Useful vocab for composition writing

Useful words/phrases/expressions in composition writing, use words that appeal to the senses.

a. The leaves rustled in the trees and the trees swayed slightly, making groaning heavy sounds. The twigs crackled, snapped and sputtered.

b. The bells pealed through the clatter and the children shuffled back to class.

Use dialogues

a. “Nag, nag, nag! That’s what I hear all day!” he grumbled.

b. “What do you expect?” cried his wife angrily. “Four mouths to feed, and another on the way, and all you do is idle about all day with your friends!”

c. “Guess what!” I cried triumphantly, holding up the letter. “I’ve won it!”

“Won what?” asked my mother.

“The scholarship!” I shrieked in my excitement.

d. “Who do you think you are?” he sneered, looking me up and down.

e. “My daughter, my beautiful daughter,” I murmured bitterly, my lips quavering, as tears welled up in my eyes.

Write interesting descriptions of people

Appearance – draw attention to certain vivid features

i. When he laughed, he revealed a set of horribly discoloured teeth.

ii. Everybody stared at her. She had beautiful dark hair piled high on her head, a delicately shaped face, large soft eyes and the most dazzling smile I had ever seen.

Personality or character

i. For years she had lived with her aunt, a bad-tempered, acid-tongued woman who made her life miserable.

Write vivid descriptions of feelings

a. He sat by the hospital bed, holding her hand. It was clear that the end was near. Tears welled up in his eyes and silently coursed down his cheeks.

“Please forgive me,” he said, choking with grief.

b. She ran breathlessly to him with the good news. As soon as he heard it, he leapt into the air with a whoop of joy.

“Wonderful! Marvelous! Unbelievable!” he kept shouting.

Then he turned to her and swept her up in his arms.

Lively style

Begin each sentence differently from the previous one.

i. I opened the door and walked straight into the room. There was Pei Yan sitting by the chair, waiting for me. Quickly rising from her chair, she came towards me.

Use rhetoric question (questions that do not require an answer)

i. She thought of the unlucky happenings that had just befallen her – her failure in the examinations, her mother’s illness, and her father losing his job. How could anyone be so unfortunate?

Use words that are highly descriptive, vivid and forceful

i. The place was eerily quiet. All around us was a deathly silence. Suddenly it was broken by a mournful cry. It did not even sound human. We looked at each other, terror-stricken, then made a dash for the door.

Use effective adjectives

i. The forbidden words : good, bad, happy, sad, nice

ii. Nice book: thrilling book

iii. Good speech: witty speech

iv. Selfish: egoistic/self-centred

Substitute over-used adverbs

i. Very: extremely, astonishingly, shockingly

Good expressions for describing sadness

1) Tears trickled down my face.

2) His face was grave, abstracted, almost could have fancied sad.

3) My heart was in my mouth, and the dread I felt was palpable.

4) He was disconsolate and without hope because of the loss of his mother.

5) “will you miss me?” I asked with a tinge of sadness.

6) He sauntered into the class gloomily.

7) Her eyes were puffy with a trace of wetness around the lids.

8) Jane blinked back tears that threatened to overcome her.

9) The great pain and sorrow totally shattered her.

10) The sorrow seemed to diminish everyone physically.

11) She committed suicide during a fit of depression.

12) The news cast a gloom over the entire family.

13) He was overcome by melancholy when his mate died. He has been moping about the around the house ever since.

14) He was in low spirits because he was accused of cheating.

15) She composed herself and wiped the tears away.

16) Her throat was too raw with pain for her to speak.

17) He waited forlornly outside the house, despite the pouring rain.

18) Nothing we did could lift him out of his state of deep gloom.

19) When he left, she sank into melancholy.

20) “He’s left me,” she revealed in a small, stricken voice.

21) He was extremely distressed by the bad news.

22) My heart sank. A sudden loss came over me.

23) Her lips moved desolately in prayer, imploring the gods to have mercy on her.

24) He sat there in mute misery, his face in his hands.

25) When he left, she sank into melancholy

26) She buried her face in her hands and sobbed quietly, unable to hold in the great tide of emotions.

27) Her emotions hit her like a bullet through her chest.

28) I was homesick and dismayed by the dismal weather in London.

29) Her eyes turned watery and red as the hurtful moments were brought back to mind again.

30) Tears streamed down her face as she walked out of the coffee club with her hand still clutching on to the pendant.

31) Sue broke into tears.

32) A dark mood came over Jane.

33) She was on the verge of tears.

34) Tears rolled down her rosy cheeks.

35) No words could express his agony.

36) Tears welled up in Nancy’s eyes.

37) The poor child sobbed sorrowfully.

38) With a heavy heart, he left the hospital.

39) My heart sank when I heard the sad news.

40) Her eyes were puffy and red after all the crying.

41) She cried her heart out on hearing the tragic news.

42) The frightened child was on the brink of tears.

43) They were sobbing their hearts out when they heard of their father’s sudden death.

44) Mrs Lee was so overcome with grief that she fainted a few times at her husband’s funeral

45) My heart sank when my teacher told me that I had failed the examination.

46) The little girl burst into tears when she could not find her mother.

47) The little girl was close to tears when her mother left her in the care of the new maid.

48) She was so upset that she could not stop her tears from streaming down her cheeks.

49) A tingle of sorrow swept over me.

50) Her heart was shattered after hearing the devastating news.

51) With tears in my eyes, a quaver in my throat, tears streamed down my cheeks onto the ground.

52) Grief, remorse and depression covered me like a thick choking blanket.

53) Tears of sorrow rolled down my cheeks when I heard the heart-breaking news.

54) He howled dismally when his dog died

55) After being wrongly accused by his best friend, he felt down in the dumps.

56) Kevin felt utterly miserable when Julia called off the wedding.

57) His heart overflowed with sadness when he lost the race.

58) Feeling blue, he went for a holiday to forget all his sorrow.

59) She felt very wretched after being slapped and locked up by her husband.

60) He told his cousins all his woes when they visited him.

61) He was so sad that he tried to drown his sorrows by going out to drink.

62) With tears streaming uncontrollably down her cheeks, Janice knelt down in front of her parents’ grave and cried out, “ I’ve been such an unfilial daughter!”

63) My father felt demoralised because he failed his driving test again.

64) The widow laments grievously at the death of her husband.

Good expressions for describing anger

1) He muttered furiously under his breath.

2) Her eyes glared at him in ruthless impersonality.

3) His resentment blinded his logic.

4) He was outraged.

5) He was infuriated with his son for not telling the truth.

6) She blew her top when she could not get her way.

7) There was fury in his eyes.

8) The little boy put a lot of anger into the blow, knocking the bully over.

9) She seethed with indignation.

10) A wave of rage swept over him.

11) It caused an enormous furore.

12) He was livid when he realized that his car was scratched.

13) He did his best to mask his anger but…

14) She was so angry that she hurled curses at her rival.

15) His anger was formidable.

16) One could see a flicker of anger that crossed her face.

17) She flounced out of the room when her boss ridiculed her ideas.

18) She was just too upset to even bother about how others thought about her. Unanswered questions burned endlessly in her brain; her inner voice was screaming in silent anguish and betrayal as she sank into the shadowed corner of the restroom, holding her head in her hands whilst the tears kept flowing.

19) Tom turned red with fury.

20) Peter was boiling with rage

21) He stamped his foot in anger.

22) Sally gritted her teeth in anger.

23) They were too angry for words.

24) Her voice crackled with anger.

25) Jake stormed off towards the exit.

26) His anger turned into violence.

27) He drew in his breath with a long hiss.

28) He was like a bull in a china shop.

29) A wave of futile rage swept over him.

30) An angry frown creased her forehead.

31) I could see her eyes glowing in fury.

32) He was so angry that his blood boiled.

33) She stormed out of the room in anger.

34) His fist came down on the table with a loud bang.

35) In a fit of anger, he stabbed her to death.

36) His eyes flashed with anger and resentment.

37) His face was contorted with rage and fury.

38) He clenched his fist and shook with fury.

39) He was fuming but he contained his anger.

40) Seething with anger, he approached me menacingly.

41) In a blind fury, he smashed the chair against the television set.

42) With hands trembling from anger, the man slapped the boy hard.

43) She was hopping mad when she heard the slanderous accusations.

44) His hands were shaking uncontrollably and his face turned an ominous red.

45) His face had turned to the colour of molten lava and his eyes flashed bolts of lightning.

46) She stared with eyes filled with anger and hatred that were beyond description

47) Father flew into a rage when I told him I had lost the valuable watch he bought for me.

48) My sister and I had a heated argument over the new dress we were supposed to share.

49) I was shocked at the string of abusive words that came out from her mouth when we quarrelled.

50) Ahmad lost his temper and slapped his brother. In the next moment, fists were flying, as they exchanged blows.

51) Mary was as angry as a bull that saw red when she realised that she had been conned by the quick-witted salesman.

52) After hearing that John had betrayed him, Ali went for his blood.

53) He clenched his fists in anger.

54) Flying into a rage, he slapped his sister’s face for ruining the things he loved most.

55) As Jim was naughty, Mrs Lim scolded him in a thunderous voice.

Good expressions for regret/guilt

1) He lived a life of self-condemnation ever since he lost his child.

2) He was guilt-ridden for not lending a helping hand to his friend.

3) He reproached himself for scolding the person he loves.

4) Feeling reprehensible for the tragedy, he vowed never to drive again.

5) He felt rather contrite for having deceived his friends.

6) It was an agonizing feeling of shame and guilt.

7) Feeling remorseful for the accident that happened, he kneeled down in front of the victim’s family to beg forgiveness.

8) All these years, the old man had carried his guilt like a gestating foetus in his mind.

9) Regret rushed through her veins, for her harsh words.

10) An unexpected wave of guilt swept over Jessica and she quickly suppressed it as soon as it came.

Good expressions for grief

1) No words could express the secret agony of my soul.

2) On hearing the terrible news, we were too numb to even cry.

3) She looked up at me with an inconsolable face.

4) Overcome by grief, the mother fainted when she saw her son’s body in the mortuary.

5) The wife was hysterical with grief when told of her husband’s death.

6) He would not show his grief but only stared glumly ahead.

7) Tears formed in my eyes. How my heart ached. I was crushed I could hardly breathe. My lungs burned as I tried desperately to cry and breathe normally.

8) My heart shattered. My thoughts whirled and I cried as hard as I could but it didn’t help.

9) I was so overcome with grief that there were times when my tears actually flowed down without my noticing it.

10) The nights grew lonely; darkness seemed to suck the day dry of its essence.

Good expressions for describing panic/disbelief/fear/anxious

1) Terror seized us all.

2) Panic started to engulf him.

3) She was at a loss for words.

4) He froze for a few seconds.

5) I rose shakily to my feet.

6) A rude shock awaited them.

7) A chill went down her spine.

8) The sight of the ghost sent shudders down her spine.

9) A loud voice boomed, sending shivers down her spine.

10) I was powerless and frantic with terror.

11) She screamed at the top of her voice.

12) She screamed her head off when she saw the corpse.

13) She jumped in fright when her mother suddenly shouted at her.

14) His face turned pale and his skin felt cold and clammy.

15) Overcome with fright, she lost her balance and fell down in a swoon.

16) She experienced a feeling of weakness before blacking out.

17) She stood rooted to the ground.

18) The shock robbed him of speech.

19) I was too afraid to utter a word.

20) A haze of fear surrounded him.

21) The timid girl shrank back in fear.

22) Gary stood motionless with horror.

23) She was panic-stricken when she realised she was trapped.

24) Frightened thoughts raced through his mind

25) They fled in panic when they saw the charging dog.

26) Our hair stood on end as a cry rang shrilly in the night.

27) Fighting back tears of fear, he stared motionless at the approaching danger.

28) With his sense of direction gone, he ran as fast as his legs could carry him.

29) Paralysed with fear, he was speechless.

30) The frightened child was screaming incoherently.

31) I woke sobbing, drenched in sweat and paralysed with fear.

32) I was roused by a sound which brought my heart to my mouth.

33) They huddled together and stared apprehensively into the darkness.

34) Terror gripped his whole being and perspiration started dripping from his forehead.

35) A chill ran swiftly up his back, causing the nape of his neck to tingle.

36) I was sick to my stomach at the horrendous sight.

37) Suddenly, he heard his children’s shouts from the garden, shrill with excitement.

38) Back in the room, Tom was simply quivering all over with excitement.

39) The crowd let out a stupendous cheer as the team scored a home goal.

40) Their pulses raced as they neared their final goal.

41) Henry’s skin tingled with excitement as he watched the hair-raising race.

42) They stared at him in blank amazement.

43) She rummaged frantically in her handbag for the revolver.

44) Ali crouched at the corner, shuddering in fear that the gangster might harm him.

45) Cold fear gripped me as I began to imagine all sorts of things that could happen to me in the haunted house.

46) I was about to turn the key when I heard something. I held my breath and put my ear against the door.

47) Susan returned home and told her mother in a shaky tone that she had been robbed in the lift.

48) Tom turned as white as a sheet when he was caught red-handed stealing Ali’s wallet.

49) I was shocked when my brother got home with a bloodstained face, and bruises all over his arms and legs.

50) He was scared stiff when he saw the ghost.

51) Her hair stood on end when she watched the horror movie.

52) The screams of terror gave way to dead silence in the haunted house.

53) Nervously, I opened the door and slowly tiptoed towards him.

54) My voice quivering, I felt goose pimples all over my body.

55) Trembling with fear, I handed them the keys

56) The piece of news hit us like a bombshell.

57) We were too dumbfounded for words

58) There was a lump in my throat when I saw the shadow.

59) Cold sweat trickled down my forehead when I woke up from a nightmare.

60) I tried to walk at a faster pace but my knees turned to jelly and I felt sick.

61) The boy tried to stifle his scream but was unsuccessful. He was caught!

62) My scream echoed eerily throughout the graveyard. I was paralysed with fear.

63) He was speechless with fright when he saw the ghost.

64) His heart pounded in his chest as he walked into the old mansion

65) I jumped with a start when I heard the noise.

66) The eerie room made my blood run cold

67) All the windows were closed and the figure looked dark and menacing.

68) It missed me by a few centimetres but it scared the life out of me.

69) Fear gripped me and I dared not move.

70) All sorts of frightening things crossed my mind.

71) My legs were heavy and frightening thoughts flooded my mind.

72) My heart throbbed with fear at what I had seen.

73) His senses were numbed when the crooks pointed a gun at him.

74) My bones were jittering and my heart leapt to my throat.

75) The killer was very instinctive, even his footsteps echoed danger.

76) His unearthly and awesome appearance struck terror in all.

77) He gave a blood-curdling scream when a vampire appeared in his room.

78) We trembled when John did death-defying stunts on the ledge of his tenth storey apartment.

79) This place gives me the creeps

80) I felt my blood chill in my veins.

81) For the first time I felt a sense of panic. “Oh my god!” I cried in disbelief.

82) With a heart thumping fiercely against her chest, she entered the wedding scene, cringing slightly at the bright shimmering lights.

83) Instead of àTom was lost, and he could find his mummy and daddy.

84) Tom stopped suddenly, as an ominous realization hit him to the point of crying. He looked around, looking for the two familiar faces that guarded him for as long as he could remember. Tom began calling out their names: Mummy, and Daddy.

85) No response came. Fear started to burn his heart and spread throughout his body like wildfire. Tom went to the corner and slumped down, unconscious of the tears that stained his cheeks. His cries of childish terror filled the corridor. He was lost.

86) A horrific sight greeted me.

87) She blinked her long-lashed eyes disbelief and gave a small gasp.

88) Extremely puzzled and agitated by the strange happenings, angela felt rather disturbed and upset.

Substitute words for nervous/anxious

a) Apprehensive

b) Timorous

e) Panic-stricken

f) Disquieted

g) Agitated

Substitute words for wonderment

a) Spellbound

b) Astonished

c) Astounded

e) Awe-struck

f) Fascinated

g) Impressed

h) Dumbfounded

i) Flabbergasted

j) Bewildered

Phrases to describe happiness

a) Heart skipped a beat

b) Heart was thumping wildly

c) Heart almost burst with happiness

d) Heart swelled with happiness

e) Jumped for joy

f) Shining eyes

g) Tears of joy welled up in her eyes

h) Her eyes lit up with joy

i) Her eyes sparkled with happiness

j) Shrieked with excitement

k) Mouth curled into a pleasant smile

l) I yelled a shout of joy as my prayers has been answered.

m) His eyes turned red and watery as he held her by her hand. A tear of great happiness and comfort trickled down his cheeks till it was dangling on his chin.

n) The delight on her face was mixed with surprise.

o) The old friends kept up a flow of happy chatter over afternoon tea.

p) They were in high spirits as they traveled, singing songs and telling jokes.

Expressions to describe weather

Good weather.

1) The sun shone brilliantly and the water in the pond glittered invitingly.

2) The sun filtered through the clouds, signalling the end of the rain.

3) A golden glow spread across the sky as the sun chased the dark clouds away.

4) The whole landscape was bathed in the warm glow of the rising sun.

5) Palm trees swayed gently in the breeze in the warm tropical sunshine.

6) Fresh air filled my lungs and I felt refreshed and exhilarated.

7) The breathtaking scenery captivated everyone.

8) The pond was bathed in a golden hue by the gentle sunlight and the water was as clear as crystal.

9) The sunlit clouds drifted across a clear blue sky.

10) The sun rose in a pool of crimson and gold, spilling light all over the land and the white clouds.

11) As the sun set, the few thin strips of clouds on the horizon turned shimmering gold.

12) It as a lovely walk, with the sun setting behind the mountain in a sea of liquid gold.

13) The sunset was glorious, all rosy and salmon pink.

14) The sky was filled with crimson and amber-tinted clouds.

15) It dawned bright and sunny, with a sky that was a deep blue, flecked with tiny white clouds.

16) The sun put its warm fingers into his tent opening and he felt the warmth on his sleeping bag.

Bad Weather

1) The sky above was full of tumultuous, dark and ragged clouds.

2) It was a cold grey afternoon with a dull sky and threatening rain.

3) Ominous black clouds covered the sky and released a sudden shower

4) Thunder rolled in from the west and rain began to fall.

5) The dark clouds grew ominous

6) Lightning and thunder raged with fury

7) The morning was cold and wet with a brisk wind sweeping the rain across the land.

8) A flash of forked lightning and a great clap of thunder came close upon each other.

9) Thunder roared and lightning flashed across the sky.

10) The howling of the wind frightened us all.

11) The wind was howling and soon there was a heavy downpour.

12) A curtain of rain beat down from the heavens.

13) Rain pelted down from skies.

14) The sky was most threatening. In no time, it was raining cats and dogs.

15) As I had neither a raincoat nor an umbrella, I was soon drenched to the skin.

16) The sky turned into a hideous grey as lightning struck and thunder rumbled.

17) It was raining cats and dogs.

18) He was soaked to the skin when he came back from the heavy downpour.

Expressions to describe Fire

1) The car burst into flames after colliding with a stationary lorry.

2) Within seconds, the room was engulfed in flames.

3) A minute later, a loud explosion rocked the building.

4) Screaming in pain, the occupants of the burning house came staggering out into the streets.

5) Screams and loud cries pierced the air.

6) Flames swept over them.

7) Everybody was fleeing frantically.

8) Panic-stricken occupants rushed out of the burning houses.

9) Horrible screams filled the air.

10) Cloaked in a wet blanket, I crouched as low as I could to avoid the toxic smoke.

11) The scene was chaotic.

12) The wail of the fire engine siren could be heard.

13) There was not a moment to lose. The firemen started putting out the fire as soon as they arrived.

14) Smoke and sparks were whirling in all directions.

15) Thick smoke filled the air, shrouding the surroundings in total darkness.

16) Columns of smoke were seen streaming out of the burning building.

17) Many corpses were charred beyond recognition.

18) I looked up and saw the whole sky blazing red because of the fire.

19) As the house burned, tongues of flames leapt into the dark sky.

20) It took the firemen two hours to put the fire completely under control.

Expressions to describe accidents

1) Puddles of water were everywhere, making the road slippery and dangerous.

2) The car was going at full speed.

3) The short-lived laughter turned into screams of horror when they saw a car coming straight at them.

4) The car was speeding down the road.

5) The reckless driver swerved from left to right, overtaking many vehicles.

6) He did not abide by the traffic rules.

7) The boy dashed across the road.

8) The driver tried to swerve to the right but he was too late.

9) I heard the screeching of the brakes.

10) The two cars collided with a deafening crash

11) With a deafening crash, the car slammed into a tree.

12) The car skidded and crashed through the railings.

13) The car was a total wreck.

14) The pedestrian was knocked down and became unconscious.

15) The victim lay in a pool of blood, groaning in pain.

16) The driver was bleeding profusely.

17) Patches of blood were splattered on the ground.

18) The front seat was splattered with blood.

19) The passengers were severely injured.

20) The victim was mutilated beyond recognition.

21) The wreckage burst into flames.

22) The traffic slowed down and motorists craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the accident.

23) There was a traffic jam. The vehicles were moving along bumper to bumper.

24) Some people simply stood there and shook their heads in disbelief.

25) An ambulance was summoned.

26) The accident victim was bleeding profusely.

27) In order to avoid a collision with an oncoming lorry, Father quickly swerved his car to the right. The old wagon ran a little way and crashed into the buffers of another.

Expressions to describe setting

a) The afternoon sun was glaring. The sky was clear, revealing a wide vast of pale blue.

b) She strolled to the back of the house by herself, and she saw the most beautiful backdrop. Trees were everywhere and sunlight was trying its best to penetrate the thick lush greenery. Right at the very middle of the trees was a small lake. Danielle leaned against the fence and admired the scene before her with awe.

c) It was a chilly night. The moon had appeared out of the horizon and the skies were filled with stars.

e) Lightning streaked across the sky, sending umbrella-toting people scampering to their homes.

d) My feet sunk into the sand as I walked along the shore. The familiar smell of salt water filled my nostrils. The weather was fine, and there were a couple of people around. I staggered to one of the remote corners of the beach. The seagulls screamed past me as I walked towards them. I picked a button-shaped pebble and tossed it into the water, creating a disturbance in the calm water. I looked up in the sky and then back down onto the sand. I shut my eyes tightly, but could not control my tears. They trickled down my cheeks. I felt that my life was meaningless.

e) The wonderful sunset at the horizon, the chilling sea breeze and the wonderful melodic sounds of the splashing waves as the tide started to climb in.

Words to replace "Said"

Describing People

Vocabulary to describe people

expressions to use in composition writing

Words to describe certain types of people

expressions to use in composition writing

Alternative words

expressions to use in composition writing

Hyphenated adjectives

expressions to use in composition writing

Other Phrases

1. I had to see a doctor as I was running a high temperature and had a runny nose too.

2. The labourers working in the hot sun were perspiring profusely.

3. The whole room was splattered with blood. It was indeed a gruesome murder.

4. We were relieved when Mother regained consciousness shortly after she had collapsed in the kitchen.

5. The jug was already filled to the brim with water.

6. Last evening, we had a sumptuous meal at the popular restaurant.

7. After a long and tiring bus ride, we finally arrived at our destination.

8. The wailing sirens could be heard in the distance and soon, the fire engines and ambulances were in sight.

9. In the dark of the night, I could hear the howling of the wind and the strange noises made by different animals.

10. The newly opened department store was packed with people yesterday.

11. From the top of Mount Faber, we can have a clear view of the harbour.

12. When I found no one at home and discovered that the whole place was in a mess, my imagination began to run wild.

13. Immediately I ran for my life, but the killer was hot on my heels.

14. When I was called up by the principal, I entered his office with mixed feelings.

15. I still treasure fond memories of my happy childhood days.

16. When all the excitement had died down, everyone returned to his seat and resumed work.

17. I caught sight of Bob running at top speed to the tuckshop once the bell had gone.

18. I don’t think you should keep the wallet. It should be returned to the rightful owner.

19. Although it was not a big house, it was very well-furnished.

20. It was only after much persuasion that Alice finally agreed to attend the party.

21. After spending an enjoyable day at my friend’s house, I thanked her family for their hospitality and bade them farewell.

22. I immediately gave him medical aid and tried to relieve him of his pain.

23. Please consider the matter carefully before coming to a decision.

24. Mother keep telling lazy Jack to study hard for the examination, but her advice fell on deaf ears.

25. I had forgotten to study for the test, but by the stroke of luck, I managed to pass it.

26. Hawkers selling the New Year delicacies had a roaring business before the festival.

27. With extremely good results scored by the pupils, ‘Prize-giving Day’ was indeed a red-letter day for the entire school.

28. He feasted his eyes on all the delicious food laid on the table.

29. The children had a whale of a time at the tea party.

30. The school is just a stone’s throw away from his house.

31. I couldn’t understand how my pen could disappear into thin air.

32. The poor beggar was so hungry that he simply gobbled up the food.

33. Mother nodded in approval of my suggestion.

34. Betty eyed the stranger with suspicion because he had been standing at the gate for more than an hour.

35. The girl with long silky hair and smooth complexion is my sister.

36. The little boy was numbed with cold as he begged in the streets on a winter night.

37. That old man with the wrinkled face and toothless grin is my grandfather.

38. I knew I was wrong, but my foolish pride held me back from apologizing to him.

39. I always like to hear the waves splashing because they soothe and calm my nerves.

40. From this window, I could have a picturesque view of the sea and the mountain.

41. I lost my balance, slipped and fell with a loud crash and a heavy thud.

42. Orville Wright climbed into the glider. The engine burst into life and the machine was soon in flight.

43. Mary had to tell a white lie to save her friend from further embarrassment.

44. The top pupil had all her answers at her fingertips.

45. The boy told a cock and bull story to explain his naughty act, hoping to escape punishment.

46. The throbbing headache that I have makes it difficult for me to concentrate on my work.

47. To participate in the competition or not is a nagging problem for most of our Primary Six pupils.

48. The disobedient son is a thorn in Mrs Li’s flesh.

49. Mrs Poh could not afford to buy a radio for she had been living from hand to mouth.

50. Wanli is a bull in a china shop. When he walks, he either knocks down something or brushes against somebody.

51. Is a pencil missing from your pencil-box? Why raise a storm in a tea cup?

52. That fat middle-aged lady waddled like a duck down the corridor.

53. They felt a surge of embarrassment going through their bodies.

54. Ali gave Ahmad a cold shoulder when he discovered that he had made an unfair remark about him.

55. His hatred for his rival grew deeper.

56. Like they say, every dog has its day.

57. She was a very poor old woman, but she managed to keep her cottage spick and span and she always had a vase of flowers on her table.

58. There was an old red cushion there, very worn and shabby.

59. It was a cold and frosty night.

60. His face turned red with embarrassment when everyone started teasing him.

61. His face turned as red as an apple when he realised that his zip was open.

62. There was a hive of activity during that day.

63. The minutes ticked by as I waited for my friend.

64. The peace and tranquillity of the park attracted many tourists.

65. He was green with jealousy when he saw his girlfriend talking to another man.

66. Then one day, tragedy struck. The volcano erupted and claimed thousands of lives.

67. They listened to him with utmost interest.

68. Then, before I could even flick an eyelash, they ran past me.

69. As he put the flute to his lips, the music was like the clear call of summer birds in the evening.

70. Soon, I realised that I had been walking in circles.

71. Without uttering a word, he stalked off.

72. I hit upon a bright idea on how to solve the difficult puzzle.

73. We craned our necks to catch a glimpse of the superstar.

74. People were bargaining at the top of their voices, in different languages, over the food price.

75. When she peered over the wall, she saw a snake.

Thinking Factory

Phrases to create suspense – P5 / P6 Composition Writing

In this series of tips on Composition writing, I will discuss ways to create suspense and create unexpected scenarios while keeping the composition realistic. I will begin with words and phrases for a composition with a Situation Outline that has been done during my lesson. Most of these phrases can be learnt and used again and again. Below that is the same composition taken from one of my students. The composition has been marked and only the grammatical errors have been corrected. This will show the reader how a student can use the helping phrases and add in his/her own points in the story. 

P5/P6 Helping Phrases to create suspense

Example I was walking home from school when a large, black suitcase caught my eye..

First Paragraph

  • Sun beat down on me mercilessly
  • Desperate for a cool shower and some lunch
  • Took the shortcut through the deserted, shady park
  • Something caught my eye
  • Curiosity got the better of me
  • Looked around but there was not  a soul in sight
  • I bent over and reached towards the suitcase when I felt  someone grab me from behind and shoved me in some bushes

Second paragraph

  • When I recovered from the shock, I looked around me
  • Several muscular men with stern faces
  • Was sure that I was being kidnapped and was about to  flee for my life  when
  • CID badge, explained to me that they were on a sting operation
  • The suitcase contained drugs
  • Lying in wait, to ambush the drug smuggling ring
  • My heart started to beat wildly in fear and excitement

Third Paragraph

  • A few minutes later, a group of men walked casually up to the suitcase
  • Unkempt, tattoos all over their bodies
  • Looked terrifying
  • A few of them had large parangs with them
  • I froze in fear
  • The leader of the gang picked up the suitcase
  • The detectives leapt out of the bushes, rushed forward, shouting  at them to stop and drop their weapons
  • Gangsters were not about  to give up the fight
  • Brandished their weapons  and a fierce struggle took place
  • Detectives overpowered them and handcuffed the men
  • Emerged from my hiding place, legs trembling
  • One of the detectives warned me not to tell many people about what had happened

Last Paragraph

  • That night I could not sleep
  • Learnt a valuable lesson
  • Crime does not pay
  • Mind my own business next time

Our Student’s Composition :         

Note to students

The model compositions in this blog are to help students generate ideas and to be used as a guide. Students are not allowed to copy the model compositions and then pass them off as their own work, especially in school. It is called plagiarism.


The sun shone mercilessly down. I trudged home from school, beads of perspiration trickling down my back. My school bag weighed down on my exhausted shoulders. I wanted to get home quickly to take a refreshing shower. I decided to take a shortcut home through the deserted and shady park. I walked along the pavement of the park, the trees shading me from the relentless sun.               

Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black, leather suitcase lying peacefully in one of the bushes. It was as if it was beckoning to me. Curiosity got the better of me and I surveyed the surroundings. After looking around and confirming there was not a soul in sight, I slowly crept towards the suitcase. My hand reached for the bag. Just as I was about to grab the bag, two burly hands roughly grabbed and pulled me behind some bushes. I was in a daze to see several muscular men with stern looks on their faces surrounding me. A million thoughts raced through my mind. Was I being kidnapped? Who were they? What was in the suitcase?               

Suddenly one of them pulled out a badge. These men were part of the CID! He then explained that they were on a sting operation and were waiting for the notorious gang, The Black Spiders, to come and collect the suitcase full of illegal drugs. They also explained that I could not leave until the operation was over. I was shocked and scared. My heart was hammering away in my chest. I stood stock still, filled with excitement and fear. They asked me to hide in a corner and I obeyed. After a few minutes, a group of men, some teenagers, casually approached the suitcase. They looked unkempt and terrifying. They had identical gang tattoos all over their bodies, depicting a spider. One of them, who had a pierced nose and dyed hair, stepped forward. He looked like the leader and suddenly I saw that they were all equipped with knives or parangs. I was paralysed in horror. I held my breath as the leader approached the suitcase and picked it up.               

The detectives leapt out of the hiding place and surrounded the gang. “Surrender and drop your weapons now!” one of the detectives commanded. Some of the teenagers took to their heels while the rest of the gang whipped out and brandished their lethal weapons. The gang was not about to give up and surrender without a fight. The fight commenced. I gasped in horror as I saw some detectives getting slashed. More officers and detectives came to the scene and soon overpowered the gang members. The gang members were forced to their knees and their weapons were confiscated. All of them were handcuffed and taken away. I clambered out of my hiding spot. I was sweating profusely and my hands were clammy. A detective gently warned me not to tell many people about this incident. I nodded and was sent home.               

That night I could not sleep. I had learned a valuable lesson that day and that crime does not pay. I should also mind my own business in the future!

Check the other articles from this section

  • 5 Situational Writing tips for P5 students
  • P5 Weighted Assessment Model Compo: Being Responsible
  • Tips on preparing Primary 5 students for their PSLE year in Term 4 and model composition being late
  • P5 Paper 1 Reminders for SA2 & Prelim composition model
  • Three ways to score for your P5 composition & a model on A Surprise
  • P5 English Composition Writing: 4 ways to develop the theme when planning in composition writing & A Punishment model
  • P5 Characterisation technique & Weighted Assessment Composition – A Competition
  • Tips on how to improve your P5 composition writing
  • Phrases to create suspense & Model Composition – Upper primary English
  • P5 Model Compositions & How we can make the most out of them
  • 3 simple writing techniques to make your P5 composition sparkle
  • P5 English Paper 1 Reminders & Model Composition – A new friend
  • P5 SA2 Composition Theme – An act of honesty
  • P5 English Composition Protagonist vs Antagonist
  • P5 English Composition Encouraging Someone
  • P5 English Composition An Act of Honesty
  • English Composition an Unwelcomed Guest P5
  • Compiled List of SA1 Composition Topics 2016
  • 2016 List of SA2 Composition Topics P5
  • Primary 5 Composition A Dangerous Situation
  • Comparison of P5 and P6 Composition Writing & How we can help to bridge that gap
  • Primary 5 Composition An Adventure & descriptive writing
  • How to teach Composition Writing?
  • P5 / P6 Composition model A good deed
  • Narrative Writing P5 / P6
  • How to plan a composition plot? P5
  • Words and Phrases for different writing scenarios
  • Creative writing & the use of Idioms
  • English Composition An Argument P5 & P6
  • PSLE English Composition model on the theme of ‘A Mishap’
  • Primary 5 Composition Theme A Fun Day
  • Primary 5 Composition Theme Cooking
  • English composition Happiness model
  • Compositions Settings
  • P5 English Composition model on the theme of ‘A wish that was fulfilled’
  • 4 tips to manage composition themes well – P5
  • Primary 5 English Comprehension Open-ended
  • P5 English Composition A Bad Decision
  • P5 Composition A Celebration Gone Wrong
  • P5 English Composition : How to score for Paper 1 and model on Trusting Someone

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  • Mar 13, 2022

Good phrases for primary school composition - 15 phrases to describe happiness

expressions to use in composition writing

This blog shares 15 good phrases to describe happiness for primary school composition writing. Good phrases are essential to score higher marks for language. We always motivate our students to memorise a few key phrases before an examination. We create interactive quizzes to continuously quiz our students to help them memorise key phrases. By gamifying learning material, we noticed students learn better. Tying small rewards to learning milestones really pushes them to take interest. We continuously post useful phrases for primary school compositions. Check this link to learn key phrases for fear -

Let's jump right in! Here are 15 good phrases to describe happiness for primary school composition writing. These phrases are suitable for Primary 4, 5 and 6 students.

Did you like the technique above? We cover a lot more in our classes.

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We have come to the end of the blog. We hope these blog posts are useful. We cover plenty more during our classes. We offer both English Tuition and Creative Writing classes for both primary and secondary schools.

expressions to use in composition writing

Our quizzes cover many aspects of creative writing. They are a great way to prepare for a composition exam. Here is a link to that!

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Here is a list of idioms to describe happiness

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Good phrases for Essay/Composition

Phrases and guidelines on writing descriptive essays.

Friday, March 16, 2018


  • The man had tanned wrinkled skin, and a blatant scar trekked across his right cheeks, amplifying his rugged features. 
  • The teenager had taut sinewy arms as a result of his regular gym sessions, enhancing his winsome looks. 
  • The elderly struggled to walk up the staircase as a result of his gaunt physique. 
  • The disheveled man sported a head of unkempt hair and a dirty pair of trousers, as he loitered the streets with a cigarette balanced on his thin lips. 
  • Decked up in professional suit and tie, John smiled brightly at his interviewers, revealing his dimples.
  • Josh boasted his wealth by being decked up in flashy designer clothing and stylish hairdo.
  • The chairman exuded an aura of authority as he pursed his thin lips and demanded an answer from his employee in a throaty voice. 
  • Amy's heart-shaped face is framed by her voluminous silky tresses, making heads turn as she sashayed down the runway with her long evening gown. 
  • Age appeared to have caught up with Tricia, as her once flawless skin is now wrinkled and dotted with age spots. Despite that, she still maintained her classy smile and elegant demeanor, drawing attention from everyone at the event. 
  • The elderly women walked with a limp, wheezing repeatedly, enhancing her frailness. 
  • Her brown almond-shaped eyes were complimented by her hazel brown hair, making her look alluring and mysterious. 
  • Tendrils of curly hair that had been highlighted a bright crimson red escaped from the confines of her cap and framed her oval-shaped face like a halo. 
  • Dressed in a simple blue dress and adorned with a pair of pear earrings, Emily looked like a refined young lady. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Act of mischief.

  • Terror gripped his whole being as the bullies approached him with their signature roguish smirks.
  • On hearing the thundering footsteps of approaching menace, the poor boy broke into a brisk walk.
  • The notorious bullies cornered the poor boy at a secluded spot.
  • The threatening glares of the bully caused the girl to break out in cold sweat. 
  • The discipline master unleashed a terse lecture at the bullies' obnoxious behavior. 
  • With arms crossed in front of his barrel chest, the man demanded in a nasal whine that belied his built.
  • My heartbeat quickened as I stepped foot in the deserted school building, where the notorious boys are waiting for me.
  • The obnoxious bullies snickered rambunctiously as they leered at the poor boy who fell victim to their mischief. 
  • Traces of the misdemeanor were evidently visible in the classroom walls that were filled with unsightly graffiti. 
  • The discipline master interrogated the class succinctly in a grave tone but none of the culprits owned up, 
  • The two boys were wielding the brushes like swords, slashing them against the originally white-washed wall.
  • Throwing all caution to the wind, the boy started drawing haphazardly across the walls.
  • The mischievous kids began vandalizing the seats on the bus haughtily with penknives.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Crime ( theft, burglar, robbery etc. ).

  • The robbers brandished their weapons and disfigured he entire luxurious interior of the jewellery shop. 
  • With a deadly glint in his eye, he motioned the victims to keep quiet.
  • The suspicious looking man drew a menacing knife from under his cloak, threatening his startled victim.
  • The entire bank fell into a nerve-wrecking silence after the robber fired a series of shots with his gun. 
  • Bullet whizzed over our heads. 
  • Informations tumbled out of our mouth incoherently as we reported the crime to the police. 
  • The police were in hot pursuit of the fleeing robber. In his panic, the robber ran helter-skelter as he headed to the nearest exit. This proved to be a costly mistake for him as the police officers gave chase like a group of Olympic athletes. In no time, they had caught up with him and immediately cornered him to one side. 
  • The burglar sensed that he was not alone. He spun around and saw me. He hurriedly put down the vase and grabbed a nearby baseball bat, lunging at me with it. Fortunately, I managed to dodge the attack. I let my heavy haversack which I was carrying off my shoulders onto my hands I swung it with all my might and slammed it into the burglar's stomach. He staggered backwards and collapsed with a loud "thud" in a heap on the floor. 
  • Out of the blue, I noticed a burly, suspicious stranger pacing about in  remote corner of the shop. At first, I assumed that he was a little weird so I did not pay much attention to him, not until a gleaming sharp knife appeared in his firm hand. I gasped. To my horror, he slowly advanced towards me, as if he might attempt to launch his attack at any moment I clutched my chest as a surge of intense fear engulfed me 
  • Two masked robbers, armed with daggers, entered the jewellery shop stealthily in the middle of the night. Never did they expect that the police had already surrounded the building. They smashed the glass displays and stuffed the glittering jewellery into a bag Just as they were about to make their escape, the whole place was swarmed with policemen. Beads of perspiration trickled down their foreheads as the panic-stricken robbers fled.
  • Bile rose in the back of my throat as the robber held me at knife point. My heart thumped furiously against my ribs and a loud buzzing sound vibrated in my eardrums. The masked robber smiled with amusement at my apparent fear. 
  • The two men wrestled and rolled on the floor engaged in a precarious struggle. The valiant passer-by held the robber's hand in a vice-like grip, preventing him from using the knife. After some twisting, he managed to unarm the robber. 
  • As I approached my apartment, I heard sounds around the corner of my neighbour's apartment. I proceeded slowly and quietly towards the their apartment, and was surprised to see the main door ajar. Wild thoughts raced through my mind. I gingerly swung open the door and saw that the living room was in disarray. Drawers were ransacked, furnitures were toppled over. What confirmed my suspicion was the sinister looking stranger standing in the middle of the room. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Sobbed 
  • Ordered 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thursday, october 14, 2010, sing to the dawn( good phrases), thursday, october 7, 2010, blackout and chaos, chasing after a snatch thief and robbery, wednesday, october 6, 2010, writing a good composition, model composition: fire, how to express feelings......, monday, september 13, 2010.


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