Are you guilty of saying “return back”, “discuss about”, “cousin brother/sister”? Let’s correct that today.
To begin with, what is a redundancy? Well in English usage, it means a phrase that has two or more words which say the same thing, but we also use the term to refer to any expression in which a modifier’s meaning is contained in the word it modifies.
A bit woolly? Example to the rescue.
Return = come or go back to a place or person
So you don’t “return back”, you just “return” (quoting that trainer from the movie English Vinglish 🙂 )
I won’t lie, I’m guilty of slipping this one in from time to time as well. Maybe we do it to add emphasis (as is the case with all redundancies, I see now) and no one would probably ever hold it against you, as redundancy is more of a stylistic issue than a grammatical error.
You might pass off saying these in spoken English, but please do be wary while writing as that stays for posterity.
The below are some of the other commonly used redundant phrases. Do a self check.
discuss = to talk about something
Cousin is a gender-neutral noun and it is actually a very Indian thing to say cousin-brother or cousin-sister. But if you think about it, it really is not required to add the gender as this is usually implied by some other pronoun in the sentence.
For eg: He is my cousin-brother.
(Here, “he” indicates that the person is male so the extra modifier “brother” is not required.)
A “bonus” by definition is something that is added.
To “chase” is to go after someone.
This one is curious. All plans pertain to future. But when somebody asks you, “What are your future plans?”, they actually mean, “What are you planning to do with your life?”
Are there any paid gifts? Hmmm.
All experience is in the past.
8. Enter i
Enter = come or go into
Blend= bring stuff together
Result is something that happens at the end.
So there you go, the above are some of the most interesting redundancies and there are hundreds more floating around. But this is one of the first steps you can take to remove the clutter and become a better writer. Cheers!