10 Common Words to Stop Using To Sound Smarter

Words hold power. Your usage of words will say a lot about you. People subconsciously judge your level of education, values and competence based on your word usage, both in speech and in writing. So, here is a list of 10 common words you need to eliminate from your vocabulary to sound smarter.


1. Very

Very is a modifier. It is intended to magnify the effect of an adjective or adverb. Using very makes your statement less specific. It is also subjective and doesn’t convey the exact picture. So instead of being very happy, be ecstatic.

 2. Basically

Basically is a common word used while recollecting thoughts before elaborating. But using basically in front of a sentence is condescending and you are implying that the listener/reader is not smart enough to understand the topic and you are going to dumb it down.

 3. Like

Like is a very popular filler used by millennials in recent years. It shows immaturity and is usually frowned upon. So stop using it as it does not serve any purpose.

 4. Literally

Literally means its actually happening. So using this word in front of popular phrases doesn’t make sense.It is literally raining cats and dogs outside”.No, it is not raining animals outside. So stop using the word excessively.


5. Sort of

Using the word sort of conveys a message that you are not sure about what you are talking about. Use similar words like, to a certain degree, quite instead of sort of.


6. Always/Never

Unless giving commands or instruction, always/never imply there are absolutely no exceptions. This may seem close-minded or even be inaccurate at times.


7. Shall

Shall is used in legal parlance. Though it denotes obligation it also can be confused with a prediction of action in the future. So use must instead of shall.


8. Obviously

By using obviously, you are chiding or undermining the other person's ability to understand. So avoid this word.


9. Stuff

This word is very generic and informal. If a specific thing is not worthy to be mentioned, don’t mention it at all instead of using stuff to denote it.


10. Yeah

Yeah is a causal American word used for acknowledgement. It is not suitable to use it professionally. Instead, use yes to sound more intelligent and respectable.

Written By - Adarsh Krishnaa V

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