18 ways to eliminate the use of ‘very’

Stop using the “very” + adjective combo, which is uninspired—and a little lazy. Instead use one of these substitutes to write more concisely and add a little punch to your prose:

Very accurate = exact

Very busy = swamped

Very competitive = cutthroat

Very big = massive

Tough Talks D

Very clear = obvious

Very detailed = meticulous

Very important = crucial

Very often = frequently

Very powerful = compelling

Very quick = rapid

Very hard = difficult

Very interesting = captivating

Very short = brief

Very serious = grave

Very special = exceptional

Very sure = certain

Very willing = eager

Very worried = distressed

— Adapted from “Avoid Using ‘Very’ Because It Makes Your Writing Very Weak,” Noemi Tasarra, www.freelancewritinggigs.com.