Be careful of using adverbs

Be careful of using adverbs

Many writers employ adverbs (and sometimes adjectives too) in their attempt to add emphasis to their writing. What they don’t understand is that, more often than not, the use of these words weaken the effect of their writing. Take for instance the following sentence:

“Your draft is really appalling.”

In the above construction, the adverb “really”, instead of adding emphasis, is subtracting it. Think about it. Would you add “really” if you were sure of yourself? Now read the same sentence minus “really”.

“Your draft is appalling.”

How does it sound? Better? More emphatic? You bet! Why so? Because when you make an assertive statement like the one above, it reflects confidence.

Let’s take another example.

“I can’t believe it!”, said John surprisingly.

Is the adverb surprisingly needed?

“I can’t believe it!”, said John.

Is “surprise” not implied in the words “I can ‘t believe it!”?

So be careful of using adverbs. Rely on stronger verbs and nouns instead. Follow this advice and you minimise your chances of someone saying to you that “Your draft is appalling.”

4 Replies to “Be careful of using adverbs”

  1. Yup Nidhi. I am in an experimenting mode just now. Somehow I don’t quite like any of the themes on wordpress, so I am making do with what is available. This is the theme I started off with, and I am back to it for now.

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