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Yeshanu
05-18-2005, 09:40 PM
In another forum, one of our hapless writers asked for ways to avoid using the word "was."

So share your ideas about how to rewrite the following in the active voice:


Marley was dead.


Ruth was cold.


This sentence is boring.

maestrowork
05-18-2005, 10:55 PM
(Without context)


Marley died.

Ruth shivered in the wind.

This sentence sucks the big one.

sprorion
05-18-2005, 10:59 PM
Marley laid lifeless.

Ruth quivered under the wintry blast.

Medievalist
05-18-2005, 11:17 PM
In another forum, one of our hapless writers asked for ways to avoid using the word "was."

So share your ideas about how to rewrite the following in the active voice:


Marley was dead.


Ruth was cold.


This sentence is boring.

People.

Was alone does not = passive or passive voice!

Really. I wouldn't kid you about this.

None of these sentences are in passive voice; none use a passive construction.

The reason "was" is sometimes a useful target for revision is that it's an exceedingly common, very useful, but not terribly interesting verb. Quite often you can easily revise a sentence whose only verb is was (or another form of be) and make it much more interesting.

reph
05-18-2005, 11:45 PM
Medievalist is right. "Was" by itself doesn't make passive voice.

Death had taken Marley. / Marley lay dead.

Ruth felt cold. / "I'm cold," Ruth said.

This sentence lacks interest. / This sentence bores me.

Bufty
05-19-2005, 12:27 AM
I don't see anything wrong with 'Marley was dead'. I know exactly what it means and it could be very effective in the right place.
Bufty

Bufty
05-19-2005, 12:31 AM
Mind you, this is the games section.
Marley was dead. Ruth was cold, so she switched on the electric blanket.
Hmmmm
Bufty