Put simply, tautology is the needless repetition of the same idea or meaning. Below are some examples of tautology.
“Learning from past history, they chose another path.”
This is a commonly encountered example of tautology. Here, both “past” and “history” carry the same meaning. In this instance, using both words is no more effective than using just one. Therefore, a better sentence would read:
“Learning from history, they chose another path.”
“After a difficult period, we are now advancing forward to a better future.”
The word “advance” is classified as “moving forward in a purposeful way”. Therefore, the word “forward” becomes redundant and should be removed.
Tautologies are often clichéd and can be found in all walks of life, such as in news reporting. In one report you might hear multiple examples of tautology, such as:
“Without any advance warning, people were deliberately targeted and had to escape to a safe haven in a nearby village.”
So, when making your point, avoid this type of redundancy in your writing and follow the advice of George Orwell: “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.”