- Verbal noun
A verbal noun is a
nounformed directly as an inflexionof a verbor 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
* 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:
* "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...").
* 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
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