Expressions using Themes (e.g. Collocations, IELTS, Business English)

Exam Vocabulary and Synonyms for Speaking

On this page, you will find lists of words to help you expand your vocabulary related to the word ‘speaking’. There are nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs, so you will learn how to put stronger sentences together with more sophisticated language. Practicing forming sentences in this way is particularly good if you are preparing for exams, such as IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, SAT, LSAT, Civil Services, and Banking.

Example Sentence Showing Synonyms and Different Word Forms:

He had a stutter (noun) since he was a teenager. People used to get impatient with him stammering (verb) through his sentences, and conversations (noun) were always difficult.

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HOW TO USE OUR SYNONYM TABLES:

COMMON USE

ADVANCED EXAMS

In this column, you will find words that you will come across in everyday English, and which are even suitable for exams like IELTS or TOEFL.

*An asterisk means that this word is less popular in everyday English than the other words in the list. These words may also be asked in some simpler exams.

In this column, you will find words that are likely to be asked in more Advanced Exams, such as GRE, MBA, SAT/LSAT, Civil Service, Banks, etc.

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Some Nouns for The Way People Speak or for Kinds of Spoken Interaction

(e.g. a dreadful stutter, a frank and honest discussion, an intellectual debate)

COMMON USE

ADVANCED EXAMS

He had a bit of a stutter, so it took a while for him to get through his sentences.

I developed a terrible stammer in college. I think it was brought on by nerves from giving presentations.

We had a nice chat and sorted everything out.

She was a terrible gabber, so I asked her to take a breath and slow down.

We had a lovely conversation about our plans for the future.

He went off on a rant, and it took a while for us to get him back to the point of the conversation.

It’s great to have a respectful discussion about important issues. It helps to see other points of view.

She was from Louisiana, and people described her as speaking with a southern drawl.

There were murmurings around the office about what went on at the weekend.

He was speaking absolute gibberish. Everyone knew he didn’t know what he was talking about.

It was so boring listening to him, as he spoke in a low drone that just made people lose concentration.

The presidential candidates engaged in a debate that lasted three hours. It was very interesting.

The topic was introduced, and what followed was an interesting dialogue between two respected figures.

The show opened with a short address from the Sponsor, which was nice to hear.

A communication was received over the radio, and the orders were written down.

I’m sick of all this blather about race and equality. We’re all the one species, but we’re also all different. That’s what makes the world so interesting.

There was a lot of chatter about government policy, but nothing really changed.

*Parley

A really old term. You might hear it in Pirate movies, when the leaders agree to discuss terms.

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Some Adjectives for Speaking

(e.g. she was very chatty; he was quite articulate; his words were unintelligible)

COMMON USE

ADVANCED EXAMS

The kids were so talkative. It was hard to get them to focus on what was being taught in class.

She has always been very chatty. It's hard to stop her talking most of the time!

The way he spoke made him unintelligible during conversation.

She was a very articulate speaker, and always gave engaging presentations.

It was a very halting delivery of the speech, and we were disappointed with how he presented himself.

He had a very monotone voice, so it was hard to know how he felt about things when he was speaking.

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Some Verbs for Speaking

(e.g. He stuttered a lot; They discussed the problem; He blabbed to the police)

COMMON USE

ADVANCED EXAMS

My teacher used to say, “Speak when you’re spoken to!” He wasn’t very nice.

She stuttered when she got nervous, so you needed a lot of patience to hear her out.

They were just blathering on about stuff I had no interest in. They weren’t really making much sense, to be honest.

I got caught stealing, and all I could do was stand there stammering and not making any sense.

Don’t babble! Spit it out!

Why don’t you just chat to her about the problems you’re having her?

Tell me what happened. You never told me before.

I wish you wouldn’t jabber on so much. No one else can get a word in.

The two of you should discuss it calmly and rationally.

Stop prattling on about it. Find a solution!

He got us all into trouble when he blabbed* to the Principal.

*Used when talking about someone divulging a secret or ‘telling tales’ about the (unlawful/unruly) activity of others.

I sometimes find it hard to express myself in social situations.

It’s important to be able to articulate yourself well in the workplace.

She tends to rabbit on a bit. You’ll have to interrupt her if you want to get a word in edgewise.

It was so hard to hear him, as he mumbled a lot when he spoke.

We engaged in deep conversation that night. It was really enjoyable.

That’s easy for you to say. You don’t live with him!

She was really shy, but she still managed to murmur, “Thank you”, as I was walking away.

I can hear you muttering under your breath. If you have something to say, spit it out!

I broached the subject carefully, because I knew it was a point of contention.

The women just wittered on about everyone around them, so the men left them to it.

Oh my God! Stop droning on and on. I get it!

Well, we conversed* for a while, but didn’t really solve anything.

*Quite formal use; perhaps more literary than spoken

We debated the advantages and disadvantages of capitalism.

The cackling* of the old women was driving him crazy, so he put his hands to his ears to drown out the sound.

*Pertains more to laughter than speaking.

He addressed his superiors with respect and deference, as was expected of him.

The couple didn’t communicate very well, which was why their marriage broke down.

*gabber

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