Has this affliction crept into your writing? Keep an eye out for “There is” and “There are” beginnings to your sentences. They can almost always be turned around for tighter prose and for variety’s sake.
Here are examples from our clients’ projects:
- Old: There is usually more workload and mix volatility in a lab.
- Better: Workload and mix can be especially volatile in a lab.
- Old: There is a proposed grant program to help fund patient-handling charges.
- Better: A proposed grant program is intended to help fund patient-handling charges.
- Old: There are many different types of business models, each requiring a different type of succession and/or retirement plan.
- Better: Each of the many different business models requires a different type of succession and/or retirement plan.
- Old: There are a plethora of bearing designs and specifications available for instrument repair.
- Better: A plethora of bearing designs and specifications are available for instrument repair.
- Old: There can be significant variation in length, weight, and balance between different models.
- Better: Different models can vary significantly in length, weight, and balance.
Rarely, you’ll find a sentence that would be awkward to convert, or it just has a natural, spoken tone to it as is – such as “There is no question that paying bills through your bank’s bill-pay service is easy and convenient” – but you can generally restructure almost any “there” sentence for a better result.