The term E-Prime (short for English Prime) refers to a style of writing and speaking that completely removes the verb “to be” in all its forms from the English language. Those who write in E-prime always write in an active voice.
It makes us more accurate and accountable for our opinions. Compare, for example:
- She is intolerant.
- She said something intolerant yesterday.
- People are unhappy with our service.
- Five people complained about our service.
E-prime encourages us to use more verbs, adding color to our writing
- He was angry.
- He yelled at me and slammed the door.
Try this useful tool: When you use Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar check, the completion screen looks like that shown here. It will tell you the extent to which you wrote in a passive voice.