Sometimes, we want to use a word to convey meaning in a sentence, but it might be tricky if that word doesn’t have an apparent verb form. “Efficient” is a good example of this, where we want to use a quick word to make something more efficient, so let’s look at examples.
What Is The Verb Form Of “Efficient”?
There are many different verb forms of “efficient.” The most appropriate are “optimize,” which means to improve the efficiency of something, or “improve,” which means to make something work better than originally. For example, “we can optimize or improve our performance.”
Let’s look at a couple of examples using The Cambridge Dictionary.
We’ll start with the meaning of “optimize” in The Cambridge Dictionary, which means “to make something as good as possible.” This shows how we’re working to achieve more efficiency with something.
We can also look at the simpler word “improve” in The Cambridge Dictionary, which means “to (cause something to) get better.” The idea is the same between both of these words.
Of course, the line isn’t drawn there. There are plenty of other examples we could go through with you. We’ll elaborate more as the article develops, but we’ll look mostly at the following:
The first verb we want to share is the most likely candidate to use as a verb to mean “make something more efficient.” We use optimize frequently, and it works perfectly to convey the meaning we’re after.
Optimize means that we work towards making something the best possible version of itself. This means the same as making something as efficient as possible because we’re working towards an attainable goal of efficiency.
It’s a great verb to use in this sense, but you might not be all that familiar with it. Let’s look at some examples of it in a sentence so you can see when it might be used.
- We need to optimize our performance to win.
- We need to optimize the workload to finish early.
- I want to optimize my output on this task.
- You should optimize your completion rates.
- He will optimize whatever you ask him to. He’s good at that.
As you can see, we’re using the verb as a way to make something more efficient than it previously was. It’s the closest verb form in this article to the original idea of “to make something more efficient.”
Next, we’ll look at “improve” as a verb. We often find ourselves using this one when we’re talking about generally making things better than they were before. It doesn’t always have to relate to efficiency, but it works well in this case.
Improve means that we work towards making something better than it was previously. We might not make it perfect, but we’re at least improving on the original parts.
It’s one thing us telling you what the verb means, but it’s another actually showing it to you in action. We thought we’d include some examples to give you an idea of what to expect when you see it.
- You must improve your performance to keep your job here.
- You need to improve your attitude.
- We should improve on the deadlines to impress the boss.
- Can I improve the efficiency of this line?
- He must improve this, or there will be consequences.
As you can see, efficiency isn’t always the primary goal of using the verb “improve.” Still, it works well when we want to use it in this manner.
Streamline is the next word we want to show you that works well.
Streamline means “to shape something so that it can move as effectively and quickly as possible,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary. It doesn’t always have to refer to a physical shape, either. Sometimes you can streamline a concept or idea.
As we mentioned above, while streamlining is mostly reserved for shape and mechanics, we can use it when we’re talking about concepts and ideas as well.
- You can streamline your performance to finish faster.
- We streamlined this vehicle to improve its fuel efficiency.
- I need to streamline my article before sending it off.
- We have streamlined the design for purposes of efficiency.
- She streamlined her ideas to narrow down her decision.
As you can see, you don’t always have to refer to a shape of something when you use the verb “streamline.” It works well to improve efficiency in general.
Next up, we have the verb “shorten,” which works in a few contexts. However, it works well when we want to shorten the output time of something and thus make it more efficient.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, shorten means “to make something shorter in time.” That works with making something more efficient because the quicker we do something, the quicker we’ll finish (and the more efficient we’ll be with time management).
Again, shorten isn’t strictly related to efficiency in all cases, but when we write it in the correct context, it works really well. Let’s look at some examples:
- We need to shorten the time it takes us to finish.
- I should shorten the deadline to keep efficiency high.
- You shortened the length to save on time, didn’t you?
- Shortening this for us will save plenty of time and money.
- They always look to shorten the task to save them the time.
As you can see, it’s not always related to efficiency, but it’s always related to “time” when we write it in this manner. When we save time, we often make something more efficient. Sometimes, we’re talking about cutting corners to save time, but that’s not encourageable if you want to truly make a task as efficient as possible.
Next, we have “enhance,” which works in a similar vein to “optimize.” It’s a verb that encourages us to improve something, and we can apply it to various situations when written.
Enhance means “to improve the quality, amount, or strength of something,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary. Generally, we enhance something when we want to improve the performance or quality.
If we enhance a workload, we’re making it more efficient. If we enhance the time it takes to do something, we’re making it quicker (and more efficient). As you can see, it’s a good word to replace the original “to make something more efficient.”
Here are a few examples of it in action:
- We can enhance our task performance and be done in no time.
- They enhanced their input and finished the task promptly.
- I enhanced the process and finished ahead of time.
- You enhanced all the things I asked of you, and I thank you for that.
- He enhanced our relationship, and I didn’t even ask him to.
As you can see, “enhance” is another great word to show that something is made slightly more efficient. It is more common to relate to the efficiency of something as well, rather than using more open-ended words like “shorten” or “improve.”
“Enhance” is most closely synonymous with “optimize” if that helps you with your decision of which verb works best.
The last verb we want to introduce you to is “hone.” It’s not the most common verb in usage anymore, but it’s still a great one in this context. It originates from sharpening an object or tool but has transitioned to be used to talk about improving general efficiency in things.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “hone” means “to make something better or completely suitable for its purpose.” It’s most common for someone to “hone their skills” in a situation to make themselves the best they possibly can be at that skill.
Now let’s look through some examples of “hone” used in a sentence. We mostly talk about it with “skills,” but it can work in a few other contexts.
- We need to hone your ability before you take them on again.
- You should hone your skills before handing in a task like this.
- Can we hone in on this project to get it completed?
- I honed in on the task at hand and finished it.
- They honed into what was asked of them and impressed everyone.
As you can see, “hone” works really well as another verb here to show that something is made more efficient. We’d encourage you to use this one as well because it’s more old-fashioned, many people have forgotten all about it – which makes it all the more impressive if you can use it correctly.
Is “Efficientize” A Word?
Finally, we wanted to touch on potentially turning “efficient” into its own verb. Many people think that “efficientize” might be a correct word, as adding “-ize” to the end of some other words turns them into a verb form.
“Efficientize” is not a word and is not the correct verb form of “efficient.” You should instead you one of the verbs we introduced above if you ever need to use it in a sentence.
Sometimes, we can’t make words fit, and that’s okay. You just need to find a suitable replacement to get it sorted.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.