ESL student writing – especially narrative and descriptive pieces – can be flat, dull and homogeneous.
Overuse of simple verbs is one problem that can fix that style problem. Tired verbs like be, find, go, say and see are easy to write in proper. Sure the sentence is grammatically correct but writing is a lot more than just good grammar, ain’t it? Sure, it gots to have style.
Here are a couple of exercises which I uncovered in a terrific book, 500 Word Theme by Harry Kroitor and Lee Martin (1994).
Editing for Style: Tired Verbs
Read the paragraph. Pay attention to the tired verbs (e.g. be, can, go, etc). rewrite the paragraph.
The Volkswagen is unexcelled for dependability.