Plain English Alternative Words


When you write something in plain English, people will understand it the first time they read it.

Are you complicating your written communications with convoluted syntax? <- See what I did there?

This document lists more than 500 overly complicated words and their plain English alternatives you can draw on when you think your language is becoming too formal or too complex.



This document includes a list of more than 500 formal and complex words and their suggested plain English alternatives.

Using big words doesn’t make your writing sound sophisticated or clever. Writing content that is clear, concise and easy-to-read does. Use shorter words wherever you can. Your content doesn’t have to be overly simple or patronising – that’s not the point of plain English. But use plain English and you’ll find that your readers will read your content faster, understand it better and love it more.

Whether you’re a copywriter, marketer, student or business owner, everyone will benefit from this handy resource.

Words are listed alphabetically, making it easy to find them, or you can search for a specific word or phrase.

Here’s a selection of words from the document and their plain English alternatives:

  • according to our records  – our records show
  • accordingly – in line with this, so
  • accrue – add, gain
  • accurate – right, exact, right
  • acknowledge – thank you for, thank, accept
  • acquainted with – knows about
  • acquaint yourself with – find out about, read
  • acquiesce – agree
  • acquire – buy, get
  • additional – extra, more.


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