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The Significance of Assertive Speech Acts in Effective Communication

Have you ever considered why people view things differently? How do we differentiate between what is factual and what is not? Although seemingly unrelated to the English language, the way we communicate greatly impacts how we express our beliefs. In this explanation, we will delve into the use of assertive speech acts and their role in successful communication. From its definition to various examples, let's explore the power of assertiveness in communication.

What is a Speech Act?

A speech act is a statement made with the purpose of communicating. Every time we speak, we are also performing an action. These are known as illocutionary acts and can be categorized into five types: assertive, directive, commissive, expressive, and declarative.

The Meaning of Assertive Speech Acts

An assertive speech act, also referred to as assertiveness, is a statement in which the speaker confidently expresses their opinion or a fact. It is a way of communicating without hesitation or uncertainty.

Behaviors Associated with Assertiveness

When someone displays assertive behavior, it means they are being direct and truthful in their communication. Assertiveness can be conveyed verbally or through non-verbal cues, such as confident body language, facial expressions, and decisive actions.

Techniques of Assertive Communication

There are various ways to assert oneself in communication. Some examples include stating, suggesting, boasting, complaining, claiming, reporting, concluding, believing, and explaining. By using assertive techniques, people can effectively communicate their ideas and beliefs.

Examples of Assertiveness in Communication


Asserting is confidently stating something without hesitation. It can be either positive or negative in nature.

  • I spent hours straightening my hair today.
  • This song is definitely one of my all-time favorites.
  • I have always disliked wearing high heels.


Stating means making a clear declaration of something that is either true or false. Whether proof is needed depends on the subject and the knowledge the speaker and listener share.

In philosophical terms, statements can be divided into two types: analytic and synthetic.

Analytic statements are those that are inherently true or false based on the definition of words used. No proof is required as the truth is self-explanatory in the subject of the sentence.

  • All squares have four sides.
  • Cats are animals.
  • Earth is a planet.

Synthetic statements, on the other hand, require proof as the truth is not evident in the meaning of words used, but rather through personal experiences. Not everyone may share the same knowledge or experiences with certain events.

  • It rains a lot in Seattle.
  • My kitchen walls are grey.
  • There is a bird in the tree.


When suggesting something, the speaker is proposing an idea for the listener to consider. It does not explicitly state anything, leaving room for the listener to agree or disagree.

  • That other hat may fit you better.
  • The ending of this chapter suggests that the book will not have a happy ending.
  • If I could make a suggestion, I think we should work together as we are a good team.


Boasting refers to showing off an accomplishment or ability. It is a way for the speaker to feel good about themselves and may also be used to compare themselves to others.

  • I make the best cupcakes.
  • I won the art competition and I am proud of myself.
  • I beat Jess at tennis.


Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance with someone or something. Proof may not always be necessary to support a complaint.

  • I had an awful day.
  • Kevin was being really loud on the bus, which was so annoying.
  • The steak is not cooked enough.


Claiming is stating that something is true without solid evidence or the ability to prove it as a fact. It can be used in various ways, such as claiming to have been bitten by a spider, challenging the belief that all women are sensitive, or constantly claiming to not have enough money.

Understanding Assertive Language

Assertive language involves confidently stating one's thoughts and beliefs, relying on evidence and proof when necessary.

The Role of Reporting

Reporting is the act of documenting and announcing something that has been observed or experienced. This can range from reporting a crime to simply reporting on a cat stuck in a tree.

The Significance of Concluding

Concluding involves reaching a deduction about something based on significant evidence or proof. This could mean coming to a satisfying end of a movie or determining that one's father is taller than another person's father.

The Power of Believing

Believing is the act of having an opinion about something without concrete evidence. This can include believing in someone's abilities or having a belief in the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Belief in a higher power, like God, is a personal choice that varies among individuals.

Explanation for Clarity

Explaining involves describing something in detail using relevant facts to make it clearer to the listener. This could mean elaborating on a person's job status or explaining why one is upset.

Overall, assertive language is used in various situations, from stating facts and suggestions to expressing complaints and beliefs.

The Key Elements of Assertive Language

When using assertive language, it is essential to confidently state something one believes to be true. This can involve providing evidence and ending the statement with a full stop.

Some examples of assertive language include asserting, stating, suggesting, boasting, complaining, claiming, reporting, concluding, believing, and explaining.

Tips for Writing Assertive Statements

To write an assertive statement, it is important to express your thoughts directly and confidently. Stand up for your beliefs and feelings, and don't be afraid to use evidence to support your claims.

Understanding Assertions

An assertion is a confident statement of truth or belief. It is a way to communicate one's thoughts and opinions with conviction.

The Meaning of Being Assertive

When something is assertive, it is delivered with confidence and possibly force. It is a way of expressing oneself in a direct and honest manner.

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