"She doesn't eat meat. I think she's a ..." he trailed off.

"Vegetarian?" I [...].

The only word I could think of is interjected. But I think it's wrong, because it implies interruption, while the example implies addition.

What's a more appropriate word?

  • 2
    I doubt there's a normal word specifically meaning to complete another person's [unfinished] sentence. Given the question mark, I'd say suggested could work, but I bet in practice a lot of writers would simply go with I finished the thought or similar. Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 15:36
  • 2
    This is usually called finishing another's sentence. I don't know of a single word.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 15:37
  • Many if not most written instances of supplied hesitantly match OP's context. But I'm voting to close as Primarily Opinion-based. Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 16:09
  • 2
    What a fantastic question. Jano, do you mean when someone INTERRUPTS and FINISHES YOUR SENTENCES FOR YOU ("like your Grandma always does!"). Or do you mean when I say something, an GET STUCK (can't think of the word), and you come in and finish the sentence for me?? The two are different.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 16:48
  • 1
    @JoeBlow - This is a discussion that has now become chat. Let's focus on the question. Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 0:02

3 Answers 3


"She doesn't eat meat. I think she's a ..." he trailed off.

"Vegetarian?" I volunteered.


1.2 [reporting verb] Say or suggest something without being asked: [with object]: ‘it never paid to volunteer information’

[with direct speech]: ‘‘Her name’s Louise,’ Christina volunteered’

Oxford Dictionaries

  • 2
    In the very specific example given, Jano, I would use "I continued".
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 16:49
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    @JoeBlow - That doesn't work in my opinion. If you continue then you carry on where you left off. You do not continue something that someone else has spoken. Example: He left his peas on the plate so I continued eating them", It just doesn't' work. Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 17:21
  • 1
    It's a tough one. If you "continue" something it means you continue it: indeed I can be continuing my work, your work, society's work .. or whatever. "Who will continue this?" "I will!" {or more likely ... "uh, hopefully someone else will."} Hence, I'm saying: " If you continue then you carry on where you left off." ... I disagree, continue means continue. But I fully appreciate that in that context, you'd perhaps more likely say "I continued for her." Indeed, that would be the common solution here. But IMO Churchill would just write "I continued"...continued means continued.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 17:24
  • 2
    I like "volunteered". Another good one that could work in this specific example is "ventured" which isn't exactly what the asker requested.
    – Andrey
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 20:56
  • Maybe you should make that an answer. 'ventured' goes well with the question mark. Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 8:08

Note: I do not find this answer better than the previous, I just want to make an extended comment with some formatting.


  1. to place, put, or set.
  2. to lay down or assume as a fact or principle; postulate.

"Vegetarian?" I posited.

I like this verb because you use both meanings. The connotation can be "fill in the blank," at least to me.

But most examples online are seemingly drawn from people talking about the scientific method—only postulating, not placing—so someone tell me how idiomatic this is.


IMO a common solution here is

"She doesn't eat meat. I think she's a ..." he trailed off.
"Vegetarian?" I continued for her.


"She doesn't eat meat. I think she's a ..." he trailed off.
"Vegetarian?" I finished the sentence.

Note that for me, "he trailed off" doesn't really work like that.


"She doesn't eat meat. I think she's a ..." he said, trailing off.
"... vegetarian?" I picked up.

Just to be clear, "volunteered" (see other answer) is perfect here, if that's the feel you want. (If you want "brusquely added" ... say that. If you want "quickly completed" ... say that. if you want "hesitatingly suggested" ... say that.)

{Don't forget ... writing is about actions. The words are nothing, zero. It's like drawing is about looking. The pencil marks are nothing, zero.}

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