100+ Deadwood Phrases To Cut From Your Writing

This list is evolving. Have suggestions? Leave a comment and I’ll update as we go.

Making these small changes in your copy—be it fiction or non (news writers are so guilty of so many of these)—will lead to clarity and brevity, hallmarks of excellent writers. It won’t be easy at first. We use these phrases because they’re quick and easy. Writing concisely takes time and editing. After a while, though, you’ll start to find that you pick the wordy-phrase less and less often.

Phrases and words you can cut entirely


as a matter of fact


it is noted that

in my opinion

it has been found that

it has long been known that

it is a fact that

in fact

it is evident that

it is well known that

it may be said that


that said

type of


Phrases you can trim

after (the conclusion of)

(advance) warning

(advance) planning

add (an additional)

add (up)

(added) bonus

(affirmative) yes

(aid and) abet

(all-time) record

(anonymous) stranger

(annual) anniversary

(armed) gunman

ask (a question)

by (means of)

continue (on)

current (trend)

drop (down)

depreciate (in value)

is (found to be)

fewer (in number)

for (the purpose of)

(in order) to

in (the field of)

in (terms of)

(put an) end (to)

(unknown) suspect

(very) unique

Phrases you can change

a majority of — most

a sufficient amount of — enough

according to our data — we find

accordingly — therefore, so

along the lines of — like

as is the case — as is true

ascertain the location of — find

at such time as — when

at the present time — now

at this point in time — now

be deficient in — lack

be in a position to — can, be able

by a factor of two — two times, double, twice

come to a conclusion — conclude

despite the fact that — although

due to the fact that — because

during the time that — while

equally as well — as well, equally well

for the reason that — because

for this reason — thus, therefore

give consideration to — consider, examine

give indication of — show, indicate, suggest

happen(s) to be — am/is/are

has been proved to be — is

if conditions are such that — if

in a number of — several, many

in all cases — always

in case — if

in close proximity to — near

in excess of — more than

in large measure — largely

in many cases — often

in most cases — usually

in no case — never

in order that — so that

in order to — to

in some cases — sometimes

in the amount of — for

in the case of — for

in the event that — if

in the near future — soon

in the neighborhood of — near, about, nearly

in the vicinity of — near

in this case — here

in view of the fact that — because, since

is capable of — can

is in a position to — can

it is interesting to note that — note that

it is our opinion that — we think

it is possible that — perhaps

make inquiry regarding — ask about, inquire about

manner in which — how

not with standing the fact that — although

on the basis of — from, because, by

on the order of — about, approximately

present in greater abundance — more abundant

prior to — before

provided that — if

reach a conclusion — conclude

serves the function of being — is

subsequent to — after

the question as to — whether

there can be little doubt that — probably

the reason is because — because

utilize or utilization — use

with reference to — about

with the exception that — except that

Acknowledgements: Klariti.com, About.com, Photo (c) Tim Sheerman-Chase