Pearson Adult Learning Centre Home
Pearson Adult Learning Centre
  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (February 6, 2007)

Not "To Be": Avoiding "Is"

Is is an excellent word, but, in writing, "is" can significantly weaken your prose. In particular, avoid constructions like, "It is . . ." and "There is . . ." and, especially, my least favourite: "It is because. . ."

Seek, instead, to find a stronger construction, using a specific verb in the place of "is."

Visit the following resources for longer discussions on the verb "to be" in your writing, including practical suggestions for improvement.

Online Technical Writing: Weak Be-Verbs

Online Grammar Discussion of Verb "To Be"
(scroll down to "Unnecessary Uses of "To Be")

Rooting Out a Weak Element from Stories


See our most recent tips.

Tips from November 2001 to April 2002

Tips from September 2000 to October 2001.

Tips from January to August 2000
Tips from January to December 1999


Visit our Contact Us page to send email to the centre.
Copyright 1997 to 2009 Pearson Adult Learning Centre, New Westminster School District 40
Web Site Created by The Educated Web
Last modified: July 31, 2009