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How To Write Concise Sentences?

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words. In the same way, a paragraph should contain no unnecessary sentences. This does not mean that every sentence you write should be short and devoid of details. What it does mean is that every word you write should have something to tell. If it doesn't, eliminate it because vigorous writing has to be concise. Here are some notes towards conciseness in writing.Avoid saying the same thing twice.

Consider the following sentence.

Many illiterate people who cannot read or write will gladly attend school if they get an opportunity.

It should be rewritten as:

Many illiterate people will gladly attend school if they get an opportunity.

(The clause who cannot read or write is redundant (and hence needs to be removed) because that idea has already been expressed by the phrase illiterate people.)

More examples are given below.

I was offered a free gift by my company.

It should be rewritten as:

I was offered a gift by my company. (A gift is always free. What is the point in saying 'a free gift'?)

The meeting will be held at 5 pm in the evening.

Rewrite as:

The meeting will be held at 5 pm.

A total of 10 boys participated in the program.

Rewrite as:

10 boys participated in the program.

She is planning to write a biography of her life.

Write as:

She is planning to write her biography.

More examples are given below. Against each redundant phrase, their leaner, more appropriate versions are also given.

12 midnight (incorrect) / midnight (correct)12 noon / noon5 pm in the evening / 5 pmAbsolutely spectacular / spectacularA person who is sincere / a sincere personA total of 10 girls / 10 girlsClose proximity / proximityCompletely unanimous / unanimousConsensus of opinion /consensusCooperate together / cooperateEach and every / eachEnclosed herewith / enclosedEnd result / resultExactly the same / the sameFree gift / giftHe/she is one who... / he/sheIn spite of the fact that / althoughIn the event that / ifOne and the same / the sameA period of four days / four daysPersonally, I think / feel / I think/feelRefer back / referRepeat again / repeatReturn again / returnRevert back / revertShorter/longer in length s / shorter/longerSmall/large in size / small/largeRectangular in shape / rectangularSummarize briefly / summarizeSurrounded on all sides / surroundedSurrounding circumstances / circumstancesThe future to come / the futureThere is no doubt but that / no doubtWe are in receipt of / we have received

Abbreviated Redundancies

Some people insist that it is redundant to say PIN Number because PIN means Personal Identification Number. They add that it is redundant to say ATM machine because ATM means Automated Teller Machine.

Other common abbreviated redundancies include CD disk - (which means Compact Disk Disk) and HIV Virus - (which means Human ImmunoDeficiency Virus Virus).

While it is possible to insist that these redundancies must be pruned, the truth is that they have become quite acceptable. So if you are used to saying ATM machine, you probably have no reason to correct yourself and say ATM instead.

Manjusha Nambiar is an ESL tutor and content developer. Her site perfectyourenglish.com gives English Grammar lessons and English writing tips. Subscribe to her feed and you will win a free Grammar eBook titled '120 Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes to Avoid'.

Source: EzineArticles
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