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THE PARTS OF SPEECH [ ? ]
> Adjectives
> Adverbs
> Articles
> Conjunctions
> Nouns
> Pronouns
> Prepositions
> Verbs : Verbals
> Vowels : Consonants
CHEAT SHEETS
> Violations of English Words
> Homonyms
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> Possessive nouns
HOW TO WRITE BETTER
> Ad Copy
> Blog Copy
> Resume
> Sales Letter
PLAIN ENGLISH WRITING ( What is? )
> Plain English Material
> Jargon and Legalese
> Active Voice
> Plain English Gobbledygook
> Using plain English
WRITING STYLES
> APA Style
> MLA Style
> Chicago Style
GRAMMAR ( What is? )
> The English Grammar
> Plain English Style
> Most confusing English Words
GRAMMAR MISTAKES
> Attraction
> ALONE (usage)
> AND relative
> Broken Construction
MISUSED ENGLISH WORDS
> Aggravating, Irritating
> Both, Each, Every
> Continual, Continuous
> Decided, Decisive
> Show all
CAPITALIZATION ( What is? )
> Book Titles
> First Words
> Titles of People
PUNCTUATION ( What is? )
> Apostrophe
> Colon
> Comma
> Dash
FIGURES OF SPEECH
> What is a figure of speech?
> the Simile
> the Metaphor
> Personification
WORD CLASSES
> Word Groups
> Spoken and Written Words
> Motion Words

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PLAIN ENGLISH WRITING : 9 Tips to Write Better Plain English Material : Complexity and Pomposity in Poor Writing : Drop the Officialese, and Write in Plain English : How to Recognize Passive Voice : How to Replace Jargon and Legalese : How to Start Writing in Plain English : View all articles

How to Use Active Voice with Strong Verbs in Plain English Writing

Strong Verbs in Plain English WritingMost documents with unnecessary big words and long-winded sentences make readers clamor for clear words and short sentences. A quick fix lies in using the active voice with strong verbs in English writing. Strong verbs excite, entice and tighten any sentence, causing information to spring from the page. When you start to write or edit your work, highlight all the verbs to help you uncover passive voice. You may surprise yourself by the number of weak verbs that create passive voice, such as forms of "to be" or "to have."

Spending extra time to search for a perfect strong verb is time well spent. Because an active verb carries more meaning, you can usually use a single verb to replace many weak verbs.

Two undesirable poor writing habits create a weak sentence: passive voice and hidden verbs. Together, they add unnecessary length and ambiguity to a sentence.

The active and passive voices

Here is a refresher on both the active and passive voices.

Active
The reader buys the book.

In the active voice, the subject of the sentence, the reader, performs the action, buying the book.

Passive
The book is bought by the reader.

In the passive voice the subject, the book, is acted upon. The person or the thing doing the action is introduced with "by." But sometimes, the person or thing doing the action is deleted, leading to...

Passive with agent deleted
The book is bought.

You don't know who bought the book. You'll find many examples of the "passive with agent deleted" in poorly-written documents.

Readers understand sentences in the active voice more quickly and easily because the sentence structure follows how we think and process information. Many times the passive voice forces readers to take extra mental steps as they convert the passive into the active

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PLAIN ENGLISH WRITING : 9 Tips to Write Better Plain English Material : Complexity and Pomposity in Poor Writing : Drop the Officialese, and Write in Plain English : How to Recognize Passive Voice : How to Replace Jargon and Legalese : How to Start Writing in Plain English : View all articles





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