THERE Can Be Ubiquitous

Keep a Look Out for the Word There

By Annette Rey

There is a troublesome word which is very overused. It is a word I do not like as it seems to sneak in everywhere. Advanced writers know how to limit its use. Here are a few hints for you.

Once you become aware of the excessive usage of the word there, you will notice it cropping up everywhere. The best way to reduce its recurrence in your work is to reread your piece, reword your sentence, and remove the word there.

I find myself writing things like: There are a lot of examples out there of this.

I reread and reword it this way: A lot of examples are available.

Not only do I rid the sentence of the offending word, the meaning is made clearer. And the result is a better sentence.

There is often accompanied by weak verbs, such as: was, is, are, have, have been, had been and the like. There was a storm brewing. A more declarative sentence is: A storm was brewing. Or, reword and drop the verb was, as in: The storm raged.

Without the word there, you get right to the point, expressing action. The words set the scene and move the image forward. There is just extra baggage.

There is appropriately used in defining place. The boy threw the book there. The boat was over there, across the pond.

You don’t have to be afraid of the word there. But I would rewrite the above two sentences: The boy threw the book on the couch. The boat was found across the pond.

Do you see how more information is imparted by eliminating the word there? In place of there, you must insert facts that tell the reader more, and moves the story along.

Examine your own work. Take time to think about your sentences that include the word there. Rewrite those sentences. I guarantee your work will send a stronger message.

Now, there you have it!


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