Passive verbs

Don’t overuse passive verbs, but don’t renounce them. They exist for a reason. Sometimes, you want or need to shift the emphasis from the subject to the object of the verb. “Shortly after her twentieth birthday, she was kidnapped by the scourge of the Carolina coast: Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.”

Another time to use a passive verb is whenever the subject of the sentence is undetermined. “Much work will be required to put Humpty together again.” We already know the king’s horses and men won’t succeed, so we can’t make them the subject of the sentence.


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