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Why you Should Be Really Careful with Very Empty Words

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Words like “really” or “very” are frequently overused. In order to improve your vocabulary, we’ll show you three tips for avoiding them.

Avoiding “really” and “very”
Precise texts prefer descriptive adjectives to constructions with “really” and “very”.

Particularly long texts can appear highly repetitive if the author doesn’t use specific and precise language. This article will show you how to deal with too many really’s and very’s in your writing, and how to avoid the colorless intensifiers in the first place.

I am very hungry at the moment. Let’s really cook something.

Tip 1: Use Descriptive Verbs Instead of “Very” + Adjective

I am starving at the moment. Let’s really cook something.

Use the adjectival form of descriptive verbs in your writing. Starving (from the verb to starve) is shorter, more specific, and truly more descriptive than very hungry.

Instead of saying: really / very + adjective Go for: an adjective derived from a verb
really / very cold freezing
really / very sad depressing, depressed
really / very confusing baffling, puzzling

Tip 2: Use Another (More Accurate) Adjective

I am famished / ravenous at the moment. Let’s really cook something.

The adjectives famished and ravenous share a similar meaning with very hungry, but exaggerate the statement even more. You should use these extreme adjectives carefully and sparsely.

Instead of saying: really / very + adjective Go for: a different adjective
really / very happy auspicious, cheerful, jolly
really / very big massive, huge, colossal
really / very old ancient, dated, old-fashioned
Instead of saying: very + adjective Go for: a different adjective
very lazy indolent
very clean spotless
very loud deafening
very risky perilous
very sweet luscious
very colorful vibrant

Tip 3: Use an Adverb Other than “Really”

I am really hungry at the moment. Let’s truly cook something.

Really is an adverb that not only modifies adjectives, but verbs as well. So, when it’s used as an intensifier for an action, you should alternate it with a different (less common) adverb like strongly, truly, or highly.

LanguageTool offers you incredibly helpful synonyms—concise words with the same meaning—in a convenient and intuitive manner. So be very careful with your use of very.

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