Developing writers often rely on “to be” verbs when communicating action. To-be verbs are all forms of “be”: is, am, are, was, were, be, being, and been. In some student papers, English teachers might find “is” as the verb in the majority of sentences. Even professional writers struggle with the over-reliance on “is” as a verb. So what is so wrong with using “is” and other to-be verbs in writing? Oh dear! I just used is as a verb in that last sentence!
Take a look at the following example:
The girl is pretty.
What does “pretty” look like? Is creates a vague description. What does the girl’s pretty actually look like?
The girl has flowing auburn hair, crimson lips, and eyes I could drown in for days.
In the first example, the is verb creates a lazy sentence; it isn’t showing the…