Our fifth tip for writing concisely focused on turning nouns into their verb equivalents. Sometimes, however, we have a long noun that can’t be turned into a verb (e.g., “methodology”). And in other cases, we have words that are verbs, but they’re still longer than they need to be (“utilize”). Don’t fear, though, because there’s still something that we can do to make these words (and the sentences that they’re in) shorter: Nouns like “methodology” and “functionality” can be replaced with “method” and “function”. Verbs like “utilize” and “finalize” can be traded in for “use” and “finish”. Like the strategy of turning nouns into action verbs, shortening long words not only reduces your word count but also makes your sentences easier to read.

See below for more examples of long words that you can swap for shorter ones.

  • Consolidate: combine
  • Notification: notice
  • Orientate: orient
  • Portion: part
  • Preventative: preventive
  • Remainder: rest
  • Reoccur: recur
  • Substantiate: support
  • Upon: on
  • Usage: use

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Writing concisely tip #5: Shorten long words
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