Will H.

asked • 10/11/15

*Quick* grammar question.

Sentence: "Frederick Douglass proves himself a master of rhetoric"
 
Does it make sense that I took out "to be" after "himself" in this sentence?
 
(Original: "Frederick Douglass proves himself to be a master of rhetoric")

Mark M.

tutor
How does one "prove" oneself?
The sounds somewhat like purple prose.
Report

10/11/15

Bristol P.

I agree. I would like it more concise and direct: "Frederick Douglass proves that he is a master of rhetoric." Although, not sure he'd be doing this in the present tense nowadays... :)
Report

10/12/15

Kevin B.

tutor
I have few problems "proved himself" - yes, I agree with Bristol P. in that the past tense is called for here - but "proved himself" suggests that he had someone that he needed to prove himself to.  How about "showed himself to be" or "became known as" or 
Report

11/04/15

Kevin B.

tutor
Sorry - I hit "send" too soon.
Report

11/04/15

7 Answers By Expert Tutors

By:

Emily J. answered • 10/16/15

Writing Tutor - High School through Master's Level Work

Claudine J. answered • 01/25/16

Teaching Fellow and Math Test Prep Tutor

Charles C. answered • 12/16/15

Effective Tutor for math, English, science, Coding, Test prep

Ed M. answered • 10/12/15

Help with grammar, French, SAT Writing, the TOEFL and ESL.

Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.

Ask a question for free

Get a free answer to a quick problem.
Most questions answered within 4 hours.

OR

Find an Online Tutor Now

Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.