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Jess
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Okay so I'm polishing up my query to send and I had one sentence that was a convoluted mess so I fixed it, but the tense is giving me issues. As a query letter, it should be present tense, but it's just being awkward and maybe it's just because I've been up all night. Anyhow here's the sentence:
Kadren is ripped from his home and imprisoned by the king for being a fire mage.

See it's sorta present tense but full of those doggone ed verbs.
I mean I suppose it could say something like
Kadren is ripped from his home and the king imprisons him. but that in my opinion just feels clunky and awkward.

Or would it be Kadren is ripped from his home and is imprisoned by the king fro being a fire mage. ?

Or maybe better would be Ripped from his home, Kadren is imprisoned by the king for being a fire mage.

Or Ripped from his home for being a fire mage, Kadren is imprisoned by the king.

ack ack ack, they all sound good and bad at the same time.
Thoughts?

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Jess
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or It just hit me that knowing he is ripped from his home isn't necessarily essential for the query, so how about

Kadren is imprisoned by the king for being a fire mage.

There is still the ed and the is, but it seems to work.
I could put the sentence as: The king imprisons Kadren for being a fire mage. but I want the emphasis on the sentence to be Kadren not the king. It's Kadren's story. not the king.

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MattLeo
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Well, sure, but I think what your ear may be responding to is passive voice (in which the grammatical subject of a sentence is the semantic target of an action):
quote:
Kadren is ripped from his home and imprisoned by the king for being a fire mage.
Most of us have been drilled to automatically flag passive test as bad, although as you can see by this very sentence it's sometimes the most natural way of saying things. It could be rewritten to avoid passive voice:

quote:
The king rips Kadren from his home and imprisons him for being a fire mage.
It is questionable at best whether this is better style, but it doesn't trip the passive voice filter.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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As Jess points out, the being ripped from his home part may not be necessary, and could be argued to be redundant in a way (if he's imprisoned, it would probably not be in his home).

And as MattLeo points out, the passive construction works just fine here. The emphasis is on Kadren, so he should be the subject of the sentence, even if it is in passive voice.

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