As Eva Peek writes in her column, the word ‘er’ is often used in a passive form that doesn’t suit good journalism. For example, if you write: ‘It is said…’ then the reader is left with the question ‘by whom? Or if you write: ‘There are deaths…’ who kills, and where? The word ‘there’ says too little about the situation here. Or actually: nothing. So: rather avoid.

Scribbr , a platform with tips and help for writing a thesis, also warns against the word ‘er’. For a good assessment you have to watch out for colloquialism and vague language. ‘Er’ is therefore associated with ‘vague language’, which makes texts less credible. Something that is of course not useful for journalists or students.

Reading the examples above I do agree that the word is sometimes superfluous. But in the second example I would leave ‘there’, because it reads better. Matter of taste?

Difficulty learning Dutch

The fact that ‘there’ is a complex word is also Hospital Mailing Lists apparent in people who learn the Dutch language as a second language . That starts with the problem that we often do not pronounce this word clearly. Read the following question aloud.

  • What is going on?

You’ll probably say something phonetically along the lines of “What’s going on?” Then suddenly the word is almost inaudible. And while we’re on the subject: what does ‘there’ literally mean in the question ‘what is there?’. Or ‘I’m coming’? We call these idiomatic expressions: word combinations where it makes no sense to think about the literal meaning.

Hospital Mailing Lists

Idiomatic expressions are way

Articulating concepts, without using the word itself. – Schutz

And then ‘there’ can also refer to ‘nowhere’, as for example in the sentence: ‘There is laughter’. So it’s a complex word! But I now understand why it is better to avoid ‘there’ in some fields. Fortunately, this is not the case in my field. So, what do you

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