Diction Exercise (208)

The following sentences all require a verb meaning "to walk" or "to move." Choose the most appropriate verb for the context.

  • The wounded pirate _______ towards the shelter of the cave.

  • A small beetle quickly _______ under the nearest flagstone.

  • We watched as the cheerful little girl ______ to the candy shop.

  • The tall heavy wrestler ________ towards the dressing rooms.

  • Crowds of sightseers _______ to the Tower of London that warm spring day.

Answers and Explanations

1. The wounded pirate staggered towards the shelter of the cave.

The choice of staggered suggests weakness; strode has the connotation of strength and confidence.

2. A small beetle quickly scurried under the nearest flagstone.

Because the beetle is moving quickly, scurried is the better choice; although one could endeavor to crawl quickly, the word crawl suggests a slow means of locomotion.

3. We watched as the cheerful little girl skipped to the candy shop.

The word skipped is a word associated with children, especially those in a cheerful mood. Trotted suggests a more controlled, steady gait, like that of a horse.

4. The tall heavy wrestler lumbered towards the dressing rooms.

The word lumbered suggests a heavy, ungainly walk; ambled conveys a leisurely stroll with no set purpose.

5. Crowds of sightseers flocked to the Tower of London that warm spring day.

People out for a day of entertainment, especially tourists, move about in undisciplined groups, like flocks of chickens. Marched has a disciplined, purposeful connotation.

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