Verbal and non-verbal communication (and other types of communication)

Communication can vary depending on how the information is transmitted and how it is received by the receiver. According to this, communication can be classified into two large groups: verbal i non verbal.

The verbal communication is the one where the message is verbalized, so the is used verbal language, the words, either orally or in writing. A greeting card or a WhatsApp audio, they are examples of verbal communication.

While the non-verbal communication is that which occurs without the use of words, gestures, glances, body movements and other expressions of the non-verbal language. A wink or crossing the arms are examples of non-verbal communication.

Many times, these two types of communication are used simultaneously when transmitting a message, forming a mixed communication. This can be seen in film, comics and commercials, to name just a few examples.

verbal communication Non-verbal communication
definition Communication that uses verbal language in the process of transmitting information between sender and receiver. It does not use words to convey information from sender to receiver.
type Oral and written. Paralinguistics, kinesics and proxemics
Senses used Hearing and sight Hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste.
examples Conversations, interviews, books, letters, emails, among others. Gestures, looks, postures, facial expressions, among others.

What is verbal communication?

It is the process by which two or more people interact by sharing information through the word.

Verbal communication is often complemented by non-verbal communication to reinforce the message and give a clearer idea of ​​what is meant. Although sometimes these two types of communication can contradict each other during the transmission of the message.

Verbal communication involves using words to construct sentences that convey thoughts. These words can be issued orally or through writing.

Type of verbal communication

Oral communication

It is the one where they are used spoken words or sounds are emitted verbally. Intonation and vocalization play a fundamental role in this type of communication so that the message effectively arrives and can be interpreted by the receiver.

Throughout history, oral communication has been developed with the origin of languages ​​and the linguistic characteristics of each population.

Examples of oral communication they would be a conversation between colleagues, a cry of surprise or a telephone conversation. Here’s an example of a phone conversation:

-Who is?

– Hello, Beatriu. I’m Ruben How are you?

-Hello, Ruben. How long without hearing from you! Look, you took me on vacation. And you? What is your life?

– What luck, on vacation! Me well, why will I be bad? Yeah, yeah I wanted to let you know that I’ll be in town for the next two weeks, just in case we can have a coffee.

-Great! You don’t know how excited I am to see you. I’ll call you next week and we’ll specify the day and time. You think?

– Perfect, Beatriu. So let’s talk. A kiss!

– Bye, Ruben. A hug!

Written communication

It is the one that is realized through written codes. Unlike oral communication, written communication can endure over time. This means that interaction with the receiver does not occur immediately.

Written communication has developed over time with the creation of new media, and will continue to evolve as science and technology continue to create new channels of communication.

Examples of written communication would be hieroglyphs, letters, emails or chats. This would be an example email:

Dear customer

We are contacting you to inform you that the receipt corresponding to the month of October is pending payment. We remind you that you have 30 working days, starting today, to pay the fee.

If the amount is not paid within the set period, the service will be cancelled.

For any clarification, do not hesitate to contact our customer service, at this email address or at 7053456021.

Receive a warm greeting.

See also:

What is non-verbal communication?

Non-verbal communication is that which transmits messages using non-linguistic signs. It is the oldest type of communication, as it was the way people communicated when language did not exist.

Non-verbal messages can be conveyed in ways unconscious, becoming an ambiguous communication, since it is not always possible to control what is transmitted with the personal image or bodily expressions. Similarly, many times the receiver does not interpret these messages in the correct way.

Nonverbal communication generally seeks strengthen the message that is transmitted verbally. Thus, the receiver can do a better decoding of the message.

Type of non-verbal communication


Although it is part of non-verbal communication, paralanguage is closely linked to verbal communication. Indicate emotions and feelings while speaking by emitting tones, silences, and sounds that indicate fear, surprise, interest, or disinterest, among others.

The volume of the voice, the tone used, the speed at which you speak, the level of perfection in pronunciation, are aspects contemplated by paralinguistics.


Someone is speaking very quickly, with a high pitch, we assume that this person is angry or angry.

A person who speaks slowly, with an almost imperceptible tone of voice and many silences between sentences, we could interpret as being sad, meditative or tired.


It is a discipline that deals with body language, the movements we can make with a specific part, a limb or with the whole body. We will use the above examples to illustrate this part of non-verbal communication.


The angry person, who speaks quickly and in a high-pitched voice, also moves his hands violently, moves from side to side, and his posture leans forward.

The individual who looks sad, has slumped shoulders and bowed head looking down at the ground. The corners of her lips are slightly drooping, her eyes are irritated and her nose is a little pinched.


It studies the relationship of spatial proximity and the attitude that exists between the interlocutors in a communicative act. Let’s see how proxemics manifests itself in the examples we give.


The distance between the angry person and their interlocutor is short and almost invasive. As the speech stirs, the faces are closer.

The sad subject, on the other hand, stays away from his listener, barely directing his gaze, as if he wants to protect himself from any approach. Vulnerability is evident in his attitude.

Other types of communication


It is carried out when the receiver does not also act as a sender. For example: on traffic signs or advertisements.


It occurs when the sender can also become a receiver. This happens in any conversation between two people.


This includes messages that are transmitted through traditional audiovisual media such as cinema, radio and television.


This type of written communication includes newspapers, magazines, brochures, posters, leaflets, among others.


Digital communication is possible thanks to technology, this includes e-mails, social networks such as Facebook or Instagram, and other platforms that allow the mass distribution of information such as Youtube, Podcast or Blogspot.

Currently, traditional media, both audiovisual and written, also have a digital presence.

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