List of Expressions

As English is not my first language, I found that I sometimes have doubts about how to best describe particular facial or vocal expressions, when I need to deliver a succinct description of a character’s action in a script. So, I started making a list of words or phrases, I would come across that could work as a reminder when my ‘blank vocab’ moments occur.

I thought, it may be a useful list for others who also grabble with the English language, as I do.

Action | Vocal Action | Descriptive | Sound

Action

bangs table action
both breathing heavily action
breathes deeply action
breathes shakenly action
breathing heavily action
clears throat action
clicks tongue action
coughs action
curses under breath action
curses under his breath action
exhales action
exhales deeply action
exhales sharply action
faint laughter action
fusses action
gasps action
gasps and whispers action
gnashing teeth action
groans action
growling action
grunting action
grunts action
heavy breathing action
inhales deeply action
laughter action
muttering action
panting action
panting heavily action
pants action
perma-smile action
polite cough action
sarcastic cough action
sarcastic laughter action
scoffs action
scoffs and chuckles action
shouting action
shuddering action
sighs action
sighs and sniffles action
sighs deeply action
sniffles action
sniffles and clears throat action

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Vocal Action

baby cooing vocal action
baby fusses vocal action
chuckles vocal action
chuckles softly vocal action
cooing vocal action
hmm vocal action
huh? vocal action
Mmm-hmm vocal action
mouthing [something] vocal action
mumbles vocal action
mumbles indistinctively vocal action
nah vocal action
stammering vocal action
stammers vocal action
stutters vocal action
uh-huh vocal action
Uh… vocal action
Um… vocal action
whispers vocal action

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Descriptive

all exclaiming descriptive
all screaming descriptive
all yelling descriptive
arm looped through descriptive
bear growling descriptive
bickering descriptive
chanting descriptive
groggily descriptive
indistinct chatter descriptive
mimic firing descriptive
mimic shooting descriptive
murmuring descriptive
neighing horses descriptive
newscaster speaks descriptive
people chanting descriptive
people clamouring descriptive
people murmuring descriptive
people murmuring on TV descriptive
reporters clamouring descriptive
speaking instinctively descriptive
whispers indistinctively descriptive
woman on intercom descriptive

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Sound

Action Type
bell tolling sound
buzzes in sound
camera shutter clicking sound
cell phone vibrates sound
creaking floors sound
disconnects sound
door creaking sound
doorbell rings sound
engine rumbling sound
festive music sound
footsteps approaching sound
knife clatters sound
laptop chimes sound
liquid pours sound
man on intercom sound
monitor chimes sound
phone rings sound
TV cuts off sound
woman on intercom sound

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