How to Simplify Your Sentences for Better Clarity

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This is why you should…

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This is why you should know how to simplify a sentence. Whether you’re a writer or a speaker, you need to use short and simple sentences to convey your message.

However, it can be challenging to distill a complex idea into a few words without being overly simplistic or leaving an impression of emptiness.

assorted color pens on table
Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

How to Simplify a Sentence

Sentences are the building blocks of any writing. They usually contain words and phrases, and you need them all to count. Here are some simple ways of simplifying your sentences

1. Divide Long Sentences

You may have heard that, for a sentence to be effective, it should be about 15 words or fewer. The more concise your sentences, the better your chances of retaining a reader’s interest. 

It’s important that you avoid long sentences that can be hard to follow. The simplest way to do this is to split long sentences into two or shorter ones. This will allow the reader to grasp your idea more clearly and quickly. To do this, ensure that each sentence conveys only one point.

2. Avoid Difficult Words

Readers will avoid your writing if they have to use a dictionary to understand the words therein.

The more difficult it is for readers to understand the meaning of your sentences, the more likely they will get frustrated. If you need to use convoluted terms, rewrite the sentence, so it’s as clear as possible.

3. Remove Redundant Words

There are some words that are not vital to the meaning of your sentence. Redundant words are like that. They take up space and don’t offer any new information in a sentence.

Deleting these redundant words will help your readers enjoy the flow of your sentences more. You’ll regain clarity with your written work and save unnecessary words.

When you encounter such words, it is best to remove them. This is because you can state their meaning in fewer words, and the sentence becomes more readable.

For example, your sentence can do without certain adverbs. Adverbs make your work sound less bold. This is why you should minimize its use. 

4. Write in the Active Voice

Passive voice affects the readability of your work. The inverted subject/object structure means readers need a great deal of concentration to understand the message.

Overall, writing in an active voice ensures that you can pass your message across in a simple and easy-to-understand way. 

5. Keep the Subject, Verb, and Objects Close

This tip is similar to the above. The subject, verb, and objects are the most important elements of your sentence. They represent the actor, what was done, and to whom it was done. Thus, you should avoid breaking them apart. Look at these examples:

  • The judge, after a lengthy discussion with the jurors, discharged the accused. (The verb, discharged, is separated from the subject, the judge.)

You could simplify this sentence thus:

  • After a lengthy discussion with the jurors, the judge discharged the accused
  • The judge discharged the accused after a lengthy discussion with the jurors

We simplified these two sentences to enhance comprehension by keeping the subject, verb, and object close.

Best AI Tools to Simplify a Sentence

AI writing tools are tools trained to replicate human intelligence in writing. These tools can perform different writing tasks and are quite efficient.

If you want a faster way to simplify sentences, you should consider AI-powered writing tools. Let’s introduce you to some of them and how to use them.

INK

INK screenshot
INK

INK is taking the writing space by storm with its amazing capabilities. If you’re writing without INK, you’re not writing right. It offers unmatched ease and seamless integration for various platforms. 

INK offers a desktop app and Chrome extension. The desktop app is available on Linux, macOS, and windows. This app is best for writers that want to focus on the task at hand, thanks to its distraction-free interface. To simplify a sentence with INK, follow these simple steps:

  • Highlight the text
  • On the desktop app, click on the “simplify” button
  • On the Chrome extension, click on the INK icon
  • You’ll get a list of simple alternatives to your existing text

INK offers users unlimited AI text rewrites on the free plan.

QuillBot

QuillBot screenshot
QuillBot

With QuillBot, you can rewrite sentences for clarity. QuillBot’s “Simple” and “Shorten” modes are best suited for this type of rewriting. The tool is AI-powered and produces results in seconds.

Overall, QuillBot has seven paraphrasing modes, two of which are free. Users can rewrite up to 125 words on the free plan. The tool can be integrated into Chrome and Microsoft Word.

Outwrite

Outwrite screengrab
Outwrite

Outwrite is another great AI-powered tool to simplify sentences. With the premium plan, users enjoy a range of sentence rewriting features.

Outwrite integrates well with different platforms such as Google Docs, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In addition, you can use download Outwrite’s extension on your Chrome browser.

Ginger

Ginger screengrab
Ginger

Ginger’s rephrase feature is useful for streamlining wordy sentences. It rephrases by synonym substitution. This feature can be useful when trying to find simpler alternatives to technical terms.

In addition to a Chrome extension, Ginger has desktop and mobile apps. It also works on popular websites like Facebook and WhatsApp web.

Conclusion

If you hope to have your point across with much clarity, it is of the utmost importance that you simplify your sentences. This means cutting back on difficult-to-understand words and phrases that don’t say much by themselves.

Remember to keep your sentence in the active voice and divide long, complex sentences into at least two shorter sentences. You should also minimize the use of technical jargons. Follow these tips or use an AI tool like INK to make your sentences simpler.

Frequently asked questions

How can sentence structure and flow be improved?

  • Think one thought per sentence Don’t overdo it.
  • A sentence starts with “old information” (topic position) when it is in its first few words.

How can I improve my sentence clarity?

  • New information will replace old information.
  • Place subordinate clauses carefully.
  • Use active voice
  • Use parallel constructions
  • Avoid noun strings
  • Use only nonverbal forms of verbs as appropriate.
  • Avoid multiple negatives

How do you simplify readability?

  • Use simple, quick words.
  • Shorten your sentences
  • Feel free to nix some of your adjectives and adverbs.
  • Drop the jargon
  • Use reader-friendly fonts
  • Keep your copy

How do you write a clear sentence?

  • Stay on topic. If you want to revise your work, ensure that the content in each sentence is both relevant and necessary.
  • Avoid wordy verbs
  • Avoid unnecessary nominalisation
  • Avoid expletive constructions
  • Avoid low-value phrases
  • Remove unnecessary prepositions
  • Retrieving redundant words and phrases is important.

What makes a sentence concise?

The writing that is vigorous is concise. The same reasons why a sentence should never contain unnecessary words, a paragraph should never include unnecessary sentences, should a drawing not have unnecessary lines, nor should clerical equipment not have unwanted parts.

How do you simplify sentences?

  • Keep your sentences relatively short.
  • Focus on just one idea per sentence.
  • Divide long sentences
  • To shorten sentences, remove unnecessary words.
  • I’m going to put things in subject-verb-object order.
  • Keep the verb close to the object and its subject.
  • Use wording and punctuation.

How do you achieve clarity in communication?

Clarity is one way we can ensure in our communications. Try not to make it harder for the other person to understand what you’re saying than you need to. Use small words instead of big ones. Use non-threatening terms and phrases that could mean a lot to different people.

What are the seven tips for better clarity in writing?

  • Understand the meaning of words you use.
  • Write with the active voice.
  • Keep qualifiers and intensifiers in mind.
  • Nominalizations should be avoided.
  • Sparely use technical terms.
  • Vary sentence length
  • Embrace brevity

How do you simplify writing styles?

  • Use Straightforward Language. Simpler words can be used to simplify writing.
  • Trim Long Sentences
  • Avoid Redundancies
  • Cut Excessive Qualification
  • Avoid Needless Self-Reference
  • Favor Active Voice
  • Favor verbs, not nouns.
  • Use Parallel Forms

What are the clarity sentences?

Make sure dependent clauses and limiters are nearest to the words they modify, and do not use undefined pronoun references to make a sentence clear. Suppose the refrigerator shuts down after opening (The fridge opened itself?)).

How do you fix awkward sentences?

A more methodical approach to fix an awkward sentence is to identify the main noun (subject) and verb (action), then cut the sentence down in response. Ask yourself, “What is this sentence about and what is its core subject? ” (Choose a noun.) Then ask, “Who is this subject doing?” (Chopt a verb.).

What makes a sentence unclear?

Firstly, the word or phrase used seems to be in too close proximity to the word used or group of words it is intended to modify. Second, a sentence without a logical subject may not be modified. Dangling modifiers make a sentence unclear at the same time, causing confusion for the reader.

Which practice is most important to clear writing?

Briefness is the key to clear writing. The definition of cleanliness is simply using less words but saying more. You need to practice writing simple sentences in order to do that. Long sentences make it more difficult to understand the underlying idea, increasing your chances of making more mistakes.

How can I improve my word?

  • Develop a habit of reading.
  • Use the dictionary or thesaurus.
  • Play word games
  • Use flashcards
  • Subscribe to our “word of the day” feeds.
  • Use mnemonics
  • Use new words in conversation.

What is the most important thing to consider in writing with clarity?

Good writing includes knowing your audience. You can communicate better to your audience if you get to know them better.

How to Simplify Your Sentences for Better Clarity

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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