Speak better English with fewer words!
The reason why you should use fewer words.
Why you should use fewer words.
The first of the two previous sentences has two extra words that can be dropped, without affecting the meaning. These extra words are called redundancies.
Cut them out. Your English will instantly improve.
TRANSCRIPT Video #44
Episode Title: When one word will do, don't use two
Less is more, when it comes to speaking or writing. Yet we often use extra words that add nothing to the meaning of what we are saying. These are called redundancies.
Cut them out. YourEnglish will instantly improve.
Redundancies occur when we use two or more words together that imply the same thing. For example, ‘adequate enough’. Or ‘merge together’. In the first example, both words mean more or less the same thing. In the second example, the two words don’t quite have the same meaning, but the sense of ‘together’ is implied in ‘merge’.
When every word you use adds something new to what you say, people are more likely to listen.
Close proximity. Both the words mean the same thing. Use one or the other. There is a park close to my house. Not, ‘There is a park in close proximity to my house.’
Collaborate together. Wrong. Just say, ‘Let’s collaborate’. Collaborate means to do things together. So ‘collaborate together’ means ‘do things together together’. Repetitive!
Completely surrounded—either you’re surrounded or you’re not. ‘Completely’ is redundant.
Few in number—just say ‘few’, it means exactly the same thing and uses two fewer words.
Foreign imports. As opposed to what? Local imports? If it is imported, it has to be foreign. You don’t have to say ‘foreign’.
Free gift. If you pay for something, it is not a gift. All gifts are free, except the ones advertised as ‘free gifts’ in ads. There’s always a catch there. Drop ‘free’.
Absolutely certain. You can either be certain or uncertain about something. You cannot be partly certain. Saying ‘absolutely certain’ is like saying ‘certainly certain’. Don’t.
General public. ‘The public’ refers to the general population. You don’t need to say ‘general’.
Advance planning. Planning has to be done in advance, right? There is no other kind of planning. Drop ‘advance’.
ATM machine. ATM stands for automatic teller machine. The M is for Machine. You don’t need to say ‘machine’ again.
Cameo appearance. A cameo is a brief appearance by an actor in a film. The word ‘appearance’ is built into ‘cameo’. Don’t say it again.
Exact same. It is either the same. Or it isn’t. If it isn’t the same, perhaps it is similar? If it is the same, say that. Drop ‘exact’.
Past experience—all experience is in the past. Just say ‘experience’.
The reason why—tell me the reason why you said that. Tell me why you said that. Spot the difference. The second sentence has fewer words but the same meaning.
12 midnight or 12 noon—just say midnight or noon, everyone knows that they occur at 12am or 12pm.
A total of Rs 10,000—I have Rs 10,000 is the same as ‘I have a total of Rs 10,000’. Drop ‘a total of’.
Period of four days—I am here for a period of four days. Just say, ‘I am here for four days’.
Circle around—you can circle around the earth. But just say, ‘circle the earth’. There’s no other way but around. It’s understood.
End result—the result comes at the end of a process. It's a given. Just say ‘result’.
New innovation—as opposed to what? Old innovation? Drop ‘new’.
Summarize briefly—to summarize means to express something briefly. Drop ‘briefly’.
It’s got a shorter length—just say, ‘it’s shorter’. It’s shorter.
And before this video gets any longer, let me sign off. I’m the English Nut. Bye for now.
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