Nominalisation: A Simple Fix for Your Writing

Do you want to sound more sophisticated, professional or distant?

If so, you might be tempted to use the nominal style. But be careful! Nominalisation can also make your writing difficult to understand and impersonal.

In her German newsletter, Dr. Annika Lamer explains what nominalisation is and why it’s important to use it consciously when writing German texts.

However, it’s important to use it consciously in English, too.

In a previous blog post, I wrote about avoiding nominalisations in English.

What we need to do

  1. Use verbs instead of nouns. For example, say “We decided” instead of “We made a decision” or “They discussed” instead of “They had a discussion.”
  2. Use active voice instead of passive voice. For example, say “John completed the project” instead of saying “The completion of the project was achieved by John.
  3. Keep sentences straightforward.  Avoid using long, complicated sentences. Shorter, simpler sentences are easier to understand.
  4. Focus on clarity and readability: Make sure your writing is clear and easy to understand for your target audience. 

    Follow these tips to help you write clear, concise and engaging English.

    Your readers will thank you. 


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