Tip 53. Avoid the verb “to be”

This tip takes time to implement but saves your reader time.

When you edit your work, replace every form of the verb “to be” with an active verb.

Forms of the verb “to be” include the words “be”, “am”, “is”, “are”, “was”, “were”, “being”, and “been”.

These verbs convey no action. By replacing “to be” with active verbs — such as the words “read”, “write”, or “think” — you force yourself to write in the active voice, which reduces your word count and forces you to clarify who did what to whom.

All this saves your reader time.

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