Tag Archives active versus passive verbs

To Be or Not To Be

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We use the verb “to be” a lot mostly because it’s easier than looking around for a verb that’s more accurate. But “to be” is a passive verb; it doesn’t do anything but join parts of a sentence together. Take this sentence: “The road was wet and shiny.” It provides information, sure, but it’s a bit bland. If we use an active verb rather than “was”, we get something more satisfying. “The wet road glistened in the pools of light thrown down by the occasional street light.” I added a bit of detail and using “glistened” rather than “was” seems to …