Very, the bane of many editor’s existences. When should you use this little, annoying, and misunderstood word in writing?

I have really strong opinions on this…

Unless absolutely necessary, do not use the word very in writing. Very is filler 99% of the time. Do not write filler. One of the worst things any writer can do is write filler to just take up page space. 99% of the time, very has no added value.

There only three exceptions where you could use the word very

  1. if you have been using words like quite, really, and extremely a lot and want something new
  2. In informal writing (or verbal conversation)
  3. There are really rare cases where certain expressions force you to use very

My admittedly strong opinion on this is that, apart from the three cases which I described, avoided using very at all costs in your writing.

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