The English language is unusually rich in verb tenses. But they can be complicated and unwieldy, adding unnecessary weight to sentences. In this video, learn why the form known as "active voice" often has the most impact, and get tips for rephrasing sentences to use and recognizing its limitations.
- English lacks some features that are found…in other languages, but it is ridiculously rich…in verb forms.…That gives us some wonderfully poetic options…for describing action.…There aren't languages where you can say something like,…He would have been leaving, but he had been interrupted.…This richness has its downside for writers, though,…as it's not always clear which form is the most effective.…Now this isn't a grammar course.…We have lots of those, including Grammar Foundations…and Advanced Grammar, but here are a few tidbits…chosen to add power to your words.…
Action verbs, not stative verbs.…An action verb shows that something is happening.…Give, run, and do are all action verbs.…Stative verbs show a state like be or seem.…So let's take the sentence,…Arthur Landon was an English businessman…who founded the Landon Hotel.…We can bring an action verb up front by changing it to…English businessman, Arthur Landon,…founded the Landon Hotel.…Active forms, not passive forms.…
Passive verb forms shift the focus away from the doer,…
- Paraphrase the goals of “write short, write clear, and write right.”
- Recall the strategy used to make long paragraphs easier to read.
- Identify the most-often portion of the page neglected by English-language readers.
- Determine which words to omit from writing.
- Explain why short paragraphs are easy to skim.
- Name two strategies to write more effectively.
- Identify examples of assonance.