Would you ever write "Users use" in an article, or it's considered a bad word combination because two words share the same root?



Here are some examples:

Users can use the platform to deposit their assets ... To use the protocol, users contribute their preferred asset.

  • It sounds fine to me. There are many examples of it in Google Books.
    – stangdon
    Jan 19 at 20:11
  • Welcome! Please edit your question to give more context. It's true that in general it's nice to avoid repeating the same word in close proximity, but there could be sentences in which it's appropriate (e.g. "Just what is it that these 'users' use?") Jan 19 at 21:39
  • Users choose or select would be better.
    – Lambie
    Jan 19 at 22:08
  • @stangdon Thank you, I usually use Google Ngram Viewer, but I see that Google books provide some context, which is extremely helpful. Jan 20 at 16:44
  • 1
    @gotube Agree! The only option then is Passive Voice, I think. "It is used ...". Feb 9 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


It depends on the context.

Writers often try to avoid too much repetition of words, sometimes replacing words with their synonyms in order to provide some variety. Furthermore, "users use" might be considered a tautology; after all, a definition of "user" is "someone who uses".

On the other hand, sometimes we use repetition for rhetorical effect (perhaps for emphasis, euphony, etc.). For example, a common slang expression is "haters gonna hate".

Without more context, it's hard to know whether readers might frown upon a phrase like "users use".

  • Thank you for the detailed response! I am confused why is then the combination "users use" can be found on Google Books, for example? I see how awkward that would sound in poetry or literature, unless used for an emphasis. But can we still use this combination in more technical texts? I've added a couple of examples. Jan 20 at 16:51
  • 1
    Let me be clear: grammatically, it is perfectly fine. Furthermore, your example sentences sound less strange to my ears than your original phrase because the two words aren't adjacent. It is therefore not a major problem in those sentences. Nevertheless, I would still prefer some variety; perhaps the authors of those sentences couldn't think of any other words to use or just didn't care very much about the issue. Jan 20 at 18:50
  • 1
    Ok, I see, it is not a mistake, but would be better to replace it if possible, for better writing. Thanks again! Jan 21 at 10:13

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