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Hi. This is Rebecca, and I have a question for you. Is there anything wrong with the
sentences behind me? Let's have a look.
"The car was speeding too fast."
"We will progress forward this year."
"Do you have any other alternatives?"
And, "When are you returning back?"
Okay. Let's start with those four. So did you find anything wrong there, or did you
think they were perfectly okay? Well, I hope you said that there was something wrong because
there is. And what's wrong is that all of these sentences contain what is called in
English "redundant expressions". "Redundancy" means repetitive and unnecessary. That means
there are some extra words here that we don't need to use. So let's go back and see what
those redundancies are.
The first one, "The car was speeding too fast." So what's redundant? These words here, "too
fast". When you say that the car was speeding, that's enough because "speeding" means that
you're driving too fast. So you don't need to say that you're speeding too fast. Just,
"The car was speeding."
Next, "We will progress forward this year." Where's the problem? Here. You don't need
to say "progress forward". It's enough to say "progress" because "progress" means to
go forward. Okay?
Next one, "Do you have any other alternatives?" Where's the problem? Here. "Alternatives"
means other ideas, other options. So you don't need to say "other alternatives". Just,
"Do you have any alternatives?"
"When are you returning back?" Where's the problem? Here. You just need to say, "When
are you returning?" Because "returning" means "going back", all right?
Let's try a few others. "Could you repeat the directions again?" Where's the problem?
Over here. Because "to repeat" means to say something again, so "Could you repeat the
directions?" That's enough.
"Please continue on with your work." Where's the problem there? Here. "To continue" means
to go on. So you don't need to say "continue on", okay?
"They meet together often." That sounds like it's okay. A lot of people do use those kinds
of expressions. But it's not technically correct. You should just say, "They meet often" because
if they meet, they are together, right? We don't need to repeat it. That is a redundancy.
Last one here, "We reserved the seats in advance." Where's the problem? Over here. If you reserved
the seats, it means that you booked them in advance. So you don't need to repeat the words
"in advance".
Now, this is really important especially if you're writing an exam like the TOEFL or the
IELTS because examiners look out for these types of issues in your English language mastery,
okay? Let's look at a few more examples. There are, actually, hundreds of examples in English
of common redundancies. I'll tell you a little bit more about that in a second. But let's
look at a few examples.
"Still continues" -- can you say something "still continues"? Not really. You shouldn't
be saying that. You don't need the word "still". "It continues" means it's still going on.
All right?
Next one. You do hear this one quite often, but it's not really right. "It's a crisis
situation." We don't need the word "situation". "It's a crisis." That's enough.
Next one. Well, these two, let me read them to you first. "Completely destroyed"; "absolutely
necessary". Now, as such, it's really enough to say, "It was destroyed" or "It's necessary".
But it often happens that in English and in different languages, words sometimes become
weaker over time. So sometimes, we have a tendency to emphasize them. And that's what's
happening here. So you could leave this, or you could eliminate it. "Completely destroyed"
we use when we want to emphasize that it was really gone. But as such, the word "destroyed"
means that it's gone. Same here, "It's necessary" means that you need it. But sometimes, you
will hear people say, "It's absolutely necessary that you arrive on time for your interview."
So they're just trying to emphasize it. But technically, it's not necessary. Okay?
If you'd like a list of about a hundred redundancies like this, I've compiled a list for you which
you can download for free from our website, www.engvid.com. You can also do a quiz on
this subject and watch lots of other videos that will help you improve your English, okay?
Thanks for watching. Bye for now.
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English Vocabulary: Find the Mistake

1019 Folder Collection
Gabriel Kuo published on September 24, 2014
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