smart home circle
Smart Home Circle
Published on

Custom Sentences For Voice Assistant In Home Assistant

Custom Sentences For Voice Assistant In Home Assistant
4 min read

Table of Contents

This article will explore how we can create custom sentences for your voice assistant in Home Assistant.

We will first look at a beginner-friendly way and then get to advanced levels.


  1. Home Assistant OS setup and running.
    You can check this link to see how you can install it for the first time.

Creating Custom Sentences Using Automation (Beginner friendly)

You can create custom sentences using Home Assistant Automation.

To create one, follow these steps.

Step 1: Go to Home Assistant Settings in the left panel.

Step 2: Click on Automation & Scenes and click on Create Automation

Step 3: In the Triggers section, select Sentence

Step 4: Enter the sentence you wish for the automation to be triggered.

Step 5: In the Actions section select the action that needs to be taken when the sentence is called.

Understanding Home Assistant Built-in Intents

Home Assistant already provides us with some built-in automation (called Intents) that performs some action when a sentence is matched.

Let’s take an example.

When you say “Turn on the Switch”, this triggers the Intent called “HassTurnOn” which turns off the switch.

You can read about all the possible built-in intents that Home Assistant provides here.

Let’s look at how we can provide our custom sentence for a Built-in Intent.

The next sections are not beginner-level and require a little bit of knowledge of accessing the Home Assistant config file location.

Creating Custom Sentences For Built-in Intent

Let’s look at how we can provide a custom sentence for a built-in Intent called HassLightSet

To add a custom sentence to the built-in intent, follow these steps

Step 1: Create a folder named “custom_sentences” where the “configuration.yaml” file is located.

Step 2: Inside the “custom_sentences” folder create a folder with the name “en”.

Step 3: Now create a file with the name “custom-sentence.yaml” which will be custom_sentences/en/custom-sentence.yaml and paste the following content.

language: "en"  
     - sentences:  
          - "set {name} to {brightness} in the {area}"  
       response: "brightness"

Step 4: In the sentences section, specify your custom sentence.

The place holders {name} , {brightness} and {area} are some of the attributes of the HassLightSet Intent. You can find these attributes and their meanings here.

As a response, we will be using the default response from the in-built Intent. Hence the property response is set to “brightness”

You can find the responses of all the Home Assistant Built-in Intents at this location.

With this, you can not set the brightness of the light using the custom sentence.

Creating Custom Responses For Built-In Intents

We can change the response of the built-in Intents using the responses attribute mentioned in the above intent example.

Now let’s create a custom response for the built-in Intent HassLightSet.

Step 1: Create a response.yaml file at the location custom_sentences/en/response.yaml

Step 2: Paste the following content.

language: en  
      brightness: '{{ }} brightness set to {{ slots.brightness }}'

The name and brightness attributes belong to the HassLightSet intent and you can find all the attributes of various intents here.

For responses, we need to use slots as prefix with the attributes to use the value of the input sentence.

Useful References For Building Custom Sentences and Responses

Here are some useful references for modifying in-built Intents.

  1. List of all built-in Intents:
  2. All the sentences of built-in Intents:
  3. All the responses of the built-in Intents:

If you are interested in exploring more of such easy to follow step by step guides about Home Assistant, then here are a few suggestions