- Words that describe different types of sound are known as descriptive sounds. There are several words in the English Language that help us describe various sounds like soft sounds or loud noises.
- Sound is the sensation that is experienced through hearing. It uses one of the five senses that is our ears to transfer the sounds to our brain.
- I could hear the bees buzzing in the garden.
- This morning I woke up to the sound of the chirping birds.
- The storm was so severe that I could hear its roaring noise.
How to Form a Sentence with Sound Words?
Let us have a look at how to use sound words and how it can bring about a difference in a sentence.
Adjectives come usually before the noun they describe. For better description , the adjectives and words are known as adjective phrases.
|Sentence||Sound Words Added||Explanation|
|She has a different voice.||She has a husky voice.||When the adjective sound word ‘husky’ is added to the sentence, the reader gets an idea of how her voice is exactly than mentioning it as a ‘different voice’.|
|The teacher saw the girls in the last bench laughing.||The teacher saw the girls in the last bench giggling.||In the first sentence laughing is a generic term , but giggling is a word used for a gentle laugh. Understand that in this sentence the girls could not be laughing loudly since they are in a classroom.|
|The music was disturbing.||The music was annoyingly loud.||The adjective phrase ‘annoyingly loud’ adds more descriptive power to the sentence.|
Common Descriptive Sound WordsLet us have a look at some of the common descriptive sound words used in English.
Words That Show and not Tell
We hear various sounds all the time. But how do we say or pronounce them as words? There are many words that show and not tell. These words can be categorized as Onomatopoeia. These words phonetically which resembles the sound it describes. This makes the description more interesting.
Let us have a look at some of the Onomatopoeic words in the table below.
Few More Words to Describe Various Sounds
Here’s a convenient list of descriptive sound words.
- To show 'piercing' or 'abrupt' or even 'loud' noise have a look at the following words:
- To indicate gentle sounds use the following words:
- To indicate animal sounds use the following words:
|Words for Loud or Abrupt Noise|
|Words for Gentle Sounds|
|Words for Animal Sounds|
- Use descriptive sounds depending on the purpose. While writing a story or a sentence consider who will read it and use descriptive sound accordingly. Knowing the purpose of the passage and its readers will help to make the usage of descriptive sounds more effective.
- Do not forget to use Onomatopoeia. If you want to have sound specific descriptions in your passage or text, make use of onomatopoeic words and animal sounds like “bark” or “meow.”
- There is no doubt in the fact that sometimes less is more. Using too many descriptive sound adjectives can confuse the readers.
- Sometimes some words can be used in general to describe more than one sound source.
- The ‘whispering wind’ narrated a story.
- She howled in pain.
- Last night I heard a wolf howling.
- Sometimes one sound source can have more than one sound.
- The pattering of the rain is audible since morning.
- The rain kept drumming on the roof the whole day.
- To describe sounds, verbs can also be used for an affective description. For example, saying, “She was loud” is precise and descriptive, while “She screamed” suggests a stronger sound sense.
In this expression, the word whispering has been used for wind, though usually it is used for soft human voice. In fact it can be used for any soft sound.
Here howled indicates crying loudly in pain.
The sound of a wolf is known as howling.
Here the sound of the rain can change depending on what surface it falls on.
Have a quick look at the mind map below.