I have the following sentence:

So, in a word, my goal is to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I have read elsewhere that using the phrase "in a word" here is not best practice - because I have an entire clause after it.

What would be an alternative way to say what I'm trying to get across? I am trying to say that if I had to write it down or describe it, then this is my goal.

Thanks in advance!

  • What's the preceding sentence/context? You could possibly introduce the clause with i.e.
    – BruceWayne
    Sep 9, 2018 at 20:22
  • 1
    In a word is fine for spoken English.
    – Lambie
    Sep 9, 2018 at 23:03
  • Briefly, use: briefly.
    – Kris
    Sep 10, 2018 at 7:14

5 Answers 5


If you want an idiomatic expression you may use:

In a nutshell:

You can use in a nutshell to indicate that you are saying something in a very brief way, using few words.

  • In a nutshell, the owners thought they knew best. This, in a nutshell, is what Richard Chaplin appears to have done.

(Collins Dictionary)


You could use "in short"

So, in short, my goal is to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Do not, however, take the meaning of "in a word" literally. Your example is fine as it is.


So, basically, my goal is to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken

From Dictionary.com

  1. (sentence modifier) in essence; in summary; put simply basically we had underestimated mother nature

There are also a couple of words in the thesauraus entry from dictionary.com that would fit.

So essentially my goal is to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken

So in essence my goal ist to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken


Succinctly - meaning briefly or in short.

To put it succinctly; my goal is to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken


  • In brief
  • The long and short of it
  • To cut a long story short
  • In summary

Bonus: TL:DR - pronounced "Tee-el-Dee-are", acronym for "Too long - didn't read". It's internet slang, but depending on your audience and purpose of writing would be perfectly acceptable.

  • 1
    'Succinctly' is a perfectly good word, but it somehow looks out of place in a sentence about KFC...
    – Anyon
    Sep 10, 2018 at 3:32
  • You've got a point - it is out of place against the rest of the sentence - part of the reason I added the alternatives
    – Chromane
    Sep 10, 2018 at 5:32

Suffice it to say, my goal is to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken.

  • 1
    This would be improved with some explanation of why this is superior to the original. Mar 9, 2021 at 0:05
  • You'll notice that all the other answers (so far) include not just an explanation but also a link to a dictionary definition. You can edit your answer to provide a similar level of detail. You may be unaware that EL&U isn't a forum to post personal suggestions; we're looking for authoritative answers supported by evidence. For further guidance, see How to Answer, and take our site's Tour. :-) Mar 16, 2021 at 6:03

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