Writing Tip #8: Get Rid of Intensifiers

Intensifiers: Words found before adjectives and adverbs used to intensify or dramatize an effect.

Examples: Very, extremely, so, terribly, totally, quite, really, most, etc.

Do they look familiar? If you think you’ve used the words above, it’s probably a good idea to double-check your work.

Using intensifiers can weaken your sentences and make your writing sound amateurish.

For instance:
Weak: I’m extremely hungry and very tired. I really want to go home now.
Strong: I’m hungry and tired. I want to go home now.

As seen in the example above, the intensifiers make the sentences wordy and weak. Taking them out simplifies and strengthens them.

Use intensifiers sparingly or avoid them altogether and see the difference.

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