The “Reason Why” Redundancy Is a No-No: 5 Common Redundant Expressions in English

Have you ever had a past experience of reading a story then wanting to return back to a particular page just to repeat reading a passage again, or do you have a future plan of rereading a book and the reason is because you want to indulge in the beauty of its prose? I totally get you because I myself do that sometimes, but obviously not when you have to read sentences just like the previous one.

“If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.” That’s how George Orwell put it in his essay “Politics and the English Language.” Well, I agree: the shorter and simpler, the better. So why don’t we take a closer look at the first sentence of this article and try to revise it by slicing off the unnecessary words, particularly the redundant ones?

Return Back

There is a concept called paying forward: instead of paying back a good deed, you simply pay it forward to a different person. However, that is totally not the case for returning because this action implies going back to an earlier state. Thus, adding ‘back’ is superfluous, and returning forward is impossible.

Repeat Again

Seriously? Well, I would say “repeat again” if I really intend to repeat the repeating of the action to be repeated or repeat it to the second power—you do the math! But come on, to repeat is to reiterate an action, so adding ‘again’ is unnecessary. How many times do we have to repeat that?

Past Experience

Unless you have a time-traveling car that you can drive back to the future (amazing movie, by the way), you cannot say that you have already had a future experience. All experience is in the past, so saying “past experience” is wrong. This error, along with “past history” and “past tradition,” is surprisingly common, even in serious publications.

Future Plans

If you cannot experience the future, then you can never plan your past. All plans pertain to the future, my friend. Thus, it is wrong to ask “What are your future plans?” or say “Let me know what your future plans are.” However, you can modify these by clarifying a time frame, of course. You can toss ‘immediate’ or ‘long-term’ in exchange of ‘future,’ for that matter. Similarly, one need not to “plan ahead of time” because to simply “plan” is sufficient.

The Reason is Because

Probably the reason you have gone this far reading this article is that you want to know why “the reason is because” is repetitious. (See what I did there?) As ‘reason’ and ‘because’ represent the same ideas, there is no need to include them both in the sentence (thus the use of ‘that’ instead of ‘because’). “The reason why” is also redundant because ‘the reason’ is already explaining ‘why,’ so whatever your explanation may be, it would be just as clear if you leave either of them out.

So, have you ever had an experience of getting lost in a book then wanting to return to a particular page just to repeat a passage, or do you plan to reread a book because you want to indulge in the beauty of its prose? Or you might be writing an article, essay, or story now and would want professionals to check it out so that they can eliminate those unnecessary words to save your readers some precious time? Lexcode Inc., an ISO 9001:2015–certified translation company located at the heart of Makati, Philippines, offers proofreading, copyediting, substantive editing, and style guide editing services. They have a pool of skilled editors who can spot and eliminate needless repetitions in your written documents. So what are you waiting for? Call +63-2-553-3861 or e-mail [email protected] now.