How to Properly Use The Word “Verbatim” In A Sentence

how to properly use the word verbatim in a sentence

When we think of using the word “verbatim,” we have to think about precision. We are going to talk about the meaning of this word and, more importantly, how to use this word in a sentence.

We use verbatim when referring to a text or statement that has been copied exactly as it was or something that was transcribed exactly in its original form. So, if we were to use this word in a sentence, it would be to refer to how something was a reliable, exact copy of something else. 

It’s possible that the first time you heard the word “verbatim” was on one of the sides of a compact disk (CD). After that, the one connection you had to the word every time you would see was the brand of CDs. Later on, I learned there is more to the meaning and the use of the word “verbatim.”

verbatim stack of CDs

Origin of The Word “Verbatim”

The first time it was ever used outside its original Latin phrase was in the year 1613. The original phrase was “verbatim ac litteratim” this translates to “word for word,” and fortunately, it means precisely that. If you were to break down the word “verbatim,” you can notice the first four letters and the root of the word are the same as the word “verb,” which originates from “verbum,” another Latin word.

Verbatim is commonly used as an adjective in the family of words, but it can sometimes be used as an adverb. It will depend on the topic and focus of the sentence you are making.

In Which Context Can The Word “Verbatim” be found?

When we think about transcripts, for example, verbatim comes to mind. After all, a transcript, when used in this context, is usually an exact record that has been written from a recording or spoken word.

In a trial, there is usually a clerk that sits by the judge; this person is called Court Reporter. This person’s duty is to transcribe everything said in that trial verbatim, word by word. The only corrections ever made are those requested to be removed from the record by the judge.


To help the process of transcribing, every person present in a trial is asked to speak clearly and slowly, so the Court Reporter’s job is done accurately.

The fidelity and reliability of that document and the delicate proceeding that is to go on trial must be documented without room for interpretation. So, what was said, must be recorded in detail without alterations of any sort from the source. That is precisely where the importance of verbatim documentation lies.

When we think about how the human memory works and how certain people are capable of recording in their brains every detail ever seen or heard by them, we are talking about a verbatim memory, also known as a photographic memory.

It must be quite an extraordinary gift and burden to see something and never forget it. To have every detail photographed forever, and whenever you needed to be able to remember exactly what was said, by whom and how. It sure would be a great skill to have if you were going to be tested for university or any other formal education exam.

Also, when we are signing documents for employment, study, or marriage, some parts of the form might require our signature to be verbatim, as shown in our personal identification documents. The initials and other portions of information found in these forms need to be verbatim on every one of their repetitions too.

When Should We Use Verbatim Information And When Not To

There is so much information available nowadays. Some people even say that everything has been said, and when it comes to academic writing, what has been said before must be acknowledged appropriately. It must also be recognized with verbatim accuracy in mind, and usually, it is done by using textual quotes and citations.

Suppose you ever copy a part of someone else’s work because it is relevant to your own writing or research and have made a verbatim copy of that text but failed to use the appropriate quotation marks or citation. In that case, you plagiarize content that does not belong to you. This is considered to be inadequate academic etiquette, and it could have negative repercussions for the person doing it, depending on the scale and type of information copied.

Now, when using a verbatim copy of someone’s work, the correct thing to do is to add quotation marks at the beginning and end of that text taken from someone’s work. In addition to that, depending on the format of the quotes being used, the last name and date of publication are added in text or in a parenthesis as well.

When done properly, using verbatim information for your own work is correct and even necessary, but if you fail to acknowledge this was not your work, that is not correct.

bubble with word verbatim

There is one form of writing where verbatim information, quotations and that sort of rigid requirement are not needed; that is creative writing. In creative writing, the purpose is to evoke the reader’s emotion and esthetic pleasure. Therefore accuracy in the text is not what is the mind of the creator.

So, if we need verbatim accuracy for academic writing, we are completely freed from any form of a verifiable copy when we write creatively.

How Do We Use The Word “Verbatim” In A Sentence (Examples)

If you are referring to something said or written precisely as it was elsewhere, word for word, or something that happened just as it happened before, then the word verbatim is a direct and summarized way to express the same idea with fewer words.

Here is a list of examples of how to use verbatim in a sentence:

  1. Everything said by the victim was written verbatim on the police report.
  2. The minute for today’s meeting must reflect the vote’s outcome correctly, so make sure all the comments are found verbatim on the record.
  3. Verbatim is one of the largest Digital Media Storage solutions companies in the world.
  4. The Ph.D. student wrote a dissertation that was a verbatim copy of the texts he used for his research.
  5. My friend has a photographic memory. Whenever I can’t recall something we have seen, I ask her, and she can go over every detail verbatim.
  6. Proper journalism requires accuracy, so everything said in interviews must be portrayed verbatim in the articles.
  7. The transcripts from today’s audience were as verbatim as they should be.
  8. It is important that speeches are documented verbatim, but when they are read, ideally sounding conversational and using voice inflection is best to convey the message.
  9. They were amazed at the verbatim recreation of the events.
  10. When the editor completed the review, everything remained verbatim, no edits were done.
  11. Everything inside the quotes is verbatim from the reference texts.
  12. The stenographer came prepared and proceeded to take down everything verbatim.
  13. It took a long time, but the transcript was a verbatim copy of the recording.
  14. The speech of the lecturer was given at such speed; it was difficult to follow, and taking verbatim notes was a nearly impossible task.
  15. Is it that important to record the interview verbatim?
  16. Do you know how to take down verbatim notes?
  17. If you are so good at telling stories, I don’t understand why sticking to verbatim facts is so difficult.
  18. The parliamentary reports are a verbatim summary of every assembly meeting.
  19. I didn’t mean to upset you, but this is what was said, verbatim.
  20. She was in a school play like ten years ago, and she still recalls all her lines verbatim, as if it was yesterday.

Something Interesting That You May Not Know Involving The Word “Verbatim”

Did you know that there is a form of theater called Verbatim Theater? It is also known as Documentary Theater. It consists of using the words said by people in real-life events or documentaries and using this to reenact real stories about real people.

The crucial part of this type of theater is that the words used by the actors are a precise copy, or as accurate as allowed from the original event and subjects being replayed.

exactly letters in wooden blocks

This form of verbatim theater has been known by other less familiar names, but these all refer to the same type of acting. For example, it has been called the theater of facts, autobiographical theater, and ethnodrama. The accuracy of representation makes this form of theater quite impressive because creative liberties are not used since everything acted is done without altering the facts.


There is more to the word “verbatim” than you would have thought! It is the perfect choice when trying to express the accuracy of the information in a brief yet direct way. It can be found in technology products as a branding technique to infer the quality of the product, and it is widely used in legal matters. We know that in a court of law, verbatim records are of the utmost importance.

We have also learned where in the sentence, we are to use it, either as an adjective to assign a quality or define or as an adverb if it is used in place of a noun. With this information about the word “verbatim,” you are now in a position of insight, so when you write or if you work in transcription, you have a word that can perfectly describe a relevant aspect to work being done.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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