While going through the Reading Comprehension section, the candidates are likely to come across a lot of challenges, pertaining to difficult vocabulary, complex theme and sentence structure, non-linear passage or difficult questions. However, there is one more challenge that the candidates need to tackle while reading the passage, and this is related to the problem of redundant words.
1. The problem of redundant words
In a passage, there may arise a situation where a few words would seem to have the same meaning or there may be words which are not necessary, or do not add any meaning to the passage. You will be confused to read the same meaning being captured by different words or words that are superfluous and do not help you to comprehend the passage in any way. They are, at best, there to confuse you. For instance, in the statement, in the sentence, ‘he is a single unmarried man’, the word ‘unmarried’ is redundant and do not influence the meaning of the sentence in any way. It only duplicates the meaning which the word ‘single’ conveys.
2. Question yourself
The best way to deal with redundant words when you come across them in the passage is to ask yourself questions whether the given words add to the meaning of the sentence in any way, whether the meaning of the sentence changes if you remove that word, whether the word given before that word captures the meaning accurately. For example in the sentence, ‘the writer has expressed and articulated his thoughts well in his latest book’, the words ‘expressed’ and ‘articulated’ mean the same thing, hence for the sake of brevity and to do away with unnecessary words, the word ‘articulated’ can be removed from the sentence without affecting its meaning. Asking yourself these questions, will make you engage with the passage thoroughly.
3. Mark out the redundant words
While preparing for the entrance, try to identify the redundant words, words which do not contribute to the meaning in any way and cut out that word, or line, or phrase. By doing this, gradually, you will train your mind to focus on the most crucial aspect of the passage rather than spend time thinking about the redundant words or expression. Some phrases that you should be alert to are, ‘As I was trying to say’, ‘At this point in time’, ‘In the manner of speaking’, ‘For the purpose of’, ‘Be that as it may’, ‘In the final analysis’ twist the passage unnecessarily and make it confusing to comprehend.
All good writers work on the principle of brevity. They try to capture their thoughts using as few words as possible and removing the unnecessary words, so that the reader is able to understand clearly. In the entrance examination, sometimes, questions that require you to remove the ambiguity and redundancy to form concise sentences. For instance, ‘there were thirty people who went on each and every school trip’ can be rewritten as ‘there were thirty people on every school trip’. The second sentence removes the unnecessary words and forms a concise sentence.
Redundant words add nothing to the passage, they only confuse the candidates and consume their time, hence, it is important for them to learn how to ignore them while reading the passage.
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