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Verbal noun: Wikis

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A verbal noun is a noun formed directly as an inflexion of a verb or a verb stem, sharing at least in part its constructions. This term is applied especially to gerunds, and sometimes also to infinitives and supines (full infinitive or to infinitive).

Examples of verbal nouns in English sentences:

  • The question of being is an intrinsic part of philosophy. (being is a gerund)
  • The writing of a book is always an ambitious undertaking. (writing is a gerund)
  • To speak is not to listen. (to speak and to listen are full infinitives (supines) acting as nouns)
  • Speaking means that one is not listening. (speaking is a gerund, and listening a present participle)
  • Going is hardly as easy as standing. (going and standing are gerunds)

Some claim that true nouns sharing the stem of their respective verbs are also verbal nouns (such as survival from survive). However, in English grammar it is a little accepted view, on the grounds that it would make nearly all nouns verbal nouns; but in some other languages, such as Arabic, that view is the only possible one, as there is no gerund or infinitive form of a verb (the Arabic masdar is a verbal noun: naql, for example, can be translated as "transporting" or "to transport", but its literal meaning is "transportation".)

Contents

Examples

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German

  • Schwimmen ist ein beliebtes Hobby "Swimming is a popular hobby"
  • (Das) Trinken des Brunnenwassers ist lebensgefährlich, literally "The drinking of the well water is hazardous (to health)".

Arabic

  • من الممكن مقابلته غدا (Min al-mumkini muqābalatuhu ghadan) "It is possible to interview him tomorrow" (muqābalah is the verbal noun, and its literal meaning is "interview". Literally, the sentence means "his interview is from possibility tomorrow".)

Cornish

  • My a gar neuvya "I love swimming" (neuvya is the verbal noun, and literally means "to swim".)

Types of verbal nouns

See also


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