Learn more about Grammar:Adjectives: An Easy Guide with ExamplesAdverbial Clauses: What Are They?AdverbsAnalogy: Definition & Meaning (with Examples)ArticlesBad AdverbsClauses: Definition, Meaning, and How to Use ThemConjunctionsCoordinating Conjunctions: What Are They and When Should You Use Them?Dangling ModifiersDeclarative Sentence: Examples + MeaningExaggerationHomophones: Definition and ExamplesHow to Use Subordinating ConjunctionsInfinitivesInterjections: Definition, Meaning, and ExamplesIntransitive Verb: Definition, Meaning, and ExamplesNounsParticiples PluralsPrepositional Phrase: What Is It & How to UsePrepositionsSplit Infinitive: The Complete Guide (with Examples)Subordinate Clause: Definition, Types, and ExamplesThe Complete Guide to Transitive VerbsTransitions: A Complete Guide (with 100+ Examples)Types of VerbsVerbsWhat is a Pronoun? Rules and ExamplesWhat Is Symbolism in Writing?Word Classes
Why shouldn't you use the word "very" in your writing?
Many people overuse "very" in their writing. This is a mistake. "Very" is an intensifier without an inherent meaning. Many inexperienced writers use intensifiers like "very" or "really" to try to add power to their writing. This is a mistake.
Avoid using very in a sentence because it's a weak word that diminishes your meaning. There's not enough information in a word like "very" to tell your reader anything new. You're better off finding a stronger alternative.
Consider these sentences:
- The very large dog's hackles rose.*
- The monstrous dog's hackles rose.*
The second sentence uses a stronger adjective that relays more information to the reader. Replace your weak words with something strong enough that you don't need the "very."
Intensifiers like "very" are a part of speech, just like any other. Intensifiers are grammatically correct. However, overusing words like "very" is lazy writing.
Intensifiers are often used when a stronger verb or adjectivewould do a better job of conveying meaning:
- He walked very quickly towards his mother.
- He dashed towards his mother.
“Dashed” is a stronger, more evocative verb. “Dashed” also says the same thing in one word that “walked very quickly” says in two.
The same goes for adjectives: a strong noun or single adjective is better than a string of adverb descriptors.
Here's a great list to replace very + weak adjectives with strong adjectives that will pack a punch in your writing.
Don't depend on intensifiers to give your weak words power. Choose strong, specific language to strengthen your writing.