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"Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind." - Rudyard Kipling

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To Write Better English Sentences, Be Specific

Sample Sentence One:

a) "There is a man over there."

Many of my students write sentences like this while preparing for the IELTS writing test. Unfortunately, this sentence tells us nothing about the man or where he is. Here is a slightly improved sentence:

b) "A tall man is standing next to the car."

Depending on the situation, you could add many more details. For example:

c) "A tall man wearing a dark suit is standing with his arms folded next to an old, red taxi."

This sentence communicates much more to the reader and shows that you know how to really use English well.

Sample Sentence Two:

a) "I was very tired."

First, you could add the reason for being tired:

b) "I am always tired after work."

Next, be more specific about how long you had to work:

c) "I always feel tired after working from 9 in the morning until 10 at night."

Isn't sentence "C" much better than sentence "A"? Remember, when you write, you are trying to communicate. These specific details are what communicate information to your reader.

Sample Sentence Three:

a) "Can you come?"

Again, you can answer the basic questions "When" and "Where":

b) "Can you come to my office tomorow morning?"

Of course, you can be even more specific with the time:

c) "Can you come to my office tomorrow morning between 9:30 and 10 o'clock?"

And finally, you could add "Why":

d) "Can you come to my office tomorrow morning between 9:30 and 10 o'clock so that I can give you the information you wanted?"

Remember This!

When you are writing, always remember to answer the basic questions in detail:

Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?

When you include lots of specific answers to these basic questions, your writing will be much better than most students, and you'll be on your way to success!

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