Conciseness Exercise (441)
Simplify the following sentences by making them more concise and direct.
Answers and Explanations
Original: It was his earlier comment that caused me to suspect that he was lying.
Correct : His earlier comment caused me to suspect that he was lying.
Avoid expletives ("there" or "it" followed by "is/are/was/were") by beginning the sentence with the subject.
Original: The train was hit by a piece of debris from the explosion.
Correct : A piece of debris from the explosion hit the train.
Avoid "(verb) by (noun)" constructions by replacing them with "(noun) (verb)" constructions.
Original: In the event that you do not receive the form with three business days, call our office.
Correct : If you do not receive the form with three business days, call our office.
Replace wordy phrases with single words.
Original: John Smith’s novels have all been best-sellers. He has written seven books since leaving his career in electrical engineering to become an author.
Correct : All seven of former electrical engineer John Smith’s novels have been best-sellers.
Combine information from two or more sentences into one to eliminate wordiness.
Original: The character’s basic and fundamental character flaw is pride.
Correct : The character’s fundamental character flaw is pride.