, , , , , , , , ,

“One of the most common stylistic mistakes aspiring writers make is to rely too much on the verb “to be.” ~ EssayForum.com

I wonder what Mr. Shakespeare would say. Isn’t his oft quote soliloquy, “To be, or not to be?”

When I read EssayForum.com’s page on avoiding the verb “to be,” I thought uh-oh. I dashed to my computer to do a quick search, and GUILTY AS CHARGED YOUR HONOR!

But how to fix this “common stylist mistake” was a puzzle. I couldn’t put my hands on concrete ways to avoid the verb “to be,” but found many sites and books with admonitions to keep away from the verb like it is an outbreak of e coli.

You will be getting some tips on the present tense of “to be” today, and the past tense form in the near future. I know you know this, but as a refresher on our new enemy “to be” in the present tense:

I am and I’m

He is and He’s

She is and She’s

It is and It’s

We are and We’re

They are and They’re

You are and You’re


I am making every effort to write well. 

Good for you!

I make every effort to write just like Robin.


He feels Robin’s presence when he is writing.

Like a poltergeist? 

Robin’s annoying voice rings in his head when he writes.


It is odd how often Robin edits her manuscript

Maybe the book is really bad.

Robin edits her manuscript freakishly often.


We are hoping Robin shares more tips on how to use strong vs. weak words.

 Ask, and ye shall receive!

We hope Robin changes the theme of her posts to underwater basket weaving.