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I noticed that every shout has place for 3 words in the menu. What's confusing me is that I found a shout which already has all of the 3 words listed, but greyed out so I can learn them, while others (for example the fire damage shout) only have one word listed and greyed out.

Are there really 3 words to any shout?

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When you said 3 shouts, did you mean 3 words? – Tom Wijsman Nov 12 '11 at 13:29
Yes, thank you. Correcting it now. – heishe Nov 12 '11 at 14:51
up vote 17 down vote accepted

Yes, all shouts involve 3 words.

Here is releveant information on the words:

You can learn thu'um words even if you dont have dragon souls.
However dragonsouls are needed to activate a shout word.

Wikia - Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Word Wall

The player can choose to only vocalize part of a dragon shout which will lower the recharge time of the shout but cause the shout to be weaker. In an interview Todd Howard said every shout has 3 words and there is 1 word per word wall.

Wikia - Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragon Shouts

So, there are three states for a word:

  • Invisible: The word hasn't been learned nor activated.

  • Grayed out: The word has been learned, but not activated yet.

  • White: The word has been learned and been activated.

Here is a full list of the 24 dragon scouts:

  • FUS RO DAH: Force Balance Push (Unrelenting Force)

  • IIZ SLEN NUS: Ice Flesh Statue (Ice Form)

  • STRUN BAH QO: Storm Wrath Lightning (Storm Call)

  • YOL TOOR SHUL: Fire Inferno Sun (Fire Breath)

  • TIID KLO UL: Time Sand Eternity (Slow Time)

  • WULD NAH KEST: Whilwind, Fury, Tempest (Whilwind Sprint)

  • RAAN MIR TAH: Animal, Allegiance, Pack (Animal Allegiance)

  • SU GRAH DUN: Air, Battle, Grace (Elemental Fury)

  • FIN ZI GRON: Fade, Sprint, Blind (Become Ethereal)

  • FO KRAH DIIN: Frost Cold Freeze (Frost Breath)

  • ZUL MEY GUT: Voice Fool Far (Throw Voice)

  • ZUN HAAL VIIK: Weapon, Hand, Defeat (Disarm)

  • LOK VAR KOOR: Sky Spring Summer (Clear Skies)

  • HUN KAAR ZOOL: Hero Champion Legend (Call of Valor)

  • JOOR ZAH FRUL: Mortal Finite Temporary (Dragonrend)

  • KRII LUN AUS: Kill, Leech, Suffer (Marked for Death)

  • LAAS YA NIR: Life, Seek, Hunt (Aura Whisper)

  • OD AH VIING: Snow Hunter Wing (Call Dragon)

  • KAAN DREM OV: Kyne, Peace, Trust (Kyne's Peace)

  • FAAS RU MAAR: Fear Run Terror (Dismaying Shout)

  • SLEN TIID VO: Flesh, Time, Undo (Ressurect Dead Dragon, not available to player, Alduin)

  • N/A: N/A (Meteor Swarm, not available to player, Alduin)

  • FIIK, LO, SAH: Mirror, Deceive, Phantom (N/A, not available to player, Greybeards)

  • VEN, MUL, RIIK: Wind, Strong, Gale (N/A, not available to player, Alduin)

— See Wikia - Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragon Shouts for more details.

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I've seen you link to "24 shouts" a few times, but if you'd bother counting it you'd see there are 20. There are 60 total words, sometimes you get 3 at a time for a shout. The greybeards will point you to where the attainable words are if you talk to them after the main quest ends, until you can't get them unless you are doing a quest. I have about 6-7 to go and they're only attainable via quests so greybeards will not tell me where they are. – aar Nov 25 '11 at 18:42
@aar: Both your statements are incorrect. There are 24 shouts of which 4 shouts are not available to the player. Also, if you shout in a city a carrier will point you on your way to the next word wall. – Tom Wijsman Nov 26 '11 at 8:21
FUS RO DAH! hah very funny. – Jim Jones Nov 25 '15 at 2:28

Actually, not every shout is 3 words. There is a four-word shout in the Dragonborn DLC. When you

fight Miraak, he uses a FOUR word shout: ZII LOS DII DU. He uses this shout to instantly kill his dragon slaves.

However, this shout is not attainable by the player, so all shouts that the player can get have 3 words.

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There are 3 words in every shout. The difference in this case, I presume, is that for one, you have found all the words but not gotten enough dragon souls to learn them, whereas for the other, you have not even found all the words yet.

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