Verbal noun

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.

Examples of the verbal noun 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 the verbal noun)
* I am against the removal of the previous candidate. ("removal" is technically a verbal noun, but see below)
* To speak is not to listen. ("to speak" and "to listen" are infinitives acting as nouns; in other words: Speaking means that one is not listening; here, "speaking" is a gerund, and listening a present participle)
* Going is hardly as easy as standing. ("going" and "standing" are imperfect participles, or infinitives in -ing acting as nouns; in other words, 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".)

In other languages:

German:
* "Das Trinken des Wassers ist uns wesentlich" "To drink water is essential for us" ("Trinken", an infinitive, here acts as a verbal noun. Literally: "The drinking of the water...").

Arabic:
* من الممكن مقابلته غدا ("Mina al-mumkini muqbalatuhu ghadan") "It is possible to interview him tomorrow" ("muqbalah" is the verbal noun, and its literal meaning is "interview". Literally, the sentence means "interviewing him is possible tomorrow").

Types of verbal nouns

* Gerund
* Infinitive
* Non-finite verb
* Supine
* Verb phrase


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Verbal noun — Verbal Ver bal, a. [F., fr. L. verbalis. See {Verb}.] 1. Expressed in words, whether spoken or written, but commonly in spoken words; hence, spoken; oral; not written; as, a verbal contract; verbal testimony. [1913 Webster] Made she no verbal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • verbal noun — 1. A verbal noun (also called a gerund) is a form of a verb ending in ing that acts as a noun, for example smoking in the phrase no smoking and in the sentence Smoking damages your health. It should be distinguished from (identically formed)… …   Modern English usage

  • verbal noun — noun (C) a noun that describes an action or experience and has the form of a present participle . For example building is a verbal noun in The building of the bridge was slow work , but simply a noun in The bank was a tall building ; gerund see… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • verbal noun — noun count LINGUISTICS a noun that is formed from a verb and ends in ing, for example swimming in the sentence Swimming is my favorite sport : GERUND …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • verbal noun — ► NOUN Grammar ▪ a noun formed as an inflection of a verb and partly sharing its constructions, such as smoking in smoking is forbidden …   English terms dictionary

  • verbal noun — n. Gram. a noun or nominal derived from a verb and functioning in some respects like a verb: in English, it is either a noun ending in ING (a gerund) or an infinitive (Ex.: walking is healthful, to err is human) …   English World dictionary

  • verbal noun — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms verbal noun : singular verbal noun plural verbal nouns linguistics a noun that is formed from a verb and ends in ing , for example swimming in the sentence Swimming is my favourite sport …   English dictionary

  • verbal noun — noun A noun that is morphologically related to a verb and similar to it in meaning; in English, this might be a gerund (ending in ing), infinitive, or other noun derived from a verb. Brisk walking is good exercise. Syn: verbal substantive …   Wiktionary

  • verbal noun — noun a noun that is derived from a verb • Syn: ↑deverbal noun • Hypernyms: ↑common noun • Hyponyms: ↑gerund …   Useful english dictionary

  • verbal noun — noun Date: 1652 a noun derived directly from a verb or verb stem and in some uses having the sense and constructions of a verb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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