50 plain-language substitutions for wordy phrases

Bulky phrases like “in order to” and “due to the fact that” have no place in your writing. These one-word replacements will streamline your copy.

You don’t need to summarily replace the following phrases with more concise alternatives, but consider making the switch, especially when you find yourself using various wordy phrases frequently in the same text.

1. A number of: some, many
2. Afford an opportunity: allow, let
3. An appreciable number of: many
4. As a means of: to
5. As prescribed by: in, under
6. At the present time: now
7. By means of: by, with
8. Comply with: follow
9. Due to the fact that: because, due to, since
10. During the period of: during
11. For a period of: for
12. Has a requirement for: needs, requires
13. Have an adverse effect on: hurt, set back
14. In a timely manner: on time, promptly
15. In accordance with: by, following, per, under
16. In addition: also, besides, too
17. In an effort to: to
18. In close proximity: near
19. In lieu of: instead of
20. In order for: for
21. In order that: so
22. In order to: to
23. In regard to: about, concerning, on
24. In relation to: about, to, with
25. In the amount of: amounting to, for
26. In the event of: if
27. In the near future: shortly, soon
28. In the process of: (omit without replacement)
29. In view of: because, since
30. Is applicable to: applies to
31. Is authorized to: can, may
32. Is in consonance with: agrees with, follows
33. Is responsible for: handles
34. It is essential that [one]: [one] must
35. It is incumbent upon [one] to: [one] should, [one] must
36. It is requested that you: please
37. Pertaining to: about, of, on
38. Provide(s) guidance for/to: guides
39. Relative to: about, on
40. Set forth in: in
41. Similar to: like
42. Successfully accomplish/complete: accomplish/complete
43. Take action to: (omit without replacement)
44. The month (or year) of: (omit without replacement)
45. The use of: (omit without replacement)
46. Time period: period, time
47. Under the provisions of: under
48. Until such time as: until
49. With reference to: about
50. With the exception of: except

A version of this article originally appeared on Daily Writing Tips.


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