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Language tip of the week: saying something in a particular way

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This week’s tip looks at more words and phrases you can use instead of say to talk about using particular words or a particular style to say something.



put to say or write something in a particular way:
She put it very well when she described him as ‘brilliant but lazy’. ♦ Put simply, it was an offer we couldn’t turn down. ♦ I wouldn’t have put it quite like that myself. ♦ As John put it, life would be so nice if we didn’t have to work.
word to express something in a particular way:
I’m not quite sure how to word this. ♦ a strongly worded message.
phrase to express something in a particular way in speech or writing:
I mentally phrased the letter I would write to him. ♦ The regulations were badly phrased and gave rise to a lot of confusion.
rephrase to say something again using different words, in order to express your meaning in a way that is clearer or more acceptable:
The declaration was rephrased in terms that both sides could agree on. ♦ Let me rephrase that.
be couched in if something is couched in a particular way it is expressed in that way. Couch is a formal word:
The letter was brief and couched in the most guarded terms. ♦ The document was couched in language designed to satisfy the government’s critics at home.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more synonyms for the verb ‘say‘.

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Liz Potter

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