Awkward Sentences

by Business English

What’s wrong with this sentence?

Example: Really, it’s kind of easy to write in English when you actually have an outline.

This sounds more like spoken English rather than something you would write. Many of the words add little or no meaning to the sentence. So how would you fix the problem? Eliminate the unnecessary words which make the sentence long and ineffective.

It’s easy to write in English when you have an outline.

Other examples of unnecessary words that clutter up a sentence without adding any meaning are  “certainly”, “very”, “pretty”, “quite”, “obviously”, “always”, “of course”, “indeed”, and “inevitably.”

Awkward sentences also overuse negatives.

Take this example:  Get on the Business English HQ mailing list; make sure you don’t go to the wrong websites for business writing advice.

Eliminate the two negatives “don’t” and “wrong.” Simply write:

Get on the Business English HQ mailing list and receive the best business writing advice. (How’s that for great self-promotion?)

So our advice today for effective business writing is to avoid unnecessary qualifiers and negative expressions.

Here are three awkward sentences.

Can you correct them?

1. In doing the powerpoint presentations, Craig certainly knows how to speak rather clearly.

2. Each and everyone of the readers of Business English HQ wrote a comment on the last blog post.

3. Craig bought a software program that was not different from a colleague’s.

Answers:

1.  In doing the powerpoint presentations, Craig knows how to speak clearly.

2. All the readers of Business English HQ wrote a comment on the last blog post.

3. Craig bought the same software program as a colleague.

About Business English

Follow me on Twitter ·

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }