E-prime or English Prime just means standard English without the use of the verb ‘to be.’ Use E-prime to share sensations and perspectives, instead of relying on the verb ‘to be’. See if you can tell the difference E-prime makes in the following example:

Instead of saying “The grass is green.” Try saying “The grass looks green.

By using E-prime you re-include yourself in the dialogue or statement. Now the listener knows who observed the grass, and who identified the color of the grass.  We call that person the referent.

Use E-prime to communicate sensations and perspectives instead of facts.

Notice how using E-prime means you need to select a verb that describes your action. In the example, Kung Furious ‘looks’ to determine the color of the grass!

Three Easy Ways to Start Using E-prime

  1. Speak in the active voice, and you don’t require the verb ‘to be’ in the first place.
  2. Utilize ‘appears’ or ‘seems’ to replace the verb ‘to be’ when passive voice springs up.
  3. Remember the verb ‘to be’ has many variations! Watch out for conjunctions too!

Conjugations and Conjunctions To Avoid

is, am
be, been
become, because
was, were
you’re, are, aren’t
that’s, it’s, I’m

If you get stuck choosing a verb, GREAT!  You just switched ON your verb generator! With a little practice, you’ll start using just the right verb for the job easily. We’ll talk later about how pausing to think of a verb, improves relating since it helps disengage knee-jerk reactions.

Get Help From Someone Who Speaks Fluent E-Prime

Contact us now, and we’ll tell you how you can start learning with an expert. Thirty minutes chatting with our administrator will jump start your journey and help get the basics nailed down.

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Shifting from Passive Voice to Active Voice

I was going to go the store, and now I am too lazy.
passive turned into active!
I feel lazy right now, so I postponed going to the store.