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Today, I am going to teach you what are some overused words in English and what are the alternatives that you can use to sound more like a native speaker.
(1) ANGRY. The word “angry” is far too general to effectively convey the idea and intention behind it. A wife may be angry at her husband. And victims of crime may be angry at criminals. But aren’t there better ways to more exactly express this strong emotion? Alternatives: annoyed, cross, displeased, furious, offended, etc.
(2) OTHER. The word “other” is applicable to basically any situation where you’re trying to figure something out with a person. You can ask for “any other suggestions,” solicit “other opinions,” or ask someone for “other times” that work for them. Alternatives: alternative (times), further (suggestions), different (opinions)
(3) ANSWER. This word is both a verb and a noun. When used as a verb (e.g. ‘to answer my research question’) you could also use terms like ‘address’ and ‘resolve’. When used as a noun (e.g. ‘the answer to this dilemma’), good alternatives include ‘solution’ and ‘explanation’.
(4) LITERALLY. “Literally” refers to the most basic, straightforward meaning of something—as in, the opposite of “figuratively.” So, if you say “I was literally drowning in paperwork,” that means your body really was submerged in a pile of papers. If that’s not truly what happened, but you feel you must intensify your statement, try “positively” or “absolutely,” which add emphasis without making it seem as if your life was in danger.
(5) MORE. “More” is one of those catchall terms. In some cases, “more” can mean the same thing as “other.” Sometimes, this is just the most accurate word to use, so don’t worry too much about trying to get this one out of rotation. Check out “other” for some alternatives. Alternatives: additional (perspectives), incremental (improvements), greater (context)
(6) NICE. Oh, how nice! But overusing this word is not. When describing people, authors may prefer you to translate with more exact words like attractive, charming, cordial, delightful, etc.
(7) DESCRIBE. When referring to the work of others you might draw upon their written descriptions. Substitute words for ‘describe’ include ‘portray’, ‘characterize’ and ‘report’.
(8) USE. If describing an experiment you’ll need to identify the methods used. As well as ‘use’, terms which can be helpful here include ‘utilize’, ’employ’, ‘apply’ and ‘adopt’.
(9) HARD. You could swap “hard” (in the sense of “requiring considerable physical or mental effort”) for “demanding,” “arduous,” “onerous,” “grueling,” “exacting,” “laborious,” “challenging,” or plain old “difficult.”
(10) MANY. “Many” may seem like a go-to option when referring to an indeterminate group of things. But if you have an idea of the volume of what you’re talking about, it’s better to narrow it down. Alternatives: multitude, handful, numerous, thousands, etc.
(11) ABLE. Next time you want to ask someone if they’ll “be able” to do something, use another phrase. Alternatives: manage, handle, support
(12) BAD. Maybe “bad” doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to express how you feel about the movie you saw last night. Was it subpar, lousy? Take your pick!
(13) HAPPY. There’s a word for every shade on the happiness spectrum. If you’re feeling happy, that could mean you’re pleased, cheerful, delighted, thrilled, ecstatic—the list goes on.
(14) UNIQUE. To indicate that something differs from the norm, try another word such as “exceptional,” “distinctive,” “idiosyncratic,” “atypical,” “extraordinary,” “anomalous,” or “peculiar.”
(15) BEST. “Best” isn’t the only way to provide a superlative. Are you looking for the top-quality pair of socks, or the pair of socks that are perfect for you? Both of these pairs of socks could be the “best.”
Time codes: 0:00 What would you say instead of "nice"? 0:37 #1 Angry 1:45 #2 Other 2:09 #3 Answer 2:28 #4 Literally 3:02 About Skillshare 4:39 #5 More 6:24 #6 Nice 7:39 #7 Describe 8:31 #8 Use 8:44 #9 Hard 9:17 #10 Many 10:14 #11 Able 10:29 #12 Bad 11:00 #13 Happy 11:34 #14 Unique 12:17 #15 Best
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