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There seem to be many good adjectives to descibe a sentence which effectively gets the point across without wasting words: "concise", "succinct", "terse", "pithy".

But what is a good verb to make the following sentence more concise:

Please make this sentence more concise.

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marked as duplicate by mplungjan, choster, phenry, MετάEd, FumbleFingers Feb 18 '14 at 19:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Tersify it..... – mplungjan Feb 18 '14 at 8:34
cut the sentence short.. – Sandeep D Feb 18 '14 at 9:16
In a lighthearted context I'd love to use succinctify. It's great to say aloud :) But sadly isn't a real word. – starsplusplus Feb 18 '14 at 10:39
Shorten. That being said, no matter how short a verb you use, the sentence will still be asking for being made shorter still. So ideally, you should scrap it altogether. – RegDwigнt Feb 18 '14 at 19:39

You can use "condense"

You could also use "summarise" if it suits your context.

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unlike concise,succinct,terse and pithy, condense does not denote accuracy. So I believe condense can not be used as a replacement for the above mentioned verbs. – Sandeep D Feb 18 '14 at 9:28
IIRC, "condense" is a term that was used in news publication/editing circles. Can't get more accurate than that. – moonstar2001 Feb 18 '14 at 9:30
Can you you share links of those publications? And what was the context in which "condense" was used? "Concise information" denotes both accuracy and briefness of given information but if you condense a piece of information, you just make it short and concentrated. The outcome may or may not be accurate. – Sandeep D Feb 18 '14 at 9:49

If someone was asked to just shorten a sentence, it would likely to be done to still preserve the most vital content. One could also streamline it, edit it down, trim it, or concentrate it.

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Please precis this sentence (not included in the list of options given in the suggestion included in the comments above).


You could use distill - see 5 here.

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Why would someone down-vote it? The sentence makes perfect sense. – Sandeep D Feb 18 '14 at 9:14
Agreed - if you're going to down-vote, at least indicate why. – Leon Conrad Feb 18 '14 at 9:17
Seems to be an uncommenting lazy *ç%&/ of a downvoter making the rounds today – mplungjan Feb 18 '14 at 9:49
Precis is not the same thing. To make something more concise means to present the same information but using fewer words. A precis is a high-level summary containing much less information. – David Richerby Feb 18 '14 at 15:45
@DavidRicherby In the context, which related to a single sentence, I think this achieves the intended effect. I've added 'distill' as a suggestion, though, which is more precise. – Leon Conrad Feb 18 '14 at 15:48

The verb focus is often used, often in imperative sentences, to get a speaker or writer

to concentrate attention or effort

This is especially found where the narrative has drifted into verbosity or inconsequentials.

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I've never heard anyone say "focus this sentence". The natural way, "make this sentence more focused", is exactly the same length as "make this sentence more concise". – David Richerby Feb 18 '14 at 15:46
@DavidRicherby The term appears most often in response to a wandering tale in which the listener says Focus! – bib Feb 18 '14 at 16:05
I agree. So it's hard to use it to rewrite "Please make this sentence more concise" in a way that's more concise. – David Richerby Feb 18 '14 at 16:35

Make this sentence more proverbial.

A proverb is pith perthonified (I mean personified).

Moreover, a sentence which is crafted to be more proverbial just might be more memorable, which is one of the marks of both a proverb and a strong sentence.

An example of "before and after":

"Due to the fact that I saw it with my own eyes, I can bear witness to the fact that it really did happen because I saw it happen."


"Because I saw it happen, I know it happened."

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