Turning nouns into verbs is nothing new, something many people today refer to as “verbing.” However, for an English language student, it can be confusing, to say the least. Depending on where you’re at in your learning, you probably already know a noun is a person, place, thing, animal, idea, etc. On the other hand, a verb is typically an action word, or one that, when used in a sentence, conveys an action, such as run, walk or an occurrence or state of being. What are some examples of turning nouns into verbs?
The word “breath” is a noun, and is the air you inhale and exhale. However, this noun is easily turned into a verb by simply adding an “e” on the end, resulting in the word “breathe,” which means the actual act of breathing!
Think of the word “drink.” If you’re holding a drink such as a soda, juice, or water in your hand, the word is a noun. However, what happens when you “take a drink” of water? Drink becomes a verb. Strange how our language works, isn’t it?
Another example is the word “fool.” You can say someone who is silly, or who has made a very bad decision, is a “fool,” and the word is a noun, but what about when you “fool” someone? It then becomes a verb.
Think of the following words and how they can transform from noun to verb, or vice-versa. You’ll catch on to the idea.
This is just a handful of words that can be used either as a noun or a verb. For instance, salt is a “thing” or ingredient you put on your fries or other food, and in this sense a noun. However, what happens when you say “I’m going to salt my fries?” It becomes an action, and the word “salt” is a verb when used this way.
Other nouns become verbs simply by adding the letter “e” in a spot or two and perhaps changing a letter. A few examples of this include:
Cloth – clothe
Breath – breathe
Teeth – teethe
Grief – grieve
These are just a few examples of “verbing” and how nouns can quickly become verbs. Food for thought!
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