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Why and How to Avoid “Very” to Become a Better Writer

Arnaba is a professional content writer. She is here to share her experience in impressive and effective writing skills and strategies.

Writing Is a Serious Business

As I always say, becoming a writer is easy, but becoming a good writer is a serious and strenuous journey.

You need to discipline yourself to choose effective and impactful words. Irrespective of the length of your sentences, every word should have a meaning, purpose, and objective. In fact, knowing what not to write is more crucial than knowing what to write. In parlance to this article, it is the filler words (qualifiers such as “very”) that you need to avoid to make your written work crisp and tight.

What Are Filler Words?

Filler words are one critical aspect of writing that can easily slip into your works (oftentimes unintentionally), and they hardly add any value to your writing. They might help you increase your word count and making your write-up look lengthy. However, they additionally make your work diluted or superfluous. These "filler words" include qualifiers, modifiers, and unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.

Why You Need to Take Your “Very” Seriously

“Very” is one such qualifier that adds little to no value to your write-ups. On the contrary, it weakens your writing. Such a qualifier like “very” weakens the words (noun, verb, adverbs), which it intends to strengthen. It would have been effective to replace “very” with a strong verb, adverb, or adjective to express your exact thoughts.

why-and-how-to-avoid-very-to-become-a-better-writer

Perils of Overusing “Very”

Overuse of a qualifier like “very” might indicate a lazy approach by the writer. A reader might assume, you didn’t invest enough time to find the appropriate word that exactly describes what you meant. Your over-reliance on “very” can be considered an amateurish or novice writing approach. Thus, try to replace them with powerful and adequate verbs or adverbs to make your writing impactful.

For example: Avoid writing “he is a very bad man.” Try to replace it with “he is an atrocious man.” The verb atrocious clearly explains the intensity or nature of the word bad you wanted to express.

Thus, here follows a massive list of 101 different ways to replace “very” to make your sentences more meaningful and effective.

101 Ways to Avoid "Very" in Your Writing

Avoid Saying "Very..."Rather SayAvoid Saying "Very..."Rather Say

Accurate

Exact

Afraid

Terrified

Angry

Furious

Annoying

Exasperating

Bad

Atrocious

Beautiful

Exquisite

Big

Immense

Bright

Dazzling

Busy

Swamped

Calm

Serene

Capable

Accomplished

Careful

Cautious

Clean

Spotless

Clear

Obvious

Clever

Brilliant

Cold

Freezing

Colorful

Vibrant

Competitive

Cutthroat

Complete

Comprehensive

Confused

Perplexed

Avoid Saying "Very..."Rather SayAvoid Saying "Very..."Rather Say

Conventional

Conservative

Creative

Innovative

Crowded

Bustling

Cute

Adorable

Dangerous

Perilous

Dear

Cherished

Deep

Profound

Detailed

Meticulous

Determined

Resolute

Different

Disparate

Dirty

Squalid

Dry

Parched

Eager

Keen

Easy

Effortless

Empty

Desolate

Excited

Thrilling

Fast

Quick

Exciting

Exhilarating

Avoid Saying "Very..."Rather SayAvoid Saying "Very..."Rather Say

Friendly

Amiable

Frightened

Alarmed

Glad

Overjoyed

Frightening

Terrifying

Good

Superb

Happy

Jubilant

Hard

Difficult

Hot

Scorching

Hungry

Ravenous

Hurt

Battered

Kind

Compassionate

Large

Colossal

Lively

Vivacious

Long

Extensive

Loose

Slack

Loud

Deafening

Loved

Adored

Neat

Immaculate

Noisy

Deafening

Often

Frequently

why-and-how-to-avoid-very-to-become-a-better-writer
Avoid Saying "Very..."Rather SayAvoid Saying "Very..."Rather Say

Old

Ancient

Old- Fashioned

Archaic

Open

Transparent

Painful

Excruciating

Pale

Ashen

Perfect

Flawless

Poor

Destitute

Pretty

Beautiful

Quick

Rapid

Quiet

Silent

Rainy

Pouring

Risky

Perilous

Roomy

Spacious

Rude

Vulgar

Scary

Chilling

Serious

Solemn

Shiny

Gleaming

Short

Brief

Shy

Timid

Simple

Basic

Avoid Saying "Very..."Rather SayAvoid Saying "Very..."Rather Say

Small

Tiny

Special

Exceptional

Strong

Unyielding

Stupid

Idiotic

Sure

Certain

Talented

Gifted

Tasty

Delicious

Thin

Gaunt

Tight

Constricting

Tiny

Minuscule

Tired

Exhausted

Ugly

Hideous

Valuable

Precious

Warm

Hot

Weak

Feeble

Well-To-Do

Wealthy

Wet

Soaked

Wicked

Villainous

Wide

Expansive

Wise

Sagacious

Worried

Anxious

 

 

There you go! Now you can use all these fantastic words to replace the “very” in your sentences and drastically improve your write-ups. Moreover, this practice of avoiding the overuse of the word “very” will help you find your writing style.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary blog, it has more than 1.7 million words that are currently in use (and more than 47,000 obsolete words). Why restrict yourself to repeating just one word when you have an abundant resource of words to play with? Nurture your vocabulary, learn new words and their meanings, and try to apply them in your writing.

I hope that today you learned why and how to avoid "very" to become a better writer as promised. Now, try to use this resource to solve the following practice exercise.

"Very" Replacement Practice Exercise

Want to practice this skill? In the following passage, replace "very..." with adequate words.

The instance Jake entered the room, it was very clear that something was missing. He started observing all his belonging very carefully to see what was missing. Jake usually kept his room very clean, but due to the changes in his very tight schedule, he was unable to manage his time properly. He looked very worried and very tired. Suddenly, he noticed a very small piece of paper on his desk, which read, “I will return your notebook tomorrow.” without any name on it. The handwriting was very neat and very tiny. He instantly realized, it was his little sister’s doing, who was very dear to him.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Arnaba Saha

Comments

Arnaba Saha (author) from New Delhi on May 28, 2020:

Hi Sameer Ji,

Thanks for your appreciation. I am glad you liked the topic, article, and exercises. My purpose in writing this series of articles is to help fellow writers, particularly beginners to avoid common mistakes like this one.

I hope you my other articles as well.

Click on the following link to read more.

http://hub.me/anxqZ

Sameer Asthana on May 28, 2020:

Writing Is a Serious Business, thanks for making it easy. Great choice of topics. Really helpful Arnaba. Especially that exercise part. It will help us on day to day writings.

Arnaba Saha (author) from New Delhi on May 20, 2020:

Thanks, Sowrabha Ji, for your kind words. I am glad your enjoy the hub.

You have rightly said every word counts while writing and reading as well. As a writer, we need to make a conscious effort to use the word appropriately.

Thanks again for your appreciation and time.

Arnaba Saha (author) from New Delhi on May 20, 2020:

Hello Niks,

Yes, you are right. Grammatically sound and well-written articles can be weak and irritating as well. Qualifiers like "very", "really", "quite", "almost", "fair", etc, are superfluous at times and doe not serve any purpose. It is essential to replace them with a powerful and appropriate noun or verbs.

Thanks for your appreciation and time. I wish, other writers will find this helpful as well.

sowspeaks from Bengaluru on May 17, 2020:

Hi Arnaba ! Thanks for enriching my vocabulary the easy-peasy way. The exercise at the end made learning fun. The right word at the right place makes for a satisfied writer and an engaged reader. All writers can learn a thing or two or more from this article. Thanks for the good work.

Niks from India on May 16, 2020:

You have provided some deep insights that writers make. Even though grammatically the write-ups are sound but the repetition of the word "very" can make them less attractive. As writing is a serious business, every writer should talk a note of this. Your articles based on improving grammar are worth reading.

Arnaba Saha (author) from New Delhi on May 15, 2020:

Thanks, Poonam Ji, for such lovely remarks. I am thrilled by your comment. Thanks again for your time and appreciation.

Arnaba Saha (author) from New Delhi on May 15, 2020:

Thanks Vikram Ji. It is my pleasure that my article was able to provide some value to you. Hope you will equally enjoy my other articles as well. Keep reading.

Arnaba Saha (author) from New Delhi on May 15, 2020:

Hello Muralikrishna Ji,

Words are a writer's tool and the strength or weakness of these words depend on the writer. If a writer makes a conscious effort to use his/her words effectively then the quality of the write-up will definitively enhance.

I am glad you like this hub. Thanks again for your time and appreciation.

POONAM MALIK from Faridabad on May 14, 2020:

Excellent, Arnaba. The best part of your article was the exercise at the end that hit the nail bang on. It made me realize the need to avoid 'very.'

Thank you for showing me another way to improve my writing.

Keep it up, dear.

Vikram Brahma from Assam, India on May 13, 2020:

Hey Arnaba very impressive, you have written impressive article. Your command over English language is fantastic. I learned new things through your article. Thank you for sharing and writing such an article.

Halemane Muralikrishna from South India on May 13, 2020:

An impressive piece of writing, Ms Arnaba. Use of words in writings and speeches get expressed spontaneously. I am sure consciously we may not use words repetitively. Sometimes, such expressions remain one of the individual's styles. Next time when I write, it will be a point to keep in mind to verify such usage.

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