When we speak or write we often feel like kicking ourselves for repeating some words or sentences unnecessarily. Sometimes, we want to stress something and we repeat so as to drive home the point. At other times the repetition may be superfluous. There are many methods we can use when avoiding repetition and this is the first of three High English grammar quizzes which will show you some of them.
Generally, there are instances where repetition is acceptable in sentences and there are other instances where it is not acceptable. The sentence:
‘I am very, very happy,’ can easily be changed to:
‘I am very happy.’
However, in this instance the repetition is desirable or acceptable as the sentence is trying to enhance the effect that a person is happy. Now look at this sentence:
‘I see that the second one-day international between India and Bangladesh is being played in Dacca and I plan to see the second one-day international between India and Bangladesh being played in Dacca.’
Here the repetitions are jarring, so how could we go about avoiding the repetition? The same sentence could be written as:
‘I see that the second one-day international between India and Bangladesh is being played in Dacca and I plan to see the MATCH THERE.’
Notice that we have replaced the first part, ‘the second one-day international between India and Bangladesh’ by MATCH, and the second part, ‘being played in Dacca’ by THERE. Now, the sentence is more cogent and less jarring.
In the example above the references to context are clear and we can avoid repetitions easily. In other cases the references may not be so clear. Using pronouns is a normal way for avoiding repetitions. Sometimes we could use other words also. For instance:
‘Mustaq and Riyan are brothers. Mustaq and Riyan like Hindi movies.’ can be written as:
‘Mustaq and Riyan are brothers. Both brothers like Hindi movies.’
Here we have replaced ‘Mustaq and Riyan’ by ‘both brothers.’ When you break down the elements of sentences it is easy to avoid repetitions of words and the quiz that follows tells you exactly how.