Redundant Words & Phrases

Repetitious expressions and redundancies are common in speaking and writing (e.g., “free gifts” or “foreign imports”). For concision in academic writing, these should be eliminated. Some of the phrases below may serve a purpose in certain contexts; however, such phrases can cause confusion. To eliminate needless repetition omit the word or phrase in parentheses.

A

  • Absolutely) essential
  • (Absolutely) necessary
  • (Actual) facts
  • Advance (forward)
  • (Advance) planning
  • (Advance) preview
  • (Advance) reservations
  • (Advance) warning
  • Add (an additional)
  • Add (up)
  • (Added) bonus
  • (Affirmative) yes
  • (Aid and) abet
  • (All-time) record
  • Alternative (choice)
  • A.M. (in the morning)
  • (And) etc.
  • (Anonymous) stranger
  • (Annual) anniversary
  • (Armed) gunman
  • (Artificial) prosthesis
  • Ascend (up)
  • Ask (the question)
  • Assemble (together)
  • Attach (together)
  • ATM (machine)
  • Autobiography (of his/her own life

B

  • Bald (-headed)
  • Balsa (wood)
  • (Basic) fundamentals
  • (Basic) necessities
  • Best (ever)

C

  • Cacophony (of sound)
  • Cameo (appearance)
  • Cancel (out)
  • (Careful) scrutiny
  • Cash (money)
  • Cease (and desist)
  • Circle (around)
  • Circulate (around)
  • Classify (into groups)
  • (Close) proximity
  • (Closed) fist
  • Collaborate (together)
  • Combine (together)
  • Commute (back and forth)
  • Compete (with each other)
  • (Completely) annihilate
  • (Completely) destroyed
  • (Completely) eliminate
  • (Completely) engulfed 
  • (Completely) filled
  • (Completely) surround
  • (Component) parts
  • Confer (together)
  • Connect (together)
  • Connect (up)
  • Confused (state)
  • Consensus (of opinion)
  • (Constantly) maintained
  • Cooperate (together)
  • Could (possibly)
  • Crisis (situation)
  • Curative (process)
  • (Current) incumbent
  • (Current) trend

D

  • Descend (down)
  • (Desirable) benefits
  • (Different) kinds
  • Disappear (from sight)
  • Drop (down)
  • During (the course of)
  • Dwindle (down)

E

  • Each (and every)
  • Earlier (in time)
  • Eliminate (altogether) 
  • Emergency (situation) 
  • (Empty) hole 
  • Empty (out) 
  • (Empty) space
  • Enclosed (herein)
  • (End) result
  • Enter (in) etc. (in color)
  • (Entirely) eliminate 
  • Equal (to one another) 
  • Eradicate (completely)
  • Estimated at (about)
  • Evolve (over time) 
  • (Exact) same 
  • (Exposed) opening
  • Extradite (back)

F

  • (Face) mask
  • Fall (down)
  • (Favorable) approval 
  • (Fellow) classmates
  • (Fellow) colleague
  • Few (in number) 
  • Filled (to capacity)
  • (Final) conclusion
  • (Final) end
  • (Final) outcome
  • (Final) ultimatum
  • (First and) foremost
  • (First) conceived
  • First (of all)
  • Fly (through the air)
  • Follow (after)
  • (Foreign) imports
  • (Former) graduate
  • (Former) veteran
  • (Free) gift
  • (From) whence
  • (Frozen) ice
  • (Frozen) tundra
  • Full (to capacity)
  • (Full) satisfaction
  • Fuse (together)
  • (Future) plans
  • (Future) recurrence

G

  • Gather (together)
  • (General) public
  • GOP (party)
  • GRE (exam)
  • Green, blue, yellow, etc. (in color)
  • Grow (in size)

H

  • Had done (previously)
  • (Harmful) injuries
  • (Head) honcho
  • Heat (up)
  • HIV (virus)
  • Hoist (up)
  • (Hollow) tube
  • Hurry (up)

  • (Illustrated) drawing
  • Incredible (to believe)
  • Indicted (on a charge)
  • Input (into)
  • Integrate (together)
  • Integrate (with each other)
  • Interdependent (on each other)
  • Introduced (a new)
  • Introduced (for the first time)
  • (Ir)regardless
  • ISBN (number)

J

  • Join (together)
  • (Joint) collaboration

K

  • Kneel (down)
  • (Knowledgeable) experts

L

  • Lag (behind)
  • Later (time)
  • LCD (display)
  • Lift (up)
  • (Little) baby
  • (Live) studio audience
  • (Live) witness
  • (Local) residents
  • Look (ahead) to the future
  • Look back (in retrospect)

M

  • Made (out) of
  • (Major) breakthrough
  • (Major) feat
  • Manually (by hand)
  • May (possibly)
  • Meet (together)
  • Meet (with each other)
  • (Mental) telepathy
  • Merge (together)
  • Might (possibly)
  • Minestrone (soup)
  • Mix (together)
  • Modern ______ (of today)
  • (Mutual) cooperation
  • (Mutually) interdependent
  • Mutual respect (for each other)

N

  • Nape (of her neck)
  • (Native) habitat
  • (Natural) instinct
  • Never (before)
  • (New) beginning
  • (New) construction
  • (New) innovation
  • (New) invention
  • (New) recruit
  • None (at all)
  • Nostalgia (for the past)
  • (Now) pending
  • (Number-one) leader in

O

  • Off (of)
  • (Old) adage
  • (Old) cliché
  • (Old) custom
  • (Old) proverb
  • (Open) trench
  • Open (up)
  • (Oral) conversation
  • (Originally) created
  • Output (out of)
  • (Outside) in the yard
  • Outside (of)
  • (Over) exaggerate
  • Over (with)
  • (Overused) cliché

P

  • (Pair of) twins
  • Palm (of the hand)
  • (Passing) fad
  • (Past) experience
  • (Past) history
  • (Past) memories
  • (Past) records
  • Penetrate (into)
  • Period (of time)
  • (Personal) friend
  • (Personal) opinion
  • Pick (and choose)
  • PIN (number)
  • Plan (ahead)
  • Plan (in advance)
  • (Please) RSVP
  • Plunge (down)
  • (Polar) opposites
  • (Positive) identification
  • Postpone (until later)
  • Pouring (down) rain
  • (Pre)board (as an airplane)
  • (Pre)heat
  • (Pre)record
  • (Private) industry
  • (Present) incumbent
  • Present (time)
  • Previously listed (above)
  • Proceed (ahead)
  • (Proposed) plan
  • Protest (against)
  • Pursue (after)

R

  • Raise (up)
  • RAM (memory)
  • Reason is (because)
  • Reason (why)
  • Recur (again)
  • Refer (back)
  • Reflect (back)
  • (Regular) routine
  • Repeat (again)
  • Reply (back)
  • Retreat (back)
  • Revert (back)
  • Rise (up)
  • Round (in shape)

S

  • (Safe) haven
  • (Safe) sanctuary
  • Same (exact)
  • (Sand) dune
  • Scrutinize (in detail)
  • Separated (apart from each other)
  • (Serious) danger
  • Share (together)
  • (Sharp) point
  • Shiny (in appearance)
  • Slow (speed)
  • Small (size)
  • (Small) speck
  • Sole (of the foot)
  • Spell out (in detail)
  • Spliced (together)
  • Start (off) or (out)
  • (Still) persists
  • (Still) remains
  • (Sudden) impulse
  • (Sum) total

T

  • Tall (in stature)
  • (Temper) tantrum
  • Ten (in number)
  • Three a.m. (in the morning)
  • Time (period)
  • (Tiny) bit
  • (Total) destruction
  • (True) facts
  • (Truly) sincere
  • Tuna (fish)
  • (Twelve) noon or midnight
  • (Two equal) halves

U

  • (Ultimate) goal
  • Undergraduate (student)
  • (Underground) subway
  • (Unexpected) emergency
  • (Unexpected) surprise
  • (Unintentional) mistake
  • (Unnamed) anonymous
  • (Usual) custom

V

  • Vacillate (back and forth)
  • (Veiled) ambush
  • (Very) pregnant
  • (Very) unique
  • Visible (to the eye)

W

  • (Wall) mural
  • Warn (in advance)
  • Weather (conditions)
  • Weather (situation)
  • Whether (or not)
  • (White) snow
  • Write (down)

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