Inglese - How to write clearly
Making sense - managing stress
Sometimes you have to write (or improve) a text containing a mass of facts
and ideas. Here are some ways of untangling the information so that readers
will understand each sentence the first time they read it.
Name the agents of each action and put the actions in the order in
which they occur.
Its decision on allocation of ESF assistance will be taken subsequent to receipt of
all project applications at the Committee's meeting.
When all applicants have submitted their project applications, the
Committee will meet to decide how much ESF aid it will grant to each one.
Put old or known information at the beginning of the sentence and
new or complex information at the end.
This makes sentence linking easier, and helps the reader to follow the thread
of your argument:
THE COURT OF AUDITORS' REPORT criticises agricultural spending and
proposes some new measures to prevent fraud.
THEIR PROPOSALS include setting up a special task force with powers to
SUCH POWERS are not normally granted to Commission officials, but fraud
prevention is now one of the EU's main priorities.
(Note that the passive verb is OK in the last sentence because it fits in with the
flow of information).
Make sure your sentences have strong endings - that's the bit readers
If necessary, move less important information to the left. Try to avoid feeble
Complete institutional reform is advocated by the report in most cases.
What the report advocates, in most cases, is complete institutional reform.
Some more ways of putting important information in the best position
- at the end of the sentence:
For EU enlargement several alternative scenarios could be considered.
There are several scenarios that we could consider for EU enlargement.
The accession of new Member States in several stages now seems likely.
It now seems likely that new Member States will join in several stages.
KISS: Keep It Short and Simple
Short ... 7
The value of a document is not proportional to its weight. Your readers will not
respect you more because you have written 100 pages instead of 20. In fact
they are more likely to resent you for making such demands on their time. The
Members of the Commission have repeatedly asked for documents to be more
succinct, and the Secretariat General has even been known to reject over-long
Some ways to cut out FOG:
1. Don't state the obvious. Trust your readers' common sense.
2. Don't clutter your text with redundant expressions like "as is well
known", "it is generally accepted that", "in my personal opinion',
"and so on and so forth", "both from the point of view of A and from
the point of view of B".
3. Don't waste words telling readers what the text is going to say, or
reminding them what it said earlier. Just say it. Once.
Shorter documents tend to have more impact, and so do shorter sentences. As
a guide: 1 document = 20 pages at the most
1 sentence = 20 words
But varying sentence length makes for more interesting reading.
Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas
eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.
than usual, only because I have
I have made this letter longer
not had the time to make it shorter.
... and Simple:
English is a very rich language with a wide choice of different expressions
meaning the same thing. Use simple words where possible. Simple language
will not make you seem less learned or elegant: it will make you seem more
credible. Foggy phrasing often reflects foggy thinking.
in view of the fact that as
with respect to on
a certain number of some
the majority of most
pursuant to under
within the framework of under
accordingly, consequently so
for the purpose of, in order to to
in the event of if
if this is not the case if not
if this is the case if so
concerning, regarding about
with reference to, with regard to about
Simple, uncluttered style calls for the positive form, not the negative
It is not uncommon for applications to be rejected, so do not
complain unless you are sure you have not completed yours
It is quite common for applications to be rejected, so
complain only if you are sure you have completed yours
False friends and other pitfalls
It is understandable that we get our languages mixed up in a multilingual
environment like the European Commission. Interference between French and
English is particularly common. But "Frenglish" expressions which might be
permissible in-house are meaningless to outside readers. They are alienating
and they create FOG.
Here are some of the more common "faux amis" in Commission use:
acquis acquis body of EU law
actuel actual current, topical
adéquat adequate suitable
assister à assist at attend, participate
capacité capacity ability, capability
compléter complete supplement
contrôler control supervise, check
disposer de dispose of have, keep
éventuel eventual any
important important large
matériel material supplies, equipment
opportunité opportunity advisability
pays candidats candidates applicant countries
pays tiers third countries non-member countries
perspectives perspectives prospects, outlook
prévu foreseen provided for, planned
stagiaire stagiaire trainee
Statut (des Statute Staff Regulations
Eurojargon and Eurospeak
Jargon is a language used by any group of insiders or specialists to
communicate with each other in a way that cannot always be understood by
outsiders. If you want outsiders to understand, don't use Eurojargon
(comitology, habilitation, European construction, etc.).
Eurospeak, on the other hand, is a potentially useful language coined to
describe European Union inventions and concepts which have no exact parallel
at national level. There are only a few of these (e.g. subsidiarity, codecision,
convergence, economic and social cohesion) and correspondingly few real
excuses for using Eurospeak.
Spell it out
Keep a tight rein on abbreviations and acronyms.
(ERDF + EAGGF + CAP = ZZZ). Write them out in full wherever possible.
Ignore FOG-merchants who protest: "But we've
always said that!"
Now is the time to change. 11
+1 anno fa
Dispensa al corso di Lingua inglese c.a. della Prof.ssa Manuela Cipri. Trattasi di una guida utile ad evitare i più comuni errori di grammatica nella lingua inglese e riguardante in particolare: l'uso dei verbi e dei nomi; l'uso dei verbi attivi e passivi, i false friends.
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher vipviper di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Lingua Inglese c.a. e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università La Sapienza - Uniroma1 o del prof Cipri Manuela.
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