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EU Translation Guide: Make sense – structure your sentences

EU Translation GuideYou may have to write (or improve) a text containing a mass of facts and ideas. Here are some ways of untangling the information so that readers will understand each sentence straight away.

Name the agents of each action and put the actions in the order in which they occur.

  • BAD: Its decision on allocation of EU assistance will be taken subsequent to receipt of all project applications at the Award Committee’s meeting.
  • GOOD: When all applicants have submitted their project applications,
    the Award Committee will meet
    to decide
    how much EU aid it will grant to each one.

Don’t bury important information in the middle of the sentence.

  • BAD: As for reducing roaming charges, the Commission outlined several proposals.
  • GOOD: The Commission outlined several proposals for reducing roaming charges.


  • BAD: The smoking in restaurants ban now seems likely to be implemented.
  • GOOD: Smoking in restaurants is now likely to be banned.

Try to give your sentences strong endings – that’s the bit readers will remember.

  • BAD: Complete institutional reform is advocated by the report in most cases.
  • GOOD: In most cases, the report advocates complete institutional reform.

Source: European Commission

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