Another way to write concisely is to use nouns in place of verbs when possible. Consider the following sentences:
- “It is our recommendation that athletes have access to water at all times during the race.”
- “We recommend that athletes have access to water at all times during the race.”
In the first sentence, we begin with a nondescriptive verb (“is”) and a five-syllable noun (“recommendation”) before we get to the part about what exactly is recommended. In the second sentence, we begin with a descriptive verb “recommend” and then get right to the main part of the sentence. The second sentence is easier to read because it contains fewer syllables and shorter words. Many people would also say that it’s livelier than the first sentence because the first few words contain an action verb (i.e., “recommend”), a verb that injects life and energy into a sentence, rather than a verb describing a state of being (“is”).
The next time that you’re writing, take a look at the words in your sentences and think about whether you can turn any of the nouns into punchier, action verbs. See below for more examples of the types of words to watch out for and ways to change them into verbs.
- “The implementation of the program will affect teachers.”
“Implementing the program will affect teachers.”
- “The categorization of children by swimming ability rather than by age will make lessons more productive.”
“Categorizing children by swimming ability rather than by age will make lessons more productive.”
- “The addition of crystals to the dress will make it too heavy.”
“Adding crystals to the dress will make it too heavy.”
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