in each instance, the comes directly before the noun. That's because it's an article's job to identify nouns.

In each of these three instances, the refers to a specific (or definite) person, place, or thing. When the speaker says the rodeo, they're talking about one specific rodeo that happened at a certain place and time. The same goes for the cowboy and the bull: these are two specific people/animals that had one kinda terrible thing happen to them!

It can be a bit easier to see how definite articles work if you see them in the same sentence as an indefinite article ( a or an ). This sentence makes the difference a lot more clear:

A bat flew into the restaurant and made people panic.

Okay. This sentence has two articles in it: a and the. So what's the difference? Well, you use a when you're referring to a general, non-specific person, place, or thing because its an indefinite article . So in this case, using a tells us this isn't a specific bat. It's just a random bat from the wild that decided to go on an adventure.

Notice that in the example, the writer uses the to refer to the restaurant. That's because the event happened at a specific time and at a specific place. A bat flew into one particular restaurant to cause havoc, which is why it's referred to as the restaurant in the sentence.

The last thing to keep in mind is that the is the only definite article in the English language , and it can be used with both singular and plural nouns. This is probably one reason why people make the mistake of asking, "Is the a pronoun?" Since articles, including the, define the meaning of nouns, it seems like they could also be combined with pronouns. But that's not the case. Just remember: articles only modify nouns.

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Adjectives are words that help describe nouns. Because "the" can describe whether a noun is a specific object or not, "the" is also considered an adjective.

The as an Adjective

You know now that the is classified as a definite article and that the is used to refer to a specific person, place, or thing. But defining what part of speech articles are is a little bit tricky.

There are eight parts of speech in the English language: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. The thing about these eight parts of speech in English is that they contain smaller categories of types of words and phrases in the English language. A rticles are considered a type of determiner, which is a type of adjective.

Let's break down how articles fall under the umbrella of "determiners," which fall under the umbrella of adjectives. In English, the category of "determiners" includes all words and phrases in the English language that are combined with a noun to express an aspect of what the noun is referring to. Some examples of determiners are the, a, an, this, that, my, their, many, few, several, each, and any. The is used in front of a noun to express that the noun refers to a specific thing, right? So that's why "the" can be considered a determiner.

And here's how determiners—including the article the —can be considered adjectives. Articles and other determiners are sometimes classified as adjectives because they describe the nouns that they precede. Technically, the describes the noun it precedes by communicating specificity and directness. When you say, "the duck," you're describing the noun "duck" as referring to a specific duck. This is different than saying a duck, which could mean any one duck anywhere in the world!

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When "the" comes directly before a word that's not a noun, then it's operating as an adverb instead of an adjective.

The as an Adverb

Finally, we mentioned that the can also be used as an adverb, which is one of the eight main parts of speech we outlined above. Adverbs modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, but never modify nouns.

Sometimes, the can be used to modify adverbs or adjectives that occur in the comparative degree. Adverbs or adjectives that compare the amounts or intensity of a feeling, state of being, or action characterizing two or more things are in the comparative degree. Sometimes the appears before these adverbs or adjectives to help convey the comparison!

Here's an example where the functions as an adverb instead of an article/adjective:

Lainey believes the most outrageous things.

Okay. We know that when the is functioning as an adjective, it comes before a noun in order to clarify whether it's specific or non-specific. In this case, however, the precedes the word most, which isn't a noun—it's an adjective. And since an adverb modifies an adjective, adverb, or verb, that means the functions as an adverb in this sentence.

We know that can be a little complicated, so let's dig into another example together:

Giovanni's is the best pizza place in Montana.

The trick to figuring out whether the article the is functioning as an adjective or an adverb is pretty simple: just look at the word directly after the and figure out its part of speech. If that word is a noun, then the is functioning as an adjective. If that word isn't a noun, then the is functioning like an adverb.

Now, reread the second example. The word the comes before the word best. Is best a noun? No, it isn't. Best is an adjective, so we know that the is working like an adverb in this sentence.

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How to Use The Correctly in Sentences

An important part of answering the question, "What part of speech is the word the ?" includes explaining how to use the correctly in a sentence. Articles like the are some of the most common words used in the English language. So you need to know how and when to use it! And since using the as an adverb is less common, we'll provide examples of how the can be used as an adverb as well.

Using The as an Article

In general, it is correct and appropriate to use the in front of a noun of any kind when you want to convey specificity. It's often assumed that you use the to refer to a specific person, place, or thing that the person you're speaking to will already be aware of. Oftentimes, this shared awareness of who, what, or where "the" is referring to is created by things already said in the conversation, or by context clues in a given social situation .

Let's look at an example here:

Say you're visiting a friend who just had a baby. You're sitting in the kitchen at your friend's house while your friend makes coffee. The baby, who has been peacefully dozing in a bassinet in the living room, begins crying. Your friend turns to you and asks, "Can you hold the baby while I finish doing this?"

Now, because of all of the context surrounding the social situation, you know which baby your friend is referring to when they say, the baby. There's no need for further clarification, because in this case, the gives enough direct and specific meaning to the noun baby for you to know what to do!

In many cases, using the to define a noun requires less or no awareness of an immediate social situation because people have a shared common knowledge of the noun that the is referring to. Here are two examples:

Are you going to watch the eclipse tomorrow?

Did you hear what the President said this morning?

In the first example, the speaker is referring to a natural phenomenon that most people are aware of —eclipses are cool and rare! When there's going to be an eclipse, everyone knows about it. If you started a conversation with someone by saying, "Are you going to watch the eclipse tomorrow?" it's pretty likely they'd know which eclipse the is referring to.

In the second example, if an American speaking to another American mentions what the President said, the other American is likely going to assume that the refers to the President of the United States. Conversely, if two Canadians said this to one another, they would likely assume they're talking about the Canadian prime minister!

So in many situations, using the before a noun gives that noun specific meaning in the context of a particular social situation .

Using The as an Adverb

Now let's look at an example of how "the" can be used as an adverb. Take a look at this sample sentence:

The tornado warning made it all the more likely that the game would be canceled.

Remember how we explained that the can be combined with adverbs that are making a comparison of levels or amounts of something between two entities? The example above shows how the can be combined with an adverb in such a situation. The is combined with more and likely to form an adverbial phrase.

So how do you figure this out? Well, if the words immediately after the are adverbs, then the is functioning as an adverb, too!

Here's another example of how the can be used as an adverb:

I had the worst day ever.

In this case, the is being combined with the adverb worst to compare the speaker's day to the other days . Compared to all the other days ever, this person's was the worst... period . Some other examples of adverbs that you might see the combined with include all the better, the best, the bigger, the shorter, and all the sooner.

One thing that can help clarify which adverbs the can be combined with is to check out a list of comparative and superlative adverbs and think about which ones the makes sense with!

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3 Articles in the English Language

Now that we've answered the question, "What part of speech is the ?", you know that the is classified as an article. To help you gain a better understanding of what articles are and how they function in the English language, here's a handy list of 3 words in the English language that are also categorized as articles.

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What's Next?

If you're looking for more grammar resources, be sure to check out our guides on every grammar rule you need to know to ace the SAT ( or the ACT )!

Learning more about English grammar can be really helpful when you're studying a foreign language, too. We highly recommend that you study a foreign language in high school—not only is it great for you, it looks great on college applications, too. If you're not sure which language to study, check out this helpful article that will make your decision a lot easier.

Speaking of applying for college... one of the most important parts of your application packet is your essay. Check out this expert guide to writing college essays that will help you get into your dream school.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Do you wonder how long it takes to deliver your speech?

This website helps you convert the number of words into the time it takes to deliver your speech, online and for free. This tool is useful when preparing a speech or a presentation. The number of minutes you will take is dependent on the number of words and your speed of speech, or reading speed.

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  • Words in a 1 minute speech 130 words
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  • How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes
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Biden Used N-Word During 1985 Senate Confirmation Hearings?

The claim resurfaced amid allegations that former u.s. president donald trump said the n-word while filming "the apprentice.", izz scott lamagdeleine, published may 30, 2024.

On May 30, 2024, a former producer for "The Apprentice," the reality TV series former U.S. President Donald Trump co-produced and starred in for 15 years prior to running for office, wrote in a Slate article that Trump had been recorded using the N-word during the show's filming.

As the news began to spread across social media platforms, a similar claim about President Joe Biden using the N-word during his tenure as a U.S. senator began to spread across X :

The videos shared on X, which included a recording of Biden's alleged comments, claimed he said:

"In a confidential portions of your staff memo, they brought to your attention the allegation that important legislators, in defeating the Nunez plan in the basement said, quote, 'we already have a n----- mayor, we don't need any more n----- big shots.'"

We previously fact-checked this claim in 2020, at which time we confirmed that Biden did say those words. As we also noted, however, nearly all of the clips that spread across X omitted crucial context, namely that he was reading a portion of a staff memo out loud.

On June 5, 1985, Biden — who was then  a U.S. senator representing Delaware and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — was questioning William Bradford Reynolds during a series of confirmation hearings to consider whether he should be promoted to associate attorney general from being the head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

The Nunez plan that Biden referenced in the viral quote was a Louisiana redistricting plan that white state officials created that ruled out a majority-Black congressional district in New Orleans, as The Washington Post reported  at the time of the hearing.

Biden mentioned  the Nunez plan to focus the hearings on voting rights as well as question Reynolds' credibility for the job, as the predecessor in his role at the Justice Department had called the plan a "a blatant racial gerrymander." Biden's efforts in opposing Reynolds were successful, as the Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately rejected  his nomination for promotion. 

For further reading about the allegations of Trump using the N-word on "The Apprentice," we published an explainer breaking down what we know so far. We've also fact-checked other claims about whether Biden has used the N-word in political office, like the false claim  he used the N-word in a 2021 recorded speech.

"Joe Biden Was Quoting Racist Comments When He Used the N-Word in 1985." AP News, 24 July 2020, https://apnews.com/article/archive-fact-checking-9146840045.

Lee, Jessica. "Did Joe Biden Use the N-Word in a Recorded Speech?" Snopes, 25 Feb. 2021, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/joe-biden-n-word-recorded-speech/.

Pruitt, Bill. "The Donald Trump I Saw on The Apprentice." Slate, 30 May 2024. slate.com, https://slate.com/culture/2024/05/donald-trump-news-2024-trial-verdict-apprentice.html.

"Reynolds' Foes Claim Moral High Ground." Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2023. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1985/06/24/reynolds-foes-claim-moral-high-ground/2eedf0ef-fa4e-4f35-9a61-ef8662dcd974/.

By Izz Scott LaMagdeleine

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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'These are bad people': Trump unloads after his historic guilty verdict

Less than 24 hours after being found guilty on 34 felony counts , Donald Trump stood in front of a backdrop of American flags and was ready to get weeks of frustration off his chest.

The pugilistic former president spent 40 minutes unloading rambling comments peppered with mistruths and distortions to defend himself in news conference Friday at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

The event was the beginning of a new reality: Trump is now the first former president to be convicted of a crime.

“This is all done by Biden and his people,” Trump said to open the news conference, continuing without evidence to directly blame President Joe Biden for his legal woes. “This is done by Washington. No one has ever seen anything like this.”

In the wake of a New York jury finding Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records around payments he made to an adult film star during the 2016 election, Trump expressed his discontent, using the Truth Social platform to once again call his prosecution a “witch hunt.” In another fundraising email, he referred to himself as a “political prisoner.”

But the news conference offered Trump the first opportunity for an extended airing of grievances.

He called Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “failed,” and once again blasted Judge Juan Merchan as “conflicted.” 

Trump would not discuss the perceived conflict, saying he could not because of a gag order Merchan put on him earlier in the trial. (In the past, Trump and his allies have gone after Merchan for a $15 donation he gave to Biden in 2020, and the fact that the judge's daughter worked with a Democratic-aligned group.)

The gag order prevented Trump from commenting publicly about witnesses, jurors, court staff and other attorneys (excluding Bragg) and all their family members, but it did not include a prohibition on talking about Merchan himself. 

“I am not allowed to talk about it,” Trump said of the perceived conflict. “There has never been anyone so conflicted as this.”

Trump violated the gag order on 10 separate occasions during the trial costing him $10,000 in fines and prompting Merchan to threaten him with jail time.

Donald Trump.

Trump also claimed he wanted to testify, something he ultimately did not do over concerns he would perjure himself. On Friday, he justified the decision by saying even George Washington would never testify on his own behalf.

“I would have testified. I wanted to testify. The theory is you never testify,” Trump said. “If it were George Washington, don’t testify. Because they will get you on something you said slightly wrong.”

He also called his former attorney Michael Cohen, who was a key witness for the prosecution, a “sleaze bag,” but would not directly use his name, once again citing the gag order. Cohen was Trump’s longtime attorney, but he turned on his former boss and ended up doing 13 months in prison after pleading guilty in 2018 for lying to Congress and around campaign finance charges tied to work he did for Trump.

Trump also leaned into a theme he's been pushing throughout his campaign, portraying himself as a victim of rigged system that's out to get him — and anyone who supports him.

"This is a case where if they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone," Trump said opening his remarks. "These are bad people."

Trump also said he could serve time in prison up to 187 years, but some legal experts told NBC News there's a chance he won't be imprisoned at all based on his age, lack of a criminal record and other factors. And while each count does carry a term of four years, it's expected that any sentence would be imposed concurrently, instead of consecutively.

Shortly after Trump’s guilty verdicts were read, the expected political battle lines were drawn.

Democrats and the vocal set of Republicans who are notably anti-Trump quickly took victory laps , proclaiming that justice had been served, while Trump’s already intense Republican base became further outraged at what they see as a political persecution and vowed to take revenge. 

Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., said Republican law enforcement officials should "get busy."

“Time for Red State AGs and DAs to get busy,” Collins posted on X.

After Trump's press conference Friday, Biden campaign spokesman Michael Tyler issued a statement saying, "Trump is consumed by his own thirst for revenge and retribution."

"America just witnessed a confused, desperate, and defeated Donald Trump ramble about his own personal grievances and lie about the American justice system, leaving anyone watching with one obvious conclusion: This man cannot be president of the United States," he said.

There were, however, concrete signs that, as Trump predicted, a guilty conviction would further energize his political base.

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said the verdict led to historic fundraising levels for the GOP operation — more than $34.8 raised in the hours between the verdict and Thursday at midnight. While those numbers cannot be independently verified due to lags in campaign finance reporting requirements, an RNC spokesperson told NBC News that total represented what Trump’s joint fundraising committee with the RNC raised through the online fundraising platform WinRed.

“From just minutes after the sham trial verdict was announced, our digital fundraising system was overwhelmed with support, and despite temporary delays online because of the amount of traffic, President Trump raised $34.8 million dollars from small dollar donors,” read a statement from top Trump campaign officials.

There are also signs that the party’s biggest rainmakers are also prepared to come rally around Trump.

After the verdict was read, Trump attended a Manhattan fundraiser hosted by Pepe Fanjul, a South Florida sugar baron and longtime major Republican donor, according to a campaign official.

Shawn McGuire, a partner at hedge fund Sequoia Capital who in 2016 voted for Hillary Clinton, also announced publicly he is donating $300,000 to Trump’s campaign efforts.

“Back in 2016 I had drunk the media Kook-Aid and was scared out of my mind about Trump,” he posted on X. “As such I donated to Hillary’s campaign and voted for her.” 

“Now, in 2024, I believe this is one of the most important elections of my lifetime, and I’m supporting Trump,” he added.

Matt Dixon is a senior national politics reporter for NBC News, based in Florida.

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Pope Apologizes After Reports That He Used an Anti-Gay Slur

Francis’ remark came as he spoke against admitting gay men to seminaries during what was supposed to be a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops last week.

The pope, dressed all in white, sits in a chair and reads from sheets of paper into a microphone.

By Elisabetta Povoledo

Reporting from Rome

The Vatican said on Tuesday that Pope Francis “extends his apologies” after reports that he used an offensive slang word referring to gay men at what was intended to be a private meeting with 250 Italian bishops last week.

Francis had been taking questions from the bishops at their annual assembly when the question of whether to admit openly gay men into seminaries, or priesthood colleges, came up.

According to several people present at the meeting, who spoke anonymously to Italian news outlets, Francis stated a firm no, saying that seminaries were already too full of “frociaggine,” an offensive Italian slang term referring to gay men.

“Pope Francis is aware of articles that recently came out about a conversation, behind closed doors,” Matteo Bruni, the press office director for the Holy See, said on Tuesday. “The pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he extends his apologies to those who were offended by the use of a term, reported by others.”

The incident was first reported by the gossip website Dagospia and then picked up by mainstream Italian news organizations.

Francis has been widely credited with urging the church to be more welcoming to the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and he has delivered a mostly inclusive message.

Shortly after the start of his papacy in 2013, he said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge ?” He has also met often with gay-rights activists, and he decided last year to allow priests to bless same-sex couples , though he said their unions could not be blessed.

The opening to the L.G.B.T.Q. community has been met with a backlash from conservative Catholics. The decision to bless same-sex couples, for example, was widely criticized by bishops in conservative areas of the church, such as many in Africa , who say the practice contradicts church doctrine.

The Vatican quickly explained that blessings are not formal rites and do not undercut church teaching against same-sex marriage.

At the same time, the church has remained firm in its decision not to allow openly gay men to become priests.

A document issued in 2005 under Pope Benedict XVI, Francis’ predecessor, excluded most gay men from the priesthood with few exceptions, barring in strong and specific language candidates “who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’”

The document allowed ordination only for candidates who had experienced “transitory” homosexual tendencies that were “clearly overcome” at least three years before ordination as a deacon, the last step before priesthood.

Under Francis, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy issued a document in 2016 that restated the 2005 ban. The document said that the church could not overlook the “negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

In a 2018 interview, published as a book , Francis underscored that he was concerned about relationships between homosexual candidates for priesthood and other religious posts, who take vows of celibacy and chastity and then end up living double lives.

“In consecrated life or that of the priesthood, there is no place for this type of affection,” the pope said in the book. “For that reason, the church recommends that persons with this deep-seated tendency not be accepted for ministry or consecrated life.”

Francis had already made these concerns known to Italian bishops. In another closed-door session in 2018, reported by the Italian news media , Francis said men with “deep-rooted” homosexual tendencies should not be allowed to enter into seminaries.

“If in doubt, do not let them enter,” the pope told the bishops.

That comment prompted reaction , with some progressives warning that it could foster hostility within the church toward L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics.

Francis is reported to have used the slur last week in responding to questions at the conference of Italian bishops, which recently adopted a document regarding the regulations for seminaries. The document has not been made public, as it is awaiting Vatican approval.

While Francis DeBernardo, director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates on behalf of L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics, welcomed Francis’ apology for using “a careless colloquialism,” he said he was disappointed “that the pope did not clarify specifically what he meant by banning gay men from the priesthood.”

“Without a clarification,” Mr. DeBernardo said, “his words will be interpreted as a blanket ban on accepting any gay man to a seminary.” He called on the pope to “provide a clearer statement on his views about gay priests, so many of whom faithfully serve the people of God each day.”

An article published by The New York Times in 2019 took a look at some two dozen priests and seminarians in the United States who shared details of their lives as gay men within the church . Though only a handful of priests in the United States have come out publicly, gay priests and researchers estimate that gay men probably make up at least 30 to 40 percent of the Catholic clergy in the United States. Like all Catholic priests, they take a vow of celibacy.

In reporting the incident, some Italian news outlets have suggested that Francis used the term jokingly or that, as a nonnative Italian speaker, he was unaware of the gravity of the slur.

Known for an informal, avuncular style, Francis is no stranger to linguistic gaffes.

Shortly after his election as pope, he told a group of nuns that they should be mothers, “not a spinster.” Two years later, speaking to reporters during an i n-flight news conference , Francis said that should a friend ever insult the pope’s mother, “he’ll get punched for it! This is normal! It is normal.” Also in 2015, referring to contraception, Francis said: “Some people believe that — pardon my language — in order to be good Catholics, we should be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood.”

And this was not his first public apology. After a video showed Francis twice slapping the hands of a woman who had grabbed his while he was greeting the faithful in December 2020, he apologized. “Many times we lose our patience,” he said during his weekly audience the day after the incident. “I do, too, and I’m sorry for yesterday’s bad example.”

In its statement Tuesday, the Vatican spokesman avoided confirming that the pope had used the term reported in Italian media, as the Vatican does not reveal what the pope says behind closed doors. But the statement did say that Francis had “stated on several occasions, ‘In the church there is room for everyone, for everyone! No one is useless, no one is superfluous. There is room for everyone. Just as we are, everyone.’”

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to Pope Francis’ decision to allow priests to bless same-sex couples. The pope permitted priests to bless the couples, not same-sex unions.

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Elisabetta Povoledo is a reporter based in Rome, covering Italy, the Vatican and the culture of the region. She has been a journalist for 35 years. More about Elisabetta Povoledo

Katy Perry Shares "Fixed" Version of Harrison Butker's Controversial Commencement Speech

Katy perry posted a heavily edited version of kansas city chiefs kicker harrison butker's commencement speech to kick off pride month, weeks after his original comments sparked controversy..

Katy Perry  roared back at a guy and she liked it.

To kick off LGBTQ+ Pride Month , the singer shared a heavily edited version of Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker 's controversial commencement speech .

"Fixed this for my girls, my graduates, and my gays — you can do anything," Perry, 39, wrote on Instagram June 1. "Congratulations and happy pride."

Speaking on camera at Kansas' Benedictine College May 11, Butker said most female graduates would be "most excited" about marriage and motherhood and also spoke out against topics such as abortion and IVF.  The edited speech posted by the singer, who rose to fame after the release of her 2008 debut single "I Kissed a Girl," splices some of the athlete's words together to make it sound as though he praises the women over their future careers, promotes "diversity, equity and inclusion" and wishes people a happy Pride Month.

E! News has reached out to Butker's rep for comment on Perry's post and has not head back.

The NFL player had stirred mixed reactions with his speech . On May 24, he broke his silence about the controversy while defending his Catholic faith.

"Over the past few days, my beliefs or what people think I believe have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe," Butker said in a speech at the Courage Under Fire Gala in Nashville, presented by the Regina Caeli Academy, a homeschool hybrid academy for Catholic families. "At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion."

The 28-year-old continued, "In my seven years in the NFL, I've become familiar with the positive and negative comments, but the majority of them revolve around my performance on the field. But as to be expected, the more I've talked about what I value most, which is my Catholic faith, the more polarizing I have become. It's a decision I've consciously made and one I do not regret at all."

Find out what stars have said about Butker's speech...

The singer shared a heavily edited version of Butker's controversial commencement speech that splices several of his words together to make it appear as though he praises the female graduates over their future careers, promotes "diversity, equity and inclusion" and wishes people a happy Pride Month.

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager

"Well, I’m where I am today because I have a husband who leans into his vocation, which is being an equal partner," Jenna —who shares daughters Mila , 11, and Poppy , 8, and son Hal , 4, with husband Henry Hager —said on  TODAY . " And I tell him that all the time."

Added co-anchor Hoda , who's mom to daughters Haley , 7, and Hope , 5: "Don’t speak for us. Stop speaking for women out there."

Travis Kelce

"I cherish him as a teammate," the Kansas City Chiefs tight end said on the May 24 episode of the New Heights podcast. "He's treated family and family that I've introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness. And that's how he treats everyone."

"When it comes down to his views and what he said at Saint Benedict's commencement speech, those are his," he continued. "I can't say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids. And I don't think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life, that's just not who I am."

Eddie Vedder

The Pearl Jam frontman had some choice words, calling Butker at "f---kin' p---y" during a May 18 concert in Las Vegas.

"That’s some good men, good women, making up a great band," he said, gesturing to his fellow musicians onstage. "The singer, Jessica [ Dobson ], and the keyboard player, Patti [ King ], they must not have believed that [ deepening his voice ] 'diabolical lie' that women should take pride in taking a back seat to their man."

Vedder—dad to daughters Olivia and Harper with wife Jill McCormick —waited for the applause to trail off, then added that homemaking "is maybe one of the hardest jobs" and one to "definitely take pride in."

But he didn't "understand the logic" of advising anyone, men or women, that they'll benefit from giving up their dreams.

And, Vedder added, "There’s nothing more masculine than a strong man supporting a strong woman and people of quality do not fear equality."

Maren Morris

The "Bones" singer reacted to Harrison's speech with a reference to a social media trend in which women say whether they'd rather encounter a bear or a man while alone in the woods. 

Under a video of the NFL player's speech, Maren wrote on her Instagram Story , "I choose the bear." 

Jason Kelce

“There’s always going to be opinions that everybody shares that you’re going to disagree with,” the former Philadelphia Eagles center said on the May 24 episode of the New Heights podcast. “And make no mistake about it, a lot of the things he said in his commencement speech are not things that I align myself with. But, he’s giving a commencement speech at a Catholic university, and, shocker, it ended up being a very religious and Catholic speech."

“To me," he continued, "I can listen to somebody talk and take great value in it, like when he’s talking about the importance of family and the importance that a great mother can make, while also acknowledge that not everybody has to be a homemaker if that’s not what they want to do in life.”

Maria Shriver

"What point was Harrison Butker really trying to make to women in his graduation speech about their present day life choices?" Maria wrote on X , formerly Twitter, May 16. "Did he really want them, aka us, to believe that our lives truly only begin when we lean into the vocation of wife and mother?"

"Look, everyone has the right to free speech in our country," she continued. "That's the benefit of living in a democracy. But those of us who are women and who have a voice have the right to disagree with Butker."

Kelly Stafford

"Building men up and not tearing them down is important. Building women and not tearing them down is important,"  wrote the podcast host  and mother of four daughters with her husband, L.A. Rams  quarterback  Matt Stafford , in a May 16  Instagram post .

"Everyone has a choice of what they want his/her life to look like...it's not up to anyone else or society. The more society tells women where they belong, the more imposter syndrome starts to creep in, that they don't belong because that's what society is telling them."

She continued, "I'm happy and I thrive at home with being the homemaker, but that's not every woman's story nor should it have to be. Some women choose not to stay home and some women don't have the luxury to choose. We all might not agree on everything, but I think we all want the same end goal, a better world for our kids.

"I think supporting and encouraging women and men in whatever roles they choose is a great first step towards that goal."

Patricia Heaton

"I don't understand why everybody's knickers in a twist," the Everybody Loves Raymond actor shared in a video. "He gave a commencement speech. The audience applauded twice during the speech and gave him a standing ovation at the end. So clearly they enjoyed what he was saying. The guy is espousing his own opinions and Catholic doctrine."

"So what? It's his opnion, he can have one," she continued. "He's not a monster for stating what he believes."

Whoopi Goldberg

"I like when people say what they need to say—he's at a Catholic College, he's a staunch Catholic," she said during the May 16 episode of  The View . "These are his beliefs and he's welcome to him. I don't have to believe them, right? I don't have to accept them. The ladies that were sitting in that audience do not have to accept them."

"I'm okay with him saying whatever he says and the women who are sitting there if they take his advice, good for them, they'll be happy," she added. "If they don't go for them, they will be happy a different way. That's my attitude." 

Patrick Mahomes

"There's certain things that he said that I don't necessarily agree with," the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback explained during a May 22 press conference, "but I understand the person that he is and he is trying to do whatever he can to lead people in the right direction."

"And that might not be the same values as I have, but at the same time, I'm going to judge him by the character that he shows every single day," he said. "That's a great person and we'll continue to move along and try to help build each other up to make ourselves better every single day."

"Everybody's got their own opinion," the Kansas City Chiefs coach said during a May 22 press conference. "And that's what's so great about this country, you could share those things, and you work through it."

"I didn't talk to him about this, didn’t think we’d need to," he continued. "We’re a microcosm of life here, everybody’s from different areas, different religions, different races. And so we all get along, we all respect each other's opinions, and not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everybody to have a voice. It's a great thing about America. And we're just like I said a microcosm of that and my wish that everybody could kind of follow that."

“I don’t think he was speaking ill of women," he added. "He has his opinions, and we all respect that."

While emphasizing "how much this guy is not like me,” the TV host did say OF Harrison's speech during Real Time , "I don’t see what the big crime is, I really don’t.”

He continued, "Like he’s saying some of you may go on to successful careers, but a lot of you are excited about this other way that people, everybody used to be and now can. Can’t that just be a choice too?"

Tavia and Gracie Hunt

The wife and daughter of the Kansas City Chiefs CEO, Clark Hunt , spoke out following the team kicker's controversial statements. 

"I've always encouraged my daughters to be highly educated and chase their dreams," Tavia, who also shares daughter Ava Hunt , 18, and son Knobel Hunt , 20, with Clark, wrote on Instagram, alongside throwback pics of herself with her kids. "I want them to know that they can do whatever they want (that honors God). But I also want them to know that I believe finding a spouse who loves and honors you as or before himself and raising a family together is one of the greatest blessings this world has to offer." 

Gracie, 25, then told Fox News' Fox & Friends , "I've had the most incredible mom who had the ability to stay home and be with us as kids growing up. And I understand that there are many women out there who can't make that decision. But for me and my life, I know it was really formative and in shaping me and my siblings into who we are."

Roger Goodell

"Listen, we have over 3,000 players. We have executives around the league. They have a diversity of opinions and thoughts just like America does," the NFL commissioner said. "I think that's something that we treasure and that's part of, I think, ultimately what makes us as a society better."

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Prestigious honors and posthumous words set new path for University of Tennessee students

words for the speech

This University of Tennessee at Knoxville roundup comes to you from higher education reporter Keenan Thomas. Have an idea for our higher education coverage? Contact Keenan at [email protected] .

Three months after Dr. Bob Booker died at the age of 88 , students graduating from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville received a special posthumous message from the Knoxville Civil Rights icon.

The recorded speech, which implored students to use their education to "help guide your community," was shared with College of Arts and Science graduates who were among more than 5,300 degree recipients in May.

Booker, who also was an African American historian, received his own honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree from UT on Feb. 10, just 12 days before his death. The video message to UT students was recorded at his home while he was presented with the honorary degree by Chancellor Donde Plowman.

"You who are about to graduate today have had some of the greatest experiences of your lives, and professors steeped in their particular fields have given their best thinking," Booker said in his video message. "But it is my fervent prayer that you will leave this place and work hard at your chosen profession, and also that you will use your experience and education to help guide your community.

"Our world is still too full of hate, violence, intolerance, and injustice. Only an enlightened public can change that."

You can watch Booker's full message on UT Knoxville's YouTube channel .

10 University of Tennessee students accept Fulbright Scholarships

Ten UT students accepted Fulbright scholarships for the 2024-25 academic year . Four were named as alternates.

The Fulbright scholarship began in 1946 and is one of the most prestigious international programs in higher education, with around 8,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals receiving awards each year to travel to more than 140 participating countries to teach or study.

The awards follow UT's designation as a top producer of Fulbright students .

Meet the 10 students who earned Fulbright scholarships:

  • Jacob Altrock - Graduated with a bachelor's degree in voice with a minor in German. He will work with an opera program and take classes while researching accessible operatic performances in Germany.
  • Aliya Benabderrazak - Graduated in May 2023 with bachelor's degrees in psychology and sociology, as well as minors in Africana studies, Hispanic studies and child and family studies. She will be a English teaching assistant in Columbia at the university level.
  • Miranda Blevins - Graduated with a bachelor's in audiology and speech-language pathology with a minor in business administration. She will work as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan.
  • Yash Deo - Senior student majoring in honors neuroscience with a minor in business administration. He will study remedies for major depressive disorder in New Delhi, India.
  • David Holdridge - Graduated with a bachelor's in forestry with a concentration in restoration and conservation science. He will conduct research around the palm oil industry and reclaimed abandoned surface tin mines in Indonesia.
  • Steve Mahometano - Graduated in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in honors neuroscience and a bachelor's in psychology. He will work as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan.
  • Diba Seddighi - Graduated in 2023 with a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in global health equity and a minor in Hispanic studies. She will work on obtaining her master’s degree in global health from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Lucas Simmons - Graduated with a bachelor's in anthropology and a minor in political science. He will work as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan.
  • Courtney Tolbert - Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and a minor in psychology. She will be an English teaching assistant in Thailand.
  • Matthew Valderrama - Graduated in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in materials science and engineering. He will pursue a master’s degree in chemical engineering at Aalborg University in Esbjerg, Denmark.

An 11th student received a Fulbright scholarship offer but declined. Four alternates could receive awards if spots open up in the next few months.

UT had 44 Fulbright applicants and 31 semifinalists in 2024.

Could UT's Amber Williams be a college president? She's on that path

Vice Provost for Student Success Amber Williams has been named to the 2024-25 AGB Institute for Leadership and Governance in Higher Education .

The institute selects participants who aspire to become university presidents and works to build their skills. Since the program was created six years ago, more than 20 participants have ascended to the position of president.

Williams − along with 20 other leaders in higher education − will attend a symposium in September. She is "eager to share these insights and continue driving positive change at Rocky Top," Williams said in a news release.

The symposium is the first step in the six-month program.

University of Tennessee changes leadership in artificial intelligence

Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the AI Tennessee Initiative Lynne Parker has retired from UT after 22 years.

Parker joined UT as a professor in 2002, and in 2018 worked at the  White House Office of Science and Technology Policy . She later became the assistant director for artificial intelligence and then the deputy chief technology officer of the United States for the White House.

In 2021, she became the founding director of the  National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office .

She returned to UT in 2022 and has been imperative to UT's embrace of AI and the policies surrounding the technology. In January, UT named professor Vasileios Maroulas as the new assistant vice chancellor and deputy director of the  AI Tennessee Initia tive .

Brian Wirth to become head of Department of Nuclear Engineering

Brian Wirth will become head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering on Aug. 1.

Wirth is the Governor's Chair for Computational Nuclear Engineering and served as a co-chair on a subcommittee on the future of fusion energy facilities in the U.S.

7 University of Tennessee faculty members elected as AAAS Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science elected seven UT faculty members as part of its 2023 class of AAAS Fellows . The designation recognizes those making impacts in and outside of their fields of research.

These faculty members received the lifetime honor:

  • Rigoberto Advincula - UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Advanced and Nanostructured Materials and Polymer Group leader at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.
  • Takeshi Egami - UT-ORNL Distinguished Scientist, professor and director emeritus of the Shull Wollan Center/Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences.
  • Heidi Goodrich-Blair - David and Sandra White Professor, head of the microbiology department and an American Society for Microbiology Fellow.
  • Sergei Kalinin - Weston Fulton Professor and chief scientist working in AI and machine learning for the physical sciences at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • Keith Kline - Distinguished Research Scientist at ORNL.
  • Anthony Mezzacappa - Newton W. and Wilma C. Thomas Chair in Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics and a College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Professor. He's the former director of the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences.
  • Michela Taufer - Jack Dongarra Professor in High-Performance Computing and editor-in-chief for the journal Future Generation Computer Systems.

Keenan Thomas is a higher education reporter. Email  [email protected] . X, formerly known as Twitter  @specialk2real .

Support strong local journalism by subscribing to  knoxnews.com/subscribe .

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