In English, the word ‘very‘ is more than common, it is overused!
It is one of the first words people learn when they study English. It is even a word people actually know before they start studying the language! How many times a day do we hear or read this little word?
It is everywhere : very well, very good, very interesting, very small, very bad, very common, very… boring!
In “Dead Poets Society”, English professor John Keating tells his class to avoid using it:
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”
Even if your aim is not to woo women, make a change, try other words, vary your vocabulary and be more specific and detailed when you speak or write in English. There are numerous alternatives! Let’s look at a few of them:
really, highly, absolutely, greatly, deliciously, positively, terribly, remarkably, indubitably, brilliantly, unusually, awfully, significantly, deeply, surprisingly, impressively, spectacularly, genuinely…
Give it a try: you will enjoy it and so will your audience!
Are there other words you use to avoid using the word “very”? Which ones? Let me know!