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Use Subject-Verb-Object in Your Writing

Make Your Sentences Tighter and More Active


Try to always use the subject-verb-object format in newswriting. This simply means putting the subject at the start of the sentence whenever possible.

Look at these two sentences:

She read the book.

The book was read by her.

The first sentence is in S-V-O format, the second isn't. What's the difference?

The first sentence is an "active" construction, the second is passive.

The first sentence has a direct connection between the subject and the action she is taking, making the sentence punchy and vivid. The second sentence cuts that connection, making it dull and lifeless.

The first sentence is four words long, the second is six words long.

Two words may not seem like much, but imagine cutting two words out of every sentence you write. After awhile, it starts to add up. Using S-V-O your writing will be tighter, brighter and easier to read. You'll convey more information using fewer words.

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