Adverbs May Weaken Verbs

Instead of adding words and phrases that modify verbs, it's often better to select the most exact verb. Choosing an on-target verb adds impact to the sentence and may eliminate an unneeded adverb. In the following examples, note the effectiveness of choosing the precise verb.

The committee carefully considered the proposed reorganization.

The committee deliberated the proposed reorganization.

The word deliberated means "carefully considered."

The negotiations quickly fell apart when the partner said no.

The negotiations collapsed when the partner said no.

Note that collapsed means "quickly fell apart."

When you choose the most action-oriented verbs possible, you can usually avoid adding unnecessary adverbs.

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  • Sue Brunson
    Which adverbs weaken writing?
    8 years ago

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