Double Double Words Words in a Row Row

A sentence begins with a pronoun continues with a double verb and ends with an adjective and a plural noun. Wait, back up. A what? A double verb? Well, more correct would be two verbs in a row. But how does that sound?

“I walked walked multiple roads.” Does that make sense? If someone said that, I bet you would have to listen to it again to make sure you heard right, but in the end, no, it wouldn’t.

But what if I wrote instead, “They had had many problems.” Now that makes sense, right? It does. It is correct? Yes. But does it have to be written that way? No.

Words collide often in sentences and there are no problems with that happening, it can just often create a confusion for the readers or the listeners. But it still does make sense. There are many ways that doubles can happen in a sentence.

Often times, as above, it’s the verb that is doubled. How can that be fixed? You can change the second verb into a prepositional phrase…“They had dealt with many problems.”

Or add a more specific verb…“They had remembered many problems.”

Or introduce more vivid imagery into the sentence…“They had bad situations over the years.”

Other doubled “on on”s or “is is”s or “that that”s can be fixed easily with a shift in pronouns, nouns, other phrases. It’s important to know what can be done with language to be able to write or speak your message in the way that can be the most understood. A double verb may be correct, but it’s not always the best way to speak to your audience.

Talk about your family. Talk about your vacation trips. Talk about language.

It doesn’t matter what you talk about. It only matters if your message gets across. If you can communicate what you are saying, and be understood, the double verb doesn’t matter. The change in pronouns, the change in nouns, doesn’t matter if the message in communicated.

So, what the real lesson? Just communicate. If a double verb is the problem, change it. If it’s not, don’t. Nothing has to change if you can have an understood conversation. It only matters if there is a problem. Doubles or not. Singles. Anything, just speak and be understood.


An article with more information about Double Double words…here.

Enjoy. And Reed.

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