英文寫作時別再使用這24個填充字(Filler Words)跟片語!

學術寫作技巧

降低使用填充詞(filler words)
不管是寫期刊論文、學位論文或是其他學術文章,切中要點的句子最能有效傳遞訊息給讀者。第三篇刪減字數技巧,要來說說你平常做的很自然渾然不自覺的習慣,就是填充詞的使用。(如果你想了解其他兩篇關於刪減字數技巧的文章,歡迎查看修改動詞名詞化消除介詞)

Tip # 3: 刪除填充字 & 冗詞

我們寫作上習慣使用太多應該無意義的填充詞,大多數都是從口語中養成習慣再影響到寫作。

什麼是填充字(filler)?

填充字在句子裡完全沒有任何功用,只有「佔位置」。因為我們時常不自覺的將說話的方式套用在寫作上。拿我們部落格舉例好了,我們以對話的方式來寫文章是為了讓讀者理解,我們不用擔心字數限制也希望透過輕鬆地敘述風格讓讀者了解英文寫作建議,可是學術寫作上的用字則不能這樣使用,必須要精確。

一般寫作和學術寫作都應避免填充詞與不必要的單字、片語

來看看以下句子,你能找出句中的填充詞和冗詞嗎?

  1. There is an octopus sitting on top of my car.
  2. This is actually an interesting question.
  3. In order to apply the new method to our entire system, perhaps we should perform a local test.

句子語法都沒錯,可是可以更精簡喔

  1. There is an octopus sitting on top of my car. [10 字]
  2. This is actually an interesting question. [6 字]
  3. In order to apply the new method to our entire system, perhaps we should perform a local test. [18字]

來看看精簡後版本

  1. An octopus is sitting on my car. [7 字]
  2. This question is interesting. [4 字]
  3. We should perform a local test before applying the new method to our system. [14 字]

果然精簡很多吧!刪除填充詞可以有效縮減字數,平均比例是25-30%的句長喔。假設我們把這比例放到論文上來看,單單刪掉填充詞就成功”瘦身” 25-30%。

如何找出並修改填充詞?

為了加強你的寫作和修改技巧跟節省你的時間,我們在下方列出了常見的填充詞與或不必要的單字/片語,同時也提供了適合大部分情況的修改建議,當然你也可以照自己的其他方式修改。

填充詞或不必要的單字/片語 修改建議 範例
A… then B… [chronological relationship] Use the structure “A… and B…” Sometimes, readers can understand sequences because of causality implied in the sentence’s context. Joe ran up the hill then fell back down. → Joe ran up the hill and fell back down.
Absolutely, Certainly, Completely, Definitely Delete. In most cases, the verb accompanying these adverbs imply 100% unless otherwise qualified. We absolutely agree with that theory. → We agree with that theory.
All of the Use “all the.” All of the cells ruptured. → All the cells ruptured.
As to whether Use “whether.” He was uncertain as to whether he would attend the event next week. → He was uncertain whether he would attend the event next week.
At all time Delete. If you state a general fact, it is always true unless you qualify it otherwise. You must follow these rules at all times. → You must follow these rules.
Commonly Delete. Since “commonly” implies a general statement, it’s unnecessary to use when your statement is a general fact. People once commonly believed that the sun revolved around Earth. → People once believed the sun revolved around Earth.
Due to the fact that Use “because” or restructure the sentence using stronger verbs. Due to the fact that we have limited resources, we will need to ration our daily intake. → We must ration our daily intake because of limited resources. OR Limited resources require us to ration our daily intake.
For all intents and purposes Delete. For all intents and purposes, this project will be run by the Zurich office. → This project will be run by the Zurich office.
For the purpose of Use “to” + verb. For the purpose of creating a new cohort, we would like to… → To create a new cohort, we would like to…
Has the ability to Use “can.” Jackson has the ability to mesmerize an audience with his charm. → Jackson can mesmerize an audience with his charm.
I/we believe; In my/our opinion Delete unless it would become unclear that the sentence reflects your thought alone. For example, if you are describing other people’s thoughts and want to contrast those ideas with your opinion, you may wish to use these fillers. However, use them sparingly. In most cases, you can avoid the filler, as shown in the second example in the next column. In our opinion, our results are inconclusive. → Our results are inconclusive.Scientists believe that water once flowed on Mars; however, we believe this theory is unlikely because… → Scientists believe that water once flowed on Mars; however, this theory is unlikely because…
In spite of the fact that Use “despite” or “although.” She agreed to volunteer for the event in spite of the fact that she was busy with other work. → She agreed to volunteer for the event although she was busy with other work.
In terms of Delete and restructure or use “about” or “regarding,” depending on the context. We can agree with you in terms of the proposed timeframe. → We agree with your proposed timeframe. In terms of price, we would like to request a discount. → Regarding price, we would like to request a discount.
In the event that Use “if.” In the event that you can’t meet the deadline, please contact us immediately. → If you can’t meet the deadline, please contact us immediately.
In the process of Use “while” or “when,” depending on the context. In the process of starting a new business, I hired an assistant. → When I started a new business, I hired an assistant
In order to Use “to.” In order to advance to the next level, we must pass this exam. → To advance to the next level, we must pass this exam.
It is important to note Delete. If it wasn’t important, you wouldn’t be writing it, right? It is important to note that inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally. → Inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally.
It is possible that Use “can,” “could,” “may,” or “might,” depending on the context. It is possible that the show will be canceled due to inclement weather. → The show could be canceled due to inclement weather.
Just, Really, Very, Even Delete. He really loves winter, especially when it snows. → He loves winter, especially when it snows.
Needless to say Delete. Needless to say, the project will end tomorrow. → The project will end tomorrow.
That Delete unless it is essential for making the sentence clear. She believed that he was innocent. → She believed he was innocent. She liked the house that sat on top of the hill. → She liked the house that sat on top of the hill. ["That" is essential to explain which house.]
The fact that Delete and restructure. Mary hated the fact that she had to work on Mondays. → Mary hated working on Mondays.
There/Here/It is…There has/have been… Delete and restructure to create a stronger active subject/verb. These phrases distract from your sentence’s main point. There have been many discussions among the scientific community about ethical boundaries in gene-splicing research. → The scientific community has frequently discussed the ethical boundaries in gene-splicing research.
With regard/reference to Use “regarding” or “about,” depending on the context. You can also rearrange your sentence to eliminate the “with regard to”/”regarding” phrase. With regard to your previous questions, we will answer them during our meeting later today. → Regarding your previous questions, we will answer them during our meeting later today. OR We will answer your previous questions during our meeting later today.

除了以上的內容,你是否還有想到其他常使用的填充詞呢?

如果你想要試試看是否自己了解了以上內容,可以試試以下的練習。

  1. In the end, we’d like to choose option A.
  2. We just need to move on to the next task; otherwise, we’ll really run out of time.
  3. While we believe this project can be completed in three months, in order to do so, we will need to incur additional costs.
  4. In the event that I don’t make it on time, please start without me.
  5. With reference to the new project, it is possible that we will start next month.
  6. It is important to note that you can apply to the program at any time you want; however, due to the fact that we admit participants on a rolling basis, we may have no room left if you wait too long.

 

 

 

 

解答:

  1. We’d like to choose option A.
  2. We need to move on to the next task; otherwise, we’ll run out of time.
  3. While this project can be completed in three months, to do so, we will need to incur additional costs.
  4. If I don’t make it on time, please start without me.
  5. We can start the new project next month.
  6. You can apply to the program at any time; however, if you wait too long, we may not have any room because we admit participants on a rolling basis.

 

 

 

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