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  • Dr. V

Too Many Verbs?

Sentences revolve around the action expressed within them. Writers express action by using verbs and a writer can achieve conciseness in writing through the efficient use of words.


Since verbs convey the action of a sentence, they should be maximized. However, writers sometimes add an extra verb that does not contribute to the sentence. See the sentence below for an example:


Sentence: The study results reveal that parents have an impact on the self-esteem of their children through their adult years.


Edited Sentence: The study results reveal that parents impact the self-esteem of their children through their adult years.


Explanation: In the initial sentence, “have an impact” includes two verbs: “have” and “impact.” By deleting “have an” in the edited sentence, the true action of the sentence becomes clear, and three unnecessary words are deleted (“have,” “an” and “on”).


When editing, be sure the action of the sentence stays unencumbered by extra verbs.


Until next week, Happy Writing!!!


Dr. V Writing

Coach-Editor-Speaker

Author of I'm Not a Writer...I am Just in Graduate School (order your copy at https://www.amazon.com/Not-Writer-Just-Graduate-School/dp/1533392919)

Available in hard copy and on Kindle




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