Skip to main content
42 votes
Accepted

Is the particle 'up' redundant in phrases like 'to pick *up* berries'?

It is not redundant but unidiomatic. We ordinarily speak of picking fruit or berries, without up, from the trees or bushes on which they grow; we use pick up only if they have been spilled (that is, ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

Is "slightly ajar" a tautology?

Redundancy or a pleonasm can be a device used by an author. That doesn't make it a grammar mistake. In some contexts, redundancy is avoided, but in many contexts it is just a natural aspect of ...
James K's user avatar
  • 225k
35 votes

Is the particle 'up' redundant in phrases like 'to pick *up* berries'?

If you're saying that you are going to actually collect flowers or berries, "up" is not only redundant, it's outright wrong. We don't "pick up" things when we gather them, we "pick" them. I spent ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 25.4k
31 votes
Accepted

Is the "global" in "global pandemic" redundant?

Not redundant. Every definition of pandemic that I’ve read specifies that the word is used when referring to widespread diseases and not just global ones. For example, see Wikipedia’s definition. ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 15.6k
25 votes
Accepted

Seemingly unnecessary verbs in comparisons: "He runs faster than Robert (does)"

As @P.E.Dant writes, dropping it is ellipsis. So if either option is less careful, it would be dropping, not adding, the second verb. (That said, both are very common in every register of speech.) The ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
23 votes

Repeating "them" in "support them rather than abandon them"

Yes, it is correct. From the perspective of grammar, you can use them twice. As for using only a single them, only the first one can be removed without it becoming ungrammatical: ✘ Support them ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
22 votes

Is "slightly ajar" a tautology?

No, it is not a tautology. 'Ajar' means the door is partially open, or neither open nor closed. There are lots of gradations in between open and closed, so it seems perfectly reasonable to use an ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 104k
21 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to start a letter with "Dear <name>" followed by "Hi, <name>"?

I agree with you: "Dear Bob" followed by "Hi, Bob" is redundant. Avoid that as best you can. The best way to start a letter or email really depends on how close you are to the recipient. For instance, ...
Phlebas's user avatar
  • 361
19 votes

Is it okay to start a letter with "Dear <name>" followed by "Hi, <name>"?

"Dear Bob" is just letter-writing language for "Hi, Bob" so including both of them is redundant. If you're writing a formal letter, saying "Dear Bob" has already said hello, so you don't need to do it ...
David Richerby's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

"Awaits for you" or "awaits you"?

Await has both transitive and intransitive uses; I believe most of the other answers are focused on the transitive usage, reading the sentence as [Happiness] [awaits for] [you], which is indeed non-...
choster's user avatar
  • 17.7k
9 votes

Is the particle 'up' redundant in phrases like 'to pick *up* berries'?

It is neither redundant nor wrong, it just changes the meaning of your sentence. "I am picking berries" means that I am picking berries directly from the plant. "I am picking up berries" means that I ...
xmp125a's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes

"Awaits for you" or "awaits you"?

... awaits you or ... waits for you not ... awaits for you
Jonathan Race's user avatar
9 votes

Is it correct to use both "first" and "initial" in "first initial reaction"?

These are adjectives, not adverbs, but the question remains. The two adjectives are redundant. They have the same meaning; you don't need both. In informal writing or casual speech, this is reasonably ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 3,964
9 votes
Accepted

"speak English" vs "speak in English"

The sentence is correct with or without "in". It's subtle, but there is a slight difference in meaning between the two. With "the chance to speak English", "speak" is a ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Is "other" redundant?

Is it redundant - yes. Is it "wrong" - no. We often use phrasing that is redundant for the purpose of emphasis. What other games do you play aside from Tetris? It's also likely that the speaker/...
Catija's user avatar
  • 25.4k
7 votes

What is the difference between 'There is a pencil there.' and 'There is a pencil.'?

In English, we use the expression "there +BE" to talk about the existence of something. When used in this way, there is not a locative. Some examples: There are unicorns in the garden. There's ...
P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Some questions about hustle and hurry from a song

Repetition of sense for emphasis or ornament is quite common in popular genres, and at one time was admired even in very formal registers: consider cease and desist and full and complete in legal use, ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
7 votes

Repeating "them" in "support them rather than abandon them"

Others have provided good answers, but they don't really say why you can't drop the 2nd "them" in order to be "grammatically correct." The reason is that abandon, when used as a verb, is transitive: ...
Syntax Junkie's user avatar
6 votes

Is the particle 'up' redundant in phrases like 'to pick *up* berries'?

In addition to the shades of meaning provided by others, when the meaning is to select or choose, it has to be "pick" rather than "pick up": "Please buy some apples, but make sure to pick the green ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
  • 1,389
6 votes

Seemingly unnecessary verbs in comparisons: "He runs faster than Robert (does)"

The first sentence is an ellipsis. The word ellipsis (plural ellipses) means "omission". Ellipses are common in comparative sentences like these. The first sentence without the ellipsis is: He ...
P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes

Is the "global" in "global pandemic" redundant?

In my opinion, it is redundant but somewhat necessary to inform the general population. The word "pandemic" describes the outbreak of a disease which already has (or is very close to) affect every ...
Ramtin's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes

Is it correct to use both "first" and "initial" in "first initial reaction"?

Not inherently wrong, but you should avoid it. For a not-wrong example: "When my dog died, I had two initial reactions, and a third reaction which came only after a long time. My first initial ...
fectin's user avatar
  • 612
5 votes
Accepted

How to avoid repeated "each other" and "statistics" in this sentence?

Help can be used for both questions and projects. We're a tight-knit group of students, lecturers and professionals who help each other with statistics questions and projects.
Michael Harvey's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

"(An) exactly (the) same": two articles ok?

You're asking if we use the phrase: An exactly the same? Not normally. It's not generally grammatical to use an article to introduce an adverb (exactly), nor to use two articles to introduce a noun (...
Jim Reynolds's user avatar
  • 9,997
5 votes
Accepted

Is this sentence pleonastic?

The word "extremely" changes the emphasis in the question. It makes it clear that the author considers this type of sensitivity to be "extreme" and not "normal". So it ...
James K's user avatar
  • 225k
5 votes

Is "dwarf size" redundant?

It's not redundant because dwarfism is a medical condition in many species that includes both short stature and also a variety of medical concerns and changes. To indicate that these elephants are ...
Griffin's user avatar
  • 349
5 votes
Accepted

Is the word "genuinely" redundant in this sentence (I have to genuienly agree with you)?

It would only be redundant if the context or the circumstances made it so. "Genuinely" adds the meaning that you are being genuine, or truthful, in what you say. Really, that would only be ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 104k
4 votes

Is saying "...no matter whether ..." OK or a redundancy or grammatically wrong?

Definitions no matter - (adv) regardless of whether - (conj) expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives Explanation No matter emphasizes that which option you choose is not important. ...
RedDragonWebDesign's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible