How to Shorten Your Sentences: 6 Simple Tips


When it involves writing, oftentimes much less is healthier. Learning find out how to shorten your sentences can provide your writing the movement it must hook readers.

Even in case your writing type is lengthy, flowing sentences, you may need to problem your self to see in case you can say the identical factor however reduce out all of the pointless phrases.

Hemingway was well-known for a minimalistic-style of writing that centered on brief sentences that obtained proper to the purpose. If you ever learn his books, you’ll see it as a relentless type all through.

It’s not everybody’s private writing type, however if you wish to shorten your sentences, this text will stroll you thru find out how to shorten them, some ideas and tips to make it simpler, after which present you some examples.

Why You Should Shorten Your Sentences

Short sentences can be a method to ship extra of a “punch” to your writing or hammer house a degree you’re attempting to make.

Bloggers and on-line writers know the way vital it’s to maintain sentences brief and to the purpose. Shorter paragraphs assist readers transfer by way of the textual content in a quicker means than different kinds of sentences.

It’s why you’ll usually see weblog posts haven’t solely brief sentences, however brief paragraphs as properly. It helps transfer the attention alongside and may help readers skim by way of to seek out the elements they need to learn.

You don’t need to lose readers in lengthy, overcrowded sentences and paragraphs.

Of course, there are a number of writers well-known for his or her lengthy, flowing sentences, nevertheless it by no means hurts to discover ways to write shorter sentences. Even in case you select to make use of each in your writing, it may be an excellent device so that you can convey completely different meanings.

Sometimes, brief sentences can pack extra of a “punch” than different sentences. They’re so direct that they will catch consideration and ship a powerful message.

Keep in thoughts, you don’t need your sentences to be so brief that you just fully lose each single element in your writing. You need to discover a good stability of giving readers sufficient however not a lot they lose curiosity.

How to Shorten Your Sentences — Tips and Tricks

Now that you just’ve determined you need to begin shortening your sentences, the subsequent factor you could know is find out how to truly do it. You’ll must develop a powerful eye for modifying your writing. Check out our information right here on 25 ideas to take action!

Let’s go over a number of methods you can begin to inform in case your sentences are getting too lengthy.

1. Look for commas

Once you begin to have a ton of commas, that’s an indication that your sentences are getting lengthy. Commas are sometimes used to string collectively a number of concepts, which you may simply break up into separate sentences with a interval as an alternative.

2. Look for conjunctions

If you begin to see plenty of “and, or, however” conjunctions in your sentences, you may be capable to make that two separate sentences. Try taking them out and see if the sentence works as two completely different sentences.

3. Measure by phrase depend

It will depend on the context, however over 100 phrases normally means the sentence is just too lengthy.

4. Remove redundant phrases

This one may take some observe, however you’ll must observe going by way of your sentences and seeing which phrases you possibly can take out with out shedding your that means.

A useful train: consider the principle level you’re attempting to get throughout to readers. Hack the whole lot down till you’re simply at that time and see if that also works.

5. Use instruments

There are many on-line modifying instruments that may make it easier to hack your sentences right down to the naked minimal. One of essentially the most well-known instruments for that is the Hemingway editor. This device is called after Hemingway who was well-known for his brief and right-to-the-point sentences.

Other instruments like ProfessionalWritingSupport and Grammarly may assist with this.

6. Use the energetic voice

It’s not at all times the case, however utilizing the energetic voice may help you write shorter sentences. Why? Because you’re centered on describing the particular person and their actions.

How to Shorten Your Sentences — Examples

One of essentially the most well-known examples of a brief sentence was when Hemingway was challenged to jot down a brief story solely utilizing 6 phrases. He wrote: “For sale: child footwear, by no means worn.”

On the flip aspect, one of many longest sentences ever written is the 36 web page, 3,687 phrases monologue by Molly Bloom in Ulysses by James Joyce.

Now, I’d by no means dare to say that I might write higher than a few of the writer examples we’re going to make use of, however they’re famously lengthy sentences that we’re going to work on shortening.

Keep in thoughts, a few of these sentences will arguably lose a few of their particulars and aptitude.

First instance: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The authentic textual content:

“Her plan for the morning thus settled, she sat quietly right down to her ebook after breakfast, resolving to stay in the identical place and the identical employment until the clock struck one; and from habitude little or no incommoded by the remarks and ejaculations of Mrs. Allen, whose emptiness of thoughts and incapacity for pondering have been such, that as she by no means talked an excellent deal, so she might by no means be totally silent; and, due to this fact, whereas she sat at her work, if she misplaced her needle or broke her thread, if she heard a carriage on the street, or noticed a speck upon her robe, she should observe it aloud, whether or not there have been anybody at leisure to reply her or not.”

The rewrite:

Her plan for the morning was settled. She determined to remain in the identical place till the clock struck one and would talk about out loud what she noticed that day.

Second instance: The Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The authentic textual content:

“Sometimes, although, there’s a ghostly rumble among the many drums, an asthmatic whisper within the trombones that swings me again into the early twenties after we drank wooden alcohol and each day in each means grew higher and higher, and there was a primary abortive shortening of the skirts, and women all seemed alike in sweater clothes, and folks you didn’t need to know mentioned ‘Yes, now we have no bananas’, and it appeared solely a query of some years earlier than the older folks would step apart and let the world be run by those that noticed issues as they have been and all of it appears rosy and romantic to us who have been younger then, as a result of we are going to by no means really feel fairly so intensely about our environment any extra.”

The rewrite:

There is a ghostly rumble among the many drums that swing me again into the early twenties after we drank wooden alcohol. It appeared solely a query of some years earlier than the older folks would step apart and let the world be run by those that noticed issues as they have been. It all appears rosy and romantic to us who have been younger then, as a result of we are going to by no means really feel fairly so intensely about our environment any extra.

Third instance: Rabbit, Run by John Updike

The authentic:

“But then they have been married (she felt terrible about being pregnant earlier than however Harry had been speaking about marriage for some time and anyway laughed when she advised him in early February about lacking her interval and mentioned Great she was terribly frightened and he mentioned Great and lifted her put his arms round below her backside and lifted her such as you would a baby he could possibly be so great whenever you didn’t anticipate it in a means it appeared vital that you just didn’t anticipate it there was a lot good in him she couldn’t clarify to anyone she had been so frightened about being pregnant and he made her be proud) they have been married after her lacking her second interval in March and he or she was nonetheless little clumsy dark-complected Janice Springer and her husband was a immodest lunk who wasn’t good for something on this planet Daddy mentioned and the sensation of being alone would soften a bit of with a bit of drink.”

The rewrite:

By then, they have been married. She felt terrible about being pregnant earlier than, however Harry had been speaking about marriage for some time and was excited when she advised him.

With each form of writing, it’s important you resolve because the writer what is really vital to maintain in.

Looking for extra sources?

If you’re in search of extra ideas and sources to enhance your writing, these may help.

  • On Writing Well – William Zinsser (ebook)
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King (ebook)
  • Elements of Style – William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White (ebook)
  • ProfessionalWritingSupport (grammar software program device)
  • Grammarly (grammar software program device)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here