Rewrite this sentence to replace vague language with specific, concrete language. 1. The diplomat was required to execute an agreement that stipulated that he would live in whatever country the federal government thought necessary.

I understand I need to avoid vague references, indirect language, and general wordiness and choose specific, descriptive words, but the only sentence I came up with is this: "The diplomat was required to execute an agreement that stipulated he would live in whatever country the federal government thought necessary." (I removed the word "that" from the sentence although I'm sure that's not what they wanted me to do.) I would be very thankful for a better variant :) Also, can I remove the passive voice from the sentence? The book says on my exam I need to remove it whenever possible, but I didn't find how to do it in this case...

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, Chenmunka, Nathan Tuggy, P. E. Dant, Varun Nair Aug 3 '17 at 5:27

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  • The diplomatic had to live wherever the federal government sent him. But any rephrasing is likely to lose or modify some aspects of the original text, so it's all effectively opinion-based writing advice / proofreading. – FumbleFingers Aug 2 '17 at 14:35
  • The new subject would probably be "The federal government". The active voice verb would become "required". The federal government required the diplomat to agree to live in whatever country it thought necessary. But that rewrite states the fact not from the perspective of the diplomat who is relinquishing choice. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 2 '17 at 14:58
  • @FumbleFingers The diplomatic?? – Lambie Aug 2 '17 at 15:15
  • @Lambie: Dunno where that one came from. To me, the context implies we're talking about someone who hasn't yet taken up an ambassadorial position abroad, so perhaps my subconscious was toying with something like the candidate for diplomatic office. – FumbleFingers Aug 2 '17 at 15:50
  • @FumbleFingers Why not go all the way to the diplomatical? – P. E. Dant Aug 2 '17 at 21:17

To remove passive voice, find the verbs and figure out who performs each action. Make that person or organization the subject of the sentence. It also helps to reduce wordinesses. I propose: "The government required the diplomat to agree in writing to go and live in whichever country the government thought best."

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