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can we use the word indeed in the following sentence or does it sound like redundant by using the words true and indeed in the same sentence

It is true that everyone, indeed, possesses strengths and weaknesses.

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  • In this particular sentence indeed is redundant. That doesn't mean that you can never use both words in the same sentence. ludwig.guru/s/indeed+true Mar 25 at 16:28
  • @Kate Bunting thank you. I am not native speaker, so can you tell does it grammatically sound okay or is it non rhetorical Mar 25 at 16:43
  • As I said, indeed is redundant in your sentence. You could say either "It is true that everyone possesses..." or "Everyone does indeed possess..." Mar 25 at 17:17
  • There is no link between the two. Indeed is for emphasis.
    – Lambie
    Mar 25 at 20:58
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Understanding and agreement

Yes, you can. Whether the words true and indeed are redundant, or redundant in a jarring way, depends on context.

If you understand how the words help speakers communicate with listeners, then you will be able to judge for yourself when using both words is redundant or not; there is no rule for this. So, imagine this conversation:

Master: The first violinist is expressive but she makes mistakes.

Disciple: Doesn't every musician possess both strengths and weaknesses?

Master: Every musician possesses strengths and weaknesses.

The Master's reply here makes the Disciple wonder if the Master heard what the Disciple said. The Disciple is now thinking, "Didn't I just say that?"

During a conversation, we are constantly giving indications that we heard and understood what the other person has said, and whether we agree or disagree with it. Just repeating what the other person said does not suggest understanding or agreement; it suggests that you think you are introducing a wholly new proposition into the conversation. If the other person just made a statement to throw doubt on what you said earlier, and you think their statement is true and you want to address it, two ways to do that are to add it is true or indeed as you repeat the statement, like this:

Master: It is true that every musician possesses strengths and weaknesses.

Master: Indeed every musician possesses strengths and weaknesses.

Master: Every musician, indeed, possesses strengths and weaknesses.

This communicates that the Master heard and agrees with the Disciple, and is about to say something further to address that point.

Redundancy

Without a context like that, it is true is redundant in a jarring way. If you look out the window and say:

It is true that it's raining.

this sounds very strange. Why didn't you just say "It's raining"? You could put "It is true that…" in front of just about any sentence. You could even say, with further useless redundancy, "It is true that it is true that it is raining."

But if the person you are talking with just told you that Joe called and said it's raining, and then you look out the window and say "It is true that it's raining", the it is true is not redundant, because it means "I am confirming the report from Joe."

Marking the limit of agreement

We often use these little words and phrases to communicate not just understanding and agreement, but to draw a line between where we agree and where we disagree. The it is true or indeed statement often precedes an explanation of the disagreement. Here is a silly example:

It is true that it's raining. But Joe is still a liar.

Agreeing with more than was said

We often use the word indeed to indicate that we agree with even more than a statement already under consideration. For example, in this conversation, the Master expands agreement about musicians to agreement about everyone:

Master: The first violinist is expressive but she makes mistakes.

Disciple: Doesn't every musician possess both strengths and weaknesses?

Master: It is true that everyone, indeed, possesses strengths and weaknesses. But no amount of strengths can counterbalance certain kinds of weaknesses. Missing notes is such a weakness. No matter how expressively you play, if you play wrong notes, your performance will be ruined.

The indeed here is not redundant with it is true, because indeed confirms that the Master understood that the Disciple was only talking about musicians but the Master is going beyond musicians to include everyone. If the Master had said only it is true, that would have (weakly) suggested that the Master might have misunderstood the Disciple.

This conversation also illustrates the usual pattern when people use these kinds of words (called "concessive clauses" or "concessive adverbs"): next, the speaker goes beyond the statement just made and clarifies or explains a possible disagreement.

Redundancy that is normal and fine

You could say that these concessive words are still redundant, because they add no further information about the topic itself. This is true. (But notice that the preceding sentence just added something important.) They just serve to confirm and clarify that speaker and listener understand each other. And for this reason, concessive words are a little hazy. If one is good, sometimes two is better, even if, strictly speaking, they both accomplish the same purpose.

Imaginary context

If you say something like "It is true that everyone, indeed, possesses strengths and weaknesses" without a context, most people will vaguely imagine a context where saying those words is not redundant—or at least not unreasonably redundant. And they will expect that the next sentence will say something contrary to what "everyone possesses strengths and weaknesses" might naïvely imply in whatever context you have in mind.

When you ask about this kind of sentence abstractly, though, people might not do this, because people usually try to answer such questions with strict rules that do not involve looking into or imagining different possible contexts. For this topic, that approach does not work.

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    oh my goodness! Thank you Mr.Ben Kovitz. You don't how much you helped me. Actually I want to use contrary sentence in the next line. So "indeed" word fits precisely. In my sentence "Going beyond agreement" is the context. Thanks once again :) Mar 26 at 5:08

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