Is it redundant to say "they share commonalities?"

The sentence is "Separate your list of contacts into groups that share important commonalities."

  • 2
    It's not bad, although instead of share you need only 'that have' or 'groups with important...' Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


It is a wee bit redundant.

Commonality itself means "the state of sharing features or attributes."

You could instead say, " Separate your list of contacts into groups that share important features/attributes."

Or, "Separate your list of contacts into groups with important commonalities."

The sentence is not technically wrong though. Just awkward.

  • Thank you, you solved my problem. It reads much better t say "…into groups with important commonalities."
    – debbiesym
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 21:41
  • Why "important"? This is no way implied by the hideous word, commonalities. Why not just use part of the definition, e.g. "groups with common features". Although your first answer to SE EL&U has been accepted by the OP, you should be aware that you have provided no link to your definition of communality so that we cannot know whether or not it is correct from your answer. If you do not do that you are liable to find your answer removed as being of low quality. (Don't blame me, I'm just the messenger.)
    – David
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 19:43
  • @David the definition of a word can be easily found through a simple dictionary search. dictionary.com/browse/commonality -- Also, the reason I included 'important' in the sentence, is because the op has included that word. While yes, 'important' is not implied in 'commonality', the sentence given by the op has used that adjective to modify which traits those in question should be looking for. The sentence, "Separate your list of contacts into groups with commonalities." would work just as well, but the sentence given by the op, specifies the nature of the traits to be found. Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 20:01
  • Furthermore, I appreciate your feedback, and will include the sources of any information I provide that may not be considered as commonly known, such as definitions. Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 20:17

It's not bad English and is very common colloquially. Yosef mentions a good point in his comment.

The reason it's not necessarily redundant is because you are talking about a group of people ("they") who share a set of commonalities, or common attributes, among each other. They each can have an attribute or common feature they happen to share with others in the group.

It's really saying this: "...into groups that share important attributes".

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