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Get rid of these phrases in English if you don't want to sound silly and pompous

Be careful with what you say or type at work - it can backfire. Dozens of grammar experts said what worries them the most is when they talk to employees and read emails or private messages from them. Most common complaint? All "junk" words and phrases. What are these words and how can they be replaced, said the publication CNBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

Too many of us fill our conversation with useless, clumsy and pretentious words and phrases, especially those that have repetitive meaning. In some cases they are not technically flawed, but it is always better - and safer - to exercise caution and adhere to standard business rules.

1 AM in the morning

AM is short for ante meridiem, which means "before noon," so if you use the full phrase, you're actually saying "3 pm". Just say 3 AM (or any other time). It's the same with PM.

2. Absolutely essential

One of the dictionary definitions of the essential is absolutely essential, which means "absolutely, absolutely necessary." Obviously, the absolutely modifier is not important at all.

Avoid using this phrase - unless it is casual conversation and you are using it to emphasize the need for something.

3. Actual fact

Fact is what is known as truth, and actual means "actually existing." Thus, actual fact to a large extent simply means "factual fact." Better to just use fact.

4. At this point in time / at the present point in time

Most linguists complain about these phrases. Why not just say now. It's much shorter.

5. Depreciate in value (depreciated in value)

By itself, depreciate means "cost reduction". There is no need to add an extra word value to it.

On the subject: Ten Free Online Libraries with Books in English

6. Eliminate completely / eliminate entirely

Eliminate means "completely eliminate". You cannot partially exclude something, so you do not need to specify how much you are eliminating.

7. Combine together / join together

Combine means "to combine or mix two or more things." You don't need together as it is already implied. It's the same with join.

8. End result / final outcome

The result is something at the end. You don't need to differentiate it from the initial result or the average result, since such things don't exist.

The same idea with final outcome: result means how something turns out; this is already final without adding the word final.

9. Estimated at about

When you evaluate something, you are roughly calculating. And why add about?

10. Exact same

If something is the same as something else, there is no difference between them. You can say nearly the same, but exact same means just the same. Although some guides and dictionaries say this is okay, and this phrase is used to emphasize that something is literally the same, repetition still remains and is best avoided.

11. Favorable approval

The approval is always positive, so no adjective is needed here. And, of course, if it's not favorable, then it's disapproval, not unfavorable approval.

12. Feel badly

For some reason, a lot of people think that adding -ly to bad sounds better, so they say I feel badly instead of I feel bad. But it's not right. You don't say I feel greatly.

The only time you have to say you feel badly is if you touch something physically and you don't like it.

13.General consensus of opinion

Consensus is widely accepted. So the general consensus of opinion is wrong. Consensus itself conveys the essence, and more succinctly.

14. In close proximity

Here's another redundancy in action. A synonym for proximity is closeness. So in close proximity gives an overload of proximity. Despite the fact that this phrase has become so widely used, it is best to just say close.

15. In my opinion (in my opinion)

When you share your point of view or opinion, readers already know that this is your opinion. There is no need to use this hackneyed phrase - unless, of course, you are opposing your opinions with others. If you really need to clarify this, choose the simpler option I think ...

16. In the final analysis (ultimately)

This phrase sounds pompous and slang. Instead of four words, use only one: Finally.

17. In the process of

If you are doing something, it means that you have started something and continue to do something. But this is a clumsy, often unnecessary phrase that is usually used in confusing sentences.

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18. Most unique

It appears frequently on irritant lists. Unique means "unlike anything else." Thus, there can be no gradation of uniqueness.

19. Past history / past memories / past records

All of these words without past refer to the past anyway, so you don't need to elaborate - unless you're writing a science fiction novel and refer to future and past history through time travel.

20. Postpone until later

Of course, if you are going to put something off, you are going to do it for later. What are you going to do otherwise, to postpone for an earlier time? Always exclude until later from this phrase.

21. The reason being / the reason why

It sounds wordy and pretentious. The office was empty at noon, the reason being that everyone was at lunch. Why not say because instead?

22. Summarize briefly

To summarize means to give a brief overview or statement, therefore summarize briefly means to give a summary in a nutshell. Don't use brief and briefly.

23. Situation

It's a modern trend that many hate: adding the word "situation" to describe any event. For example, Be prepared for a strong wind situation. Why can't you just say strong wind?

24. Wise (wise)

This is another example of adding something unnecessary. People add the suffix -wise to words to make them more significant. But that might sound pretty ridiculous. In other words, you will actually sound much worse grammatically if you add this unnecessary suffix.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Ten Free Online Libraries with Books in English

Russian English: subtle mistakes in speech that betray immigrants

20 subtleties of living English, which are not told in school

Than versus then: what is the difference and how to use these words correctly

Better than 'very good': how to expressively replace hackneyed English words

English Educational program Phrases Special Projects
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