Build your English vocabulary: 10 alternative words for “thing”
The word thing is ubiquitous, i.e. it’s everywhere. A good thing, a bad thing, many things, something, anything, everything; we use the word a lot.
And the reason thing is such a common word? Well, it’s a short and quick substitute that we can easily insert into a sentence when we’re unable to think of—or don’t know—the word we need.
So how can we better express ourselves by replacing thing with a more accurate or descriptive word?
Here are ten alternatives we can use:
1. a detail
He told us all the details of his life.
(He told us everything.)
2. a feature
The new Galaxy smartphone has many unique features.
(It has many unique things, many functions.)
3. an item
There are twenty items on the shopping list.
(There are twenty things on the list.)
4. an issue
There are many controversial issues surrounding the building of the shopping centre.
(There are many controversial things about the construction.)
5. a matter
This is very serious – it’s a matter for the police.
(It’s something we should inform the police about.)
6. a point
The minister made some good points during his speech.
(He said some valid and interesting things.)
7. a subject
The book covers many subjects.
(It contains many different things.)
8. a topic
The journalist writes about a wide range of topics.
(He writes about different things.)
9. a trait
Kindness and generosity are good traits.
(They are good things in a person’s character.)
10. an attribute
Stamina is a necessary attribute for a long-distance runner.
(Stamina is an essential thing to have.)