Qualifiers are typically adverbs added to other words that modify the meaning, such as:
The dog was somewhat lazy.
In that sentence, somewhat is the qualifier because it gives the degree to which the dog was lazy.
Qualifiers, when used sparingly and chosen with discernment, can add meaning to your text, but when they are overused, they give your statements the feel of being overwritten.
Words such as actually, very, kind of, basically, definitely, extremely, and really are qualifiers. They litter your sentences and add little to the overall meaning. Some qualifiers like really and very, can be eliminated ninety-nine percent of the time either by deletion or choosing a better word:
The test was really hard, or the test was difficult.
Many times the qualifier is just not necessary.
She faced an extremely long commute, or she faced a long commute.
Better yet, give the distance or time required for the commute rather than saying long.
He was absolutely certain about his decision, or he was certain about his decision.
Certain means not having any doubt about something, convinced or sure. Enough said.
Be bold and concise. Say what you mean, and don’t clutter your text with qualifiers. Do you add qualifiers to your text? What’s your favorite?
Do you add qualifiers to your text? What’s your favorite? Really and just are two I clean out regularly. Tell me about your experience with qualifiers.