The aim of any communicative endeavor is to pass a message to the audience. Thus, every communicator should make sure they remove anything that can hinder the understanding of the message.
In writing, long sentences tend to be harder to read. This is why writers should strive to keep their sentences short. If you don’t know how to shorten sentences, this article will show you. It includes several reasons you should shorten sentences and tools to make shorter sentences.
Why You Should Shorten Sentences
Short sentences are a better way of delivering your message in the simplest way. Writing long sentences leaves the reader grappling with multiple topics simultaneously. It takes the punch out of your message. This point is especially important if you’re into online writing where readers are in a hurry to move to the next point.
In addition, you may want to shorten your sentence to stick to the stipulated word count. When we write about topics we’re familiar with, we tend to write extensively. There’s nothing inherently bad in this. However, you may end up exceeding the maximum word count allowed. In the end, you’ll have to cut down the length of your sentences.
How to Shorten Sentences
We have a few tips to help you cut down the length of your sentences.
Write in the Active Voice
Writing in the active voice is a simple way of reducing the length of your sentences. The alternative is to write in the passive voice, which is usually longer. Look at these two examples:
- Tom scored a beautiful goal
- A beautiful goal was scored by Tom
The active voice sentence has only five words, while the passive voice sentence has seven words. Other examples:
- We planted an oak tree (four words)
- An oak tree was planted by us (six words)
- They are making a new table (six words)
- A new table is being made by them (eight words)
- Ann proposed a new idea (five words)
- A new idea was proposed by Ann (seven words)
Apart from the readability issues with passive sentences, the extra words bloat up your writing.
Redundant words are one of the most common causes of long sentences. If a word isn’t adding anything new to your sentence, it has no business being there. In simpler terms, cut out unnecessary words. Also, some long phrases have simpler alternatives; avoid them. For example:
- The judge jailed him due to the fact that he lied under oath
- The judge jailed him because he lied under oath
We replaced “due to the fact that” with “because” without altering the meaning, and we still have a more readable sentence.
- In actual fact, we left late
- Actually, we left late
Split Long Sentences
Those long sentences can be split into two or more sentences without any problem. There are a couple of methods to do this. The first is to break the sentence into information units. An information per sentence. The second is to look for commas and colons connecting independent clauses. Another approach is to look for conjunctions like “and” and “but.” They are good points to split long sentences.
How to Shorten Sentences With AI Tools
AI tools provide a faster way to shorten sentences. The best AI tools deliver quality and are simple to use. These tools were trained with copious amounts of human writing that guarantees an almost-flawless output.
Although these tools automate the process of shortening sentences, it doesn’t mean that humans are entirely left out of the loop. They can still check the shortened sentences and make sure that they are appropriate for whoever is reading them. AI tools are a time and labor saver, but there may be some instances where human review is needed.
You don’t have to stress yourself looking for these tools. We have compiled some of the best ones for you.
INK AI-powered writing tool is highly-rated, and the reason is not far-fetched. This co-writing tool has a tool to help you with any form of writing. Think of any writing topic, and INK will have a tool to aid you.
You can download the INK app for your computer. You can download it for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Alternatively, you can use the Chrome extension on the web. Either way, you are unlocking an unmatched AI tool capable of making your workflow smoother. To shorten sentences on the web, you only need to highlight the sentence and click on the INK icon that appears near the text. Select the simplify option, and INK will generate simpler alternatives. The simplify option works the same way on the desktop app.
- The extension works on various platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp web, and Slack
- Unlimited AI text rewriting on the free plan
- SEO optimization
- Grammar and spelling checks on the app
Outwrite is a writing assistant with many parts, and the rewriting feature is impressive. Users can shorten sentences by highlighting them and allowing Outwrite to do the rest. You can download the Chrome extension on the Chrome Web Store. It also helps with other rewriting goals asides from shortening sentences.
- Multi-language support
- Style and readability check
QuillBot is another tool dedicated to helping you create better sentences. With QuillBot’s sentence paraphrasing tool, you can have sentences that are shorter, clearer, and more accurate.
It offers several paraphrasing modes. However, the “shorten” mode is best for creating shortened sentences. This mode is available on the premium plan. Nevertheless, you can assess QuillBot’s ability using the two free modes available.
- Chrome and word extensions
- Offers a plagiarism checker and citation generator
It is possible to say more with less. Being concise isn’t just an easy way of writing. It can actually make your writing more powerful and definitive. When a sentence is short, it can carry a lot of information in a few well-placed words.
Furthermore, using shorter sentences can improve clarity and make your writing vivid and comprehensive. By writing shorter sentences, you can enhance the emotion and tone of your writing and make a powerful statement without sacrificing clarity.
Today, there are so many advanced tools and programs available to the average user. Many of them are able to help you analyze your sentences and improve clarity by shortening your sentences. Now that you know how to shorten sentences with AI tools, you can write with more clarity.
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