REPLACE UNSPECIFIC WORDS - EXAMPLES

March 30, 2021 • written by

Here are the most common unspecific words that I encounter.

His/Hers

Replace his/hers with the name of person.

EXAMPLE:

His dinner is ready. UNSPECIFIC

Kevin’s dinner is ready. SPECIFIC

Him/Her

Replace him/her with a name or person.

EXAMPLE:

I wanted to meet him. UNSPECIFIC

I wanted to meet Kevin. SPECIFIC.

That

Replace that with specific object or event.

EXAMPLES:

That is my goal. UNSPECIFIC.

Buying a car is my goal. SPECIFIC.

I can’t believe that happened to her. UNSPECIFIC.

I can’t believe that Mary left her phone at the office. SPECIFIC.

I went home after doing that. UNSPECIFIC.

I went home after eating. SPECIFIC.

There

Replace there with a specific object or location.

EXAMPLE:

Please get my phone there. UNSPECIFIC

Please get my phone from my desk. SPECIFIC.

This

Replace this with a specific object.

EXAMPLES:

Listening to this makes me happy. UNSPECIFIC.

Listening to K-Pop makes me happy. SPECIFIC.

This is what I’d like to eat. UNSPECIFIC.

I’d like to eat a hamburger. SPECIFIC.

Them

Replace them with the specific group of people that you are refering to.

EXAMPLES:

I will use my salary to help them. UNSPECIFIC.

I will use my salary to help my family. SPECIFIC.

I got into a fight with them. UNSPECIFIC.

I got into a fight with my coworkers. SPECIFIC.

NOTES

We were taught to replace nouns with pronouns back in school.

The objective was that we use pronouns to make sentences sound less redundant.

Here’s an example.

ORIGINAL:

Kevin went to the gym.

Kevin ate at the restaurant after going to the gym.

Kevin went home after eating at the restaurant.

PRONOUN ADDED - HE/HIM:

Kevin went to the gym.

He ate at the restaurant after going to the gym.

He went home after eating at the restaurant.

When you observe example, you don’t have a problem because there is only one person in the story.

The story begins to get confusing when you add more people.

PRONOUN ADDED - THERE.

Kevin went to the gym.

He ate at the restaurant after going there.

He went home after eating there.

We end up using the word “there” to refer to two locations.

The first “there” refers to the gym found in the previous sentence.

The second “there” refers to the “restaurant” found in the second sentence.

The pronouns make the story confusing because there are multiple locations.

There are usually multiple elements or complexity when you are giving instructions or sharing stories.

Using pronous add to the complexity and makes the story or instruction confusing.

In the context of giving instructions:

It is better to be redundant but specific.

Specificity helps avoid confusion.

HOW TO BOIL AN EGG:

Prepare a pot.

Prepare one liter of water.

Prepare the egg.

Place one liter of water into a pot.

Place the egg into the pot.

Place the pot with the water on to the stove.

Turn on the stove and turn up the heat to medium.

Wait for the water to boil.

Lower the heat.

Allow the egg to simmer for twelve minutes.

Turn of the heat.

Discard the water from the pot.

Place the egg into cold water.

Peel the egg.

Enjoy.

In these instructions, we kept referring to the pot, water, and egg specifically.

I did not use the pronoun “that.”

If at any point that you replaced the pot, water, and egg in these instructions with the pronoun “that,” you’d be confused.

Disgard that into the pot.

Place that into cold water.

You’d likely throw out the egg and mix the hot water with the cold water.

I’d like you to apply specificy as you do the writing exercises.

I am praying for your success. God bless!

If you made it this far, you should introduce yourself.

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