Business Writing

Use short sentences

5. 1. 2015

Long sentences are not incorrect. The thing is, with long sentences the grammar and syntax often become complex, which may lead to confusion.

Long sentences have principal clauses and subordinate clauses; they often include a number of pronouns referring to different things and people; they need to be punctuated carefully to make them easily understandable to the reader; and often the focus of the sentence gets lost.

It is good to vary sentence length. To have some long. And some short. Sentence length variety makes writing more interesting to read. But you don’t want to make it hard for your reader. You don’t want them to have to struggle to work out what you mean.

In literature, readers may be more accepting of long sentences. In business, short, concise and clear are the keywords to remember when it comes to sentence length.

Remember:

  • include only one idea per sentence—at the most, two
  • make sure the relationship between the subject and the verb is clear
  • use conjunctions and transitional phrases to make your work read smoothly

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