List of 34 Words and Phrases You Should Never Use in Your Writing

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Some words are better spoken than written. Looking for a list of words you should never use in writing? Have a look at this collection of terms to find relevant examples.
a lot The English language is full of great, evocative words for describing large quantities of things, so use them.
as There are better words than "as" for expressing simultaneity or causation.
definitely, certainly, actually, basically, virtually These words rarely add anything to a sentence.
feel Instead, describe the specific emotion felt through the person's words and actions.
just This is an easy word to overuse—every time you find yourself writing "just," consider deleting it.
most of the time Most of the time, deleting these words from the start of a sentence doesn't really change its meaning—including this one.
one of Use strong, precise statements—i.e., "the best" instead of "one of the best."
rather, quite, somewhat, somehow Avoid using weak modifiers.
really, very Instead of opting for these overused modifiers, look for a more precise verb or adjective. For example, use "exhausted" instead of "very tired."
some State a precise amount, or at least use a more interesting word.
sort of, kind of Be precise. Say what you mean, not what you "sort of" mean.
start, begin You can usually just say the actor "eats the sandwich" instead of "starts to eat the sandwich" (unless they are interrupted).
then The sequence of events in a sentence or paragraph will usually be clear without using "then."
thing This word is vague. Instead, name or describe the thing you are referring to.
think Your reader will understand that you are stating your personal opinion without you telling them it's what you "think."
totally, completely, absolutely, literally These words are uninformative. A container that is "completely empty" is as empty as one that is "empty."
used to Try using the simple past tense instead. For example, saying "he played college basketball" is more concise than "he used to play college basketball" but means the same thing.
wonder, ponder, think If a character in your text is thinking about a question, try stating it directly rather than using these words.
you Unless you are directly addressing the reader, avoid the second person pronoun.