In English grammar, redundancy is the concept of using more words than needed to describe the same idea.
Some classic examples include ‘free gift’, ‘end result’, and ‘true fact’. Repetitive phrases hamper the readability of a message because they often sound awkward, verbose, and clunky.
Fortunately, as long as you can spot them, correcting these mistakes is a simple matter…
Common Redundancies in Professional Messages
1. Collaborate together
Collaboration is a major aspect of business. Employees collaborate on tasks, teams collaborate on projects, and companies collaborate on products. Since this verb is another way to say ‘work together’, the ‘together’ becomes unnecessary.
Solution: Take ‘together’ off or change to ‘work together’.
2. AM in the morning/PM in the afternoon
The abbreviations ‘a.m.’ (ante meridiem) and ‘p.m.’ (post meridiem) originate from Latin, and these terms translate to ‘before midday’ and ‘after midday’. With that in mind, one can infer that this construction is superfluous.
Solution: Choose one and remove the other (e.g., either 4 p.m. or 4 in the afternoon).
3. Reply/Respond back
It’s tempting to add ‘back’ after these verbs, but you must fight the urge. Even native speakers have been known to make this error. However, ‘reply’ and ‘respond’ already imply the action of getting back to someone with an answer.
Solution: Remove ‘back’ or switch to ‘get back to’.
4. Sufficient enough
‘Sufficient’ is an adjective that means good enough for a particular purpose, so joining these words makes little sense. The same logic also applies to ‘adequate enough’.
Solution: Use ‘sufficient’ by itself or swap it with ‘good enough’.
5. Proceed forward
Starting to notice a trend here? To proceed is to continue or go further, so there is no legitimate reason to place ‘forward’ after this verb.
Solution: Either drop ‘forward’ or substitute with ‘go/move forward’.
Still not sure? Submit your text to our editors and get it corrected in a few minutes!
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