Avoiding the overuse of “very + adjective”

Even for native speakers of English, building up a rich vocabulary can be quite challenging. Much easier for instance to use very + adjectif rather than struggling to find “le mot juste”.

The table below is a handy guide for this task.

A word of warning, however: the alternative to very + adjectif must be appropriate.

Eg, using swift with car just sounds wrong.

One can have a swift journeya swift recovery and a swift runner, but for car one would rather speak of a speedy car.

This example underscores a highly complex aspect of the English language, all the more so as one can speak of a speedy journeya speedy recovery and a speedy runner.

Here, the rule is that speedy can be used to describe anything that goes fast – animate, inanimate or process – as can swift, but in the latter’s case not for something that is mechanical (car, plane, etc).

Only native speaker translators translating into their mother tongue have this level of instinctive linguistic sensitivity. In fact, it is this type of extremely detailed and particularly picky aspect of our work that gives us the most job satisfaction.

Please contact me to discuss all types of translation and content writing work.

Tableau d'alternatifs à very + adjectif
Credit : Proof Reading Services