Using verbs with clarity
Scientists sometimes 'smother' a verb by converting it into a noun because to some it sounds more scientific.
Yet the verb is often just as good and uses fewer words. Smothered verbs have endings such as ‘-ion, -ance, -ent’. Here are some smothered verbs and their verb equivalents:
come to a decision … decide
provide assistance … assist
make an assessment … assess
Combining a smothered verb with the passive voice
A smothered verb is usually as easy to understand as the verb alone. A sentence in the passive voice is no more difficult to read than one in the active voice. But if we combine the two, a sentence can become clumsy, longer and less readable:
A calculation of the optimum pH was made by the team. (Passive voice + smothered verb = 11 words.)
The team calculated the optimum pH. (Active voice + verb = 6 words.)
We calculated the optimum pH. (Active voice + personal pronoun + verb = 5 words.)
If we added subordinate (extra information) clauses to the first example (particularly more than two), the sentence would become even more difficult.