Presentation on theme: "Choosing verbs & The passive voice English 305; Ashley Aitken, Jenn Cloutier, & Kalvin Hermoso Professor Bashforth."— Presentation transcript:
Choosing verbs & The passive voice English 305; Ashley Aitken, Jenn Cloutier, & Kalvin Hermoso Professor Bashforth
Choosing verbs! Why choosing verbs is important: – “the choice of verbs, can heighten your awareness of the effect your writing has on your audience.” Types of verbs: – Idioms – Single word verbs
Idioms & examples Idiom= the verb + particle combination – Turn down, bring about, put up with, take up, do away with, get on with, give up Best for informal contexts Are most frequently seen with the most used verbs: be, have, do, say, make, go, take, come, see, and get Can take away the effectiveness of a phrase because of the numerous meanings of an idiom.
The examples Anna turned down the chance to be on Dancing with the Stars because she had to do her English homework! Naomi and Aimee can easily find a way around doing all the reading for LRS because they share each others notes. Megan, Alyssa, and Ashley paid no attention to the new Grey’s Anatomy because they were studying for the final.
The single-word version Single-word verb= Only the verb Higher Level of Formality More effective in technical writings – Resumes – Research papers Makes writing more effective – Takes away “flabbiness” and makes the phrase more specific
Examples… Victoria hesitated to give her answer in class, unsure of what the others might think. Martin attended the conference on how to be a gentleman last week. Melissa received the award for best purse in the ITEP cohort.
The overuse of be A culprit in flabby writing Most frequently used in writing Takes part in idioms The writer then should use more specific words for the “be”s What the “be” words are: – is, are, be, have, do, say, make, come, see, and get. Example with a “be” word: The patio at the Sierra Center was occupied with dozens of students, even though it was cold outside. Fixed example: The patio at the Sierra Center remained occupied with dozens of students, even though it was cold outside.
Other ways to fix the overuse of “BE” words Appositives Absolute Phrases Compound Sentences Example: – Last year scientists announced the discovery of the smallest known primate. It is one of several species of Eosimias (dawn monkey). This extinct animal was no longer than a human thumb. – Revision!: Last year scientists announced the discovery of the smallest known primate, one of several species of Eosimias (dawn monkey), an extinct animal no longer than a human thumb.
The Passive Voice The passive voice isn’t all that bad – “the passive voice enables the writer to shift emphasis in the sentence, so that the reader will put the focus where it should be- on the new information.” Doing its job as a transition statement: – “If Americans are truly interested in saving the rain forests, they should move beyond rhetoric and suggest policies that are practical- and acceptable –to the understandably wary Brazilians. Such policies cannot be presented as take-them-or-leave them propositions. If the U.S. expects better performance from Brazil, Brazil has a right to make demands in return.” [Michael D. Lemonick from Time magazine] However, we should not use the passive voice for most of the work we do at school or on the job, because it is not efficient for that purpose.
Identifying the passive voice Uno the beagle won best in show at the Westminster Dog Show. The Westminster Dog Show’s prize for best of show was received by Uno the beagle. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the best team in baseball this season. This season the best team in baseball is the Los Angeles Dodgers.