By Paola Pascual on Feb 21, 2022 12:36:04 PM
In a recent webinar we hosted on effective communication, we talked about how you could be more influential when speaking English. One of the easiest tips to add power to your message was to use strong words instead of weak ones.
Weak words are unnecessary. They don't add any meaning and it’s usually best to cut them out. Some examples of weak words are just, really, thing, it, there was, and very.
Strong words are descriptive and allow you to declutter yourmessage. You only need to make small tweaks to strengthen your writing. In this article, you will learn what adjectives you can use to avoid the word "very".
What to use instead of 'VERY'
Our goal is to find alternative adjectives that already have the word ‘very’ embedded in them. Let’s have a look at the most common ones.
Very good = excellent, exceptional
- They made a very good offer that we couldn’t reject.
- They made an excellent offer that we couldn’t reject.
Very bad = awful, terrible
- Their customer service is very bad.
- Their customer service is awful.
Very important = crucial
- Understanding the needs of the client is a very important part of the negotiation.
- Understanding the needs of the client is a crucial part of the negotiation.
Very necessary = essential
- It is very necessary to keep up-to-date records.
- It is essential to keep up-to-date records.
Very happy = delighted, elated
- I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed last week’s webinar so much.
- I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed last week’s webinar so much.
Very sad = tragic
- It is very sad to hear that he went bankrupt.
- It is tragic to hear that he went bankrupt.
Very small = tiny
- Your slides were fabulous. We just had ta make very small adjustments.
- Your slides were fabulous. We just had ta make tiny adjustments.
Very interested = fascinated
- I am very interested in business psychology.
- I am fascinated by business psychology.
Very excited = thrilled
- We are very excited to have you on the team.
- We are thrilled to have you on the team.
Very difficult = intricate, gruelling, taxing, impenetrable
- Their software offers excellent functionality, but it is very difficult and no one knows how to use it.
- Their software offers excellent functionality, but it is so intricate that no one knows how to use it.
Very willing = eager
- Our new intern lacks some basic knowledge but she’s very willing to learn.
- Our new intern lacks some basic knowledge but she’s eager to learn.
Very powerful = compelling
- You crafted a very powerful story for your presentation.
- You crafted such a compelling story for your presentation.
Using these adjectives instead of very will make your English much more compelling. Listen to this podcast episode and try to use these words more. Can you think of other examples? Tell us in the comments section below.
This article works as supporting material for our podcast episode 37. You can read the transcript below. Make sure you check out other Talaera Talks episodes and subscribe to get new episode alerts.
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Talaera Talks - Transcript Episode 37
If you are learning English, including new English words and expressions will help you with effective communication. Remember to check out our other episodes on how to make small talk, how to deliver engaging presentations, how to speak English fluently, and many more: visit the podcast website. Listen to it on your favorite platform.
Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!
Hello Talaera friends, welcome to a new Talaera Bit. My name is Paola. And as you know, these Bits are shorter episodes where we cover specific language aspects to help you shine bright like a diamond in English.
Today's topic was inspired by the webinar that Simon and I hosted last week. By the way, the feedback was amazing, and I am really grateful. But you know, we talked about effective communication, and one of the tips we shared to add power to your message was to use strong words instead of weak ones. So when I when I say weak words, what I mean, you know, weak words are those words that are oftentimes unnecessary, and it's just best to cut them out. Some examples of weak words, weak words are JUST, REALLY, THING, IT, THERE WAS, and VERY. So what I would like to show you today is what you can say instead of "very". The goal is to find alternative objectives, right, so other words that already have the very embedded in them. So let's have a look at the most common ones, I'll provide the alternative, the strong choice, and a sentence that you can use at work.
So the first one is very good. Now, while it's okay to say very good (I say that sometimes), it's much more powerful to use the words excellent or exceptional. So in the sentence, 'They made a very good offer that we couldn't rejectT, you can say, 'They made an excellent offer that we couldn't reject'.
Instead of very bad, you can say awful, or terrible. 'Their customer service was very bad" >> 'Their customer service was awful'.
If something is very important, you can say that it's crucial. Like in the example, 'Understanding the needs of the client is a very important part of the negotiation', you can say instead, 'Understanding the needs of the client is a crucial part of the negotiation'.
Very necessary can become essential. 'It is very necessary to keep up to date records'. Instead of you can say, 'It is essential to keep up to date records'.
If you're very happy, you can say that you're elated or delighted. 'I'm very happy to hear that you enjoyed last week's webinars so much' >> 'I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed last week's webinar so much'.
If something is very sad, then it is tragic. 'It is very sad to hear that he went bankrupt' >> 'It is tragic to hear that he went bankrupt'.
If something is very small, it's tiny. So if you want to tell someone, "Wow, your slides were fabulous, we just had to make very small adjustments', you can say we 'just had to make tiny adjustments'.
If you're very interested in a topic, you can say that you're fascinated, like in my case, I would say 'I am very interested in business psychology', then I can say 'I am fascinated by business psychology'. It just sounds much stronger. Let's have a look at a few more.
If something is very difficult, here, it will depend exactly what you mean. So it can be you know, it can be taxing in terms of exhausting, or it can be impenetrable if it's very hard to understand. Or if it has, if it's very complex, and it has a lot of small parts, you can say intricate, intricate. For example, 'Their software offers excellent functionality, but it is very difficult and no one knows how to use it'. Here. You could say something like 'Their software offers excellent functionality, but it is so intricate that no one knows how to use it.' Intricate, very, very useful word.
If you're very excited, you're thrilled. 'We're very excited to have you on the team' >> 'We're thrilled to have you on the team', very common one.
If you are very willing, you are eager. For example, 'Our new intern lacks some basic knowledge, but she's very willing to learn', [it] means she's 'eager to learn'.
And the last one, very powerful. This is exactly what we're trying to do here, we want your language to be very powerful, we can say compelling. As an example, 'You crafted a very powerful story for your presentation' >> 'You crafted a compelling story for your presentation'.
Now, using these adjectives instead of very, will make your English much more compelling. Can you think of other examples? You can tell us in the comment section. But just to quickly recap. We have very good -> excellent, very bad -> awful, very important -> crucial, very necessary -> essential, very happy-> delighted, very sad-> tragic, very small-> tiny or teeny tiny, very interested-> fascinated, and it works with the -ing version as well: very interesting -> fascinating, very excited-> thrilled, very difficult-> intricate, very willing -> eager, and very powerful-> compelling. I hope you start using them more and more.
Oh, and one more thing before I before I finish. Remember to review Talaera Talks on Spotify. Your positive feedback is our way to keep creating more and more episodes and free resources for you. Thank you so much for listening. And we'll be back soon with more.
And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We'll be back soon with more! And visit our website at talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!