Three simple ways to improve and vary your language

Photo: Hannah Grace, Unsplash

Varying your language makes your written work more interesting and keeps the reader engaged. Below are listed three ways to add variety to your writing.

1. Sentence structure

A good place to start is to look at how you structure your sentences. For example, you can change the word order or ’play’ with the words so that the reader doesn’t read the same construction over and over again:

  • In the following section, we present and discuss the results obtained.
  • The following section presents and discusses the results obtained.

2. Synonyms

Another way is to make use of synonyms to avoid repeating words and make your text more interesting to read. However, be careful not to use strange foreign words that overcomplicate your text.

  • We discuss the results in a broader context.
  • We discuss the outcomes in a wider perspective.

In addition, try not to use the same root of a word within a sentence – even if the words don’t have the same meaning.

✘ It’s an organisation that regularly organises international conferences.

✔ It’s an organisation that regularly hosts international conferences.

3. Connecting words

To create linguistic coherence in your text, you can also make use of connecting words, which can help you to argue, elaborate, exemplify, conclude, etc. You can find inspiration in the list below which provides examples of different connecting words grouped into categories, according to the context in which they are used.

Category Danish examples English examples
To add/ elaborate og, desuden, derudover, efterfølgende, endelig, for det første (andet osv.), herefter, igen, også, yderligere, slutteligt, til sidst again, and, besides, finally, first (second, etc.), further, furthermore, in addition, lastly, moreover, next, subsequently, too
To compare/ prove alligevel, derimod, dog, hvor, hvorimod, i mellemtiden, i modsætning til, ikke desto mindre, men, mens, omvendt, sammenlignet med, selv om, tværtimod although, but, by comparison, compared to, conversely, however, in contrast (to), meanwhile, nevertheless, on the contrary, on the other hand, where, whereas, yet
To show a consequence af samme grund, eftersom, fordi, naturligvis, netop, tydeligvis, under alle omstændigheder accordingly, because, evidently, for the same reason, indeed, in any case, in fact, obviously, since
To repeat kort sagt, med andre ord, som nævnt, som beskrevet as described/ mentioned/noted/stated, in brief, in other words
To exemplify for eksempel, for at demonstrere/illustrere, i dette tilfælde, i et andet tilfælde, her, som et eksempel for example, for instance, here, in this case, in another case, in this situation, take the case of, to demonstrate/illustrate, as an example
To show a sequence bagefter, derefter, efter, efter dette, efterfølgende, endelig, for det første (andet osv.), følgelig, herefter, inden, tidligere, til at begynde med, samtidig at this time, first (second etc.), next, then, following this, now, at this point, after, afterward, subsequently, finally, consequently, previously, before this, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then, soon
To conclude/ summarise afslutningsvis, derfor, dermed, følgelig, i overensstemmelse hermed, kort sagt, med andre ord, sammenfattende, som nævnt/vist, som følge heraf, således accordingly, as a result, as shown/stated, consequently, hence, in brief, in conclusion, in other words, in short, on the whole, summing up, therefore, thus, to conclude