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Is Actually Necessary?

Writing can become verbose when writers incorporate modifiers that do not add description into their documents. Let's examine how the sentence below uses an empty modifier.


Original Sentence: Recent studies explore whether managers ARE ACTUALLY USING technology to connect with their teams effectively.


The problem with this sentence is the use of the adverb "actually." The word means "in act or in fact" (Merriam-Webster, online). While the word is often used for emphasis when speaking, it does add any meaning as an adverb in many academic contexts. For example, the reader does not gain an understanding of how technology is being used by the adverb "actually." An adverb, when describing a verb, should explain how the action is being done.


When something is "used," it is "put into action or service" (Merriam-Webster, online). In other words, this sentence can be written: "Recent studies explore whether managers are putting technology into action to connect with their teams effectively." Therefore, the adverb is deleted in the edited sentence since it has little meaning in regards to how managers are using technology.


Edited Sentence: Recent studies explore whether managers ARE USING technology to connect with their teams effectively.


Writers must be mindful to use adjectives and adverbs effectively so that they add useful descriptions.


Cultivating writers...one tip at a time!


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