Imagine a shed crammed with junk. Suddenly a chair leg breaks maybe and everything comes crashing down. Can I describe the sound of that as a crash or is there a better word?

From a dictionary - a sudden loud noise as of something breaking or hitting another object.

This is the context:

Jenny was enjoying a quiet time when suddenly a loud crash sounded. She immediately looked towards the shed.

Also, the sound would probably be more than just one crash, maybe several over a few seconds, in that case is there a word I could add before crash that might tell that?

  • 4
    Crashes do not 'sound'. Crash is a sound. Jenny heard a crash. Jenny heard crashing sounds from the shed.
    – EllieK
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 20:03
  • 3
    @EllieK: one definition of "sound" as a verb is to produce noise, often but not exclusively used with instruments. For example, "the trumpet sounded". See also, definition 3 here: oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/sound_2.
    – sharur
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 20:05
  • 5
    @sharur Correct. So would you say, "A scream sounded from next door"? Only if you wanted to sound like you were learning English. A scream, unlike a trumpet but like a crash, is a noise. Noises don't make sound, they are sound.
    – EllieK
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 20:50
  • 1
    Except when crash means collision, as it more typically does. A trumpet causes a sound, a collision causes a sound. You can see the difference between "the scream came from over there" and "the crash was over there". A crash, like a trumpet but not like a scream, is a source with location. Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 14:00
  • @GaryBotnovcan Correct. Except crash does not mean collision in this case. Crash means a sound and as a result it cannot sound. It is a sound, which is what I said. The assumption that crash more often means collision is mere conjecture on your part. NGrams won't help.
    – EllieK
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 14:03

4 Answers 4


"Crash" is a good choice to describe the sound Jenny heard. Because "crash" describes a sound that is sudden and loud, it is an excellent word to follow a sentence describing Jenny's quiet time. I would phrase the sentence like this "Jenny was enjoying some quiet time when she suddenly heard a loud crash. Immediately, she looked towards the shed." If you want to describe a series of several crashes, you could say something like "Jenny was enjoying some quiet time when she suddenly heard a series of loud crashes. Immediately, she looked towards the shed."


While "crash" is a perfectly suitable word, it is an awkward use of the word "sounded" to say "a loud crash sounded". We usually don't end sentences with verbs; sentences are stronger and more direct when the verb is near the beginning, and before the verb's "object" or the word the verb refers to (in this case the word "crash" is the object of the verb "sounded").

Thus it would be more direct to simply say "when she heard (verb) a loud crash", or, to answer your other question, "when she heard a loud series of crashes". Notice how the verb comes before the word it is referring to ("heard" before "crash").

Additionally, you can drop the words "suddenly" and "immediately"; the timing of the events is clear because you're using present tense, making these words unnecessary. My version of your sentence would read like this:

Jenny was enjoying a moment of quiet when she heard a loud crash. She looked towards the shed.


"Crash" is an acceptable word to describe the sound; if you wanted to specify the multiple impacts, you could also say "a series of crashes", but it would be acceptable to use the singular form, considering them as part of a single auditory event; E.g. "She heard the sound of footsteps outside." or "He could hear the sound of several voices."


"Crash" works because in this case: "Jenny went to the shed", meaning she was shocked or the noise was loud. But other words work too.

You can use "thud" and "bang" too.

A word that you could add before crash would probably be "deafening". "Deafening crash" would be able to describe the intensity of the sound. "deafening" is an adjective, so in this case, it is describing the noun "crash". You can also use deafening for "thud" and "bang" too.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .