Speech | Sunday Observer


17 January, 2021

Speech is the ability to speak. Only humans are capable of speech. In speech we use a smaller vocabulary than in writing. We can speak loudly or quietly depending on the mood.

We whisper when we want to say something very quietly, using our breath rather than our voice.

You don’t have to whisper, no one can hear us.

What are you two whispering about?

“I’ve missed you,” Sam whispered in her ear.

“What are you going to do now?” she asked in a whisper.

You murmur when you want to say something in a soft, quiet voice that is difficult to hear clearly.

When I met Amanda, she murmured something polite.

I could hear the murmur of voices in the other room.

They signed the agreement without a murmur.

You mumble when you want to say something too quietly or not clearly enough so that other people cannot understand what you say.

A man bumped into me and mumbled an apology.

I saw a female patient in her 80s mumbling to herself.

You mutter when you speak in a low voice, especially because you are annoyed about something or you do not want other people to hear you.

“I’ll never come here again,” Paul muttered to himself.

“She’s such an unpleasant woman,” John muttered under his breath.

You shout when you want to say something loudly.

There is no need to shout! I can hear you.

Some teachers shout at children.

The two men were shouting angrily at each other.

You scream when you make a loud noise with your voice because you are hurt, frightened, or excited.

The children were screaming with laughter.

The crowd continued to scream at the speaker.

When she saw the knife in his hand, she let out a scream.

When you shriek you make a very high, loud sound, especially because you are afraid, angry, or excited.

The students were shrieking with laughter.

When you stutter, you speak with difficulty because you cannot stop yourself from repeating the first consonant of some words.

“I’m F –F – Francis,” the man stuttered.

If a machine stutters, it makes little noises and does not work smoothly.

When you stammer, you speak with a lot of pauses and repeated sounds, either because you have a speech problem, or because you are nervous or excited.

George spoke with a slight stammer.

Some verbs indicate something about how the speaker feels.

When you boast, you talk too proudly about your abilities, achievements or possessions.

Nilma boasted that her son was a genius.

When you insist you say firmly that something is true, especially when other people think it may not be true.

Bob insisted that he was right.

Rosy kept insisting on her innocence.

The word ‘insist’ also means ‘to say firmly that someone should do something or something should happen.’

Roy insisted that it was his turn to drive.

When you object you feel or say that you oppose or disapprove of something.

Chris strongly objected to the terms of the contract.

I objected to having to rewrite the thesis.

When you threaten you say that you will cause someone harm or trouble if they do not do what you want.

Postal workers are threatening to strike if they don’t receive a pay increase.

The landlord threatened to take me to court if I did not pay the rent.

When you argue you disagree with someone in words often in an angry way.

The children were arguing over which TV programme to watch.

When you groan you make a long deep sound because you are in pain, upset or disappointed.

The children groaned when I switched off the TV.

“I’m tired of him groaning all the time,” she said.

When you complain you say that you are annoyed, not satisfied or unhappy about something or someone.

“You never ask my opinion about anything,” she complained.

Neighbours have complained to the police about the stray dog menace.

When you maintain, you want to make something continue in the same way or at the same standard as before.

The United States wants to maintain its position as a world power.

You should maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness.

When you urge you strongly suggest that someone does something.

The manager sent me a note urging me to get in touch with the police.

When you beg you ask for something in an anxious or urgent way, because you want it very much.

I begged her to stay, but she didn’t listen to me.

When you grumble you keep complaining in an unhappy way.

You should not grumble about the weather.

“This is boring,” she grumbled.

You mustn’t grumble about the salary.