Common mistake Creative Writing: E-Prime: 'to be' as the main verb

The Power of E-Prime: Eliminating 'To Be' as the Main Verb

In the realm of creative writing, mastering grammar is crucial. It is the foundation upon which we build our stories and convey our messages. One key aspect of grammar that often goes unnoticed is the use of the stative verb 'to be', and its impact on the clarity, accuracy, and tone of our writing.

The Pitfalls of 'To Be'

'To be', in its various forms (am, is, are, was, were, etc.), is often used as the main verb in sentences. While it may seem innocent, its omnipresence can actually hinder effective communication. Consider this example:

  • She is beautiful.
  • She looks beautiful.

Both sentences describe the same subject, but the second sentence conveys the message more vividly and actively. By replacing the verb 'to be' with 'looks', we add a dynamic quality that engages the reader's imagination and personal experience. This simple change can make a significant difference in the impact of our writing.

The Power of Alternatives

By consciously eliminating 'to be' as the main verb, we force ourselves to think more creatively and find alternatives that are more descriptive and engaging. Let's take a look at another example:

  • The mountain is tall.
  • The mountain towers above the clouds.

The second sentence not only provides a clearer picture of the mountain's height but also evokes a sense of grandeur and awe. By replacing 'is' with 'towers above', we imbue our writing with more vivid imagery and a stronger emotional impact.

The Role of E-Prime

E-Prime is a writing technique that encourages the avoidance of 'to be' as the main verb. By doing so, it helps us to communicate more clearly, accurately, and convincingly. E-Prime encourages us to think outside the box and find alternative verbs that add depth and richness to our writing.

Linguix Grammar Checker is an excellent tool to assist writers in implementing E-Prime effectively. It not only identifies instances of 'to be' in your text but also suggests alternative verbs to make your writing more engaging and powerful.

So, whether you are working on a novel, a blog post, or any form of creative writing, remember the power of E-Prime in eliminating 'to be' as the main verb. Embrace the challenge, explore new possibilities, and elevate your writing to new heights.

Creative Writing: E-Prime: 'to be' as the main verb mistake examples

  • Correct:
    This is right.
  • Correct:
    This is conforming with my current knowledge.
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