Brick wall with the very enclosed in a red circle with a line through it

To make your writing pop, you might be inclined to use a modifier like very. After all, the word serves a purpose in the English language. That’s why words exist in the first place. Very can serve as either an adjective or as an adverb: it modifies a noun or a verb.


But what is very telling us?

A lot? (I like cheese very much.) Exceptional? (This cheese is very good.) An identity? (This cheese molded over before my very eyes.) OK, so I’m enamored with cheese. See what I did there? I could have stated that I’m very fond of cheese.

Cheese wedges on a cheese board

Photo courtesy of AlexKlen on Pixabay

The word very is filler. Need a higher word count? Add very in front of some words. I mean no disrespect to the word; like I said, it has a purpose. But your writing will be stronger if you mix up some of those overused words. I rambled about this the other day. Some authors have expressed their opinions about the word.
One of my favorite quotes about very comes from Mark Twain:
Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

There are myriad ways to express yourself in writing without using a modifier like very. When you’re tempted to write very something, try looking up some synonyms to see if there’s another word that can describe the something better. For example, are you very mad or are you furious? Are you very happy or are you elated?

Practice this technique and soon your writing will be stronger. And when you come across the word very, it will stick out like a sore thumb. Once you minimize the use of this modifier, your readers will be very happy, I mean, excited, to read your content!

For more tips on how to make your writing pop, check out my podcast!