Jan 04, 2019 03:16:40

Improve your writing by removing redundant words

by @davidnge | 304 words | 61🔥 | 61💌 | 0💧

David nge

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There are words we grew up with, or inherit from speech, or by watching movies that don't really mean much when we put them in writing.

Consider the word: Somewhat.

And in a sentence: This is somewhat puzzling.

It' simpler to just write: This is puzzling. While retaining the original meaning.

These are weak words that weigh down sentences without adding any value to it.

Other weak words:

- Somehow

- A little

- Rather

- Arguably

This is somehow puzzling

This is a little puzzling

This is rather puzzling

This is arguably a little puzzling (worst)

can all be written as: This is puzzling, without the baggage.


Sometimes we try to pre-qualify what we're saying when we don't really need to.

"It seems we were mistaken that... "

"It seems" is unnecessary in this case, as you're saying what it seems to you in the words that come after anyway. It's assumed that's how it seems to you so you don't really need to say it.

The cousins of "it seems" are:

- It appears

- It would appear that

- Noticeably

- I would assume that

- I think 

- I believe

The fact that you're saying we assume you think, notice, believe it.

"I think we should make it our priority to make our clients feel cared for".

> "We should prioritize making our clients feel cared for".

The addition of the word "I think" actually weakens the sentence.


We use these words (especially in speech) often because we want to come across as being humble. But in writing, it's better to be concise.

If you want to be humble, be more specific about your doubts.

For example:

"Although he might be wrong , we should do as he said"

Instead of "We should do as he said" (Cocky)

or "I think we should do as he said" (Weak)







  • 1

    @davidnge Love this.

    My least favourite redundant word is "that", which can be removed from almost any sentence without consequence.

    It should also never be used to describe people. e.g. "My cousins that arrived in the car." should be "My cousins who arrived in the car." I cringe every time I see the former, which is all too often.

    Grammar nerds unite!

    Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Jan 05, 2019 16:56:39
    • 1

      @jeffriddall Yes, I noticed that too when I wrote 200words ytd! It feels natural to say "People that are....", but it feels weird in writing :)

      David nge avatar David nge | Jan 06, 2019 02:23:07
    • 1

      @davidnge Ohh, it's weird and unnatural alright. That refers to things, who refers to people. Thanks for the acknowledgment.

      Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Jan 07, 2019 16:33:32
  • 1

    @davidnge interested in featuring your writing posts in the "Tools" tab? I think it could help many

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 05, 2019 03:08:32
    • 1

      @basilesamel sure! let me know if you need anything from me..

      David nge avatar David nge | Jan 05, 2019 14:54:40
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