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Nominalization: Changing into Nouns
by Patricia


           Nominalization is changing a word that is usually a verb or an adjective to a noun. By doing this, we expand our vocabulary and improve our communication.  Actually “communication” is a nominalized word. It is formed from the verb “communicate.”  The letter “e” is dropped and the suffix “tion” is added to change the word from a verb to a noun. We do this with many words in English. Sometimes the letter “e” is changed to another letter like “a” as is the case with the verb “continue” and the noun “continuation.” The letter “i” is occasionally added to the root word before the suffix as is true with the verb “add” and the noun “addition”. The suffix “sion” sounds and functions the same as “tion”.  The verb “divide” can be nominalized by dropping the “e” and adding  “sion” to make the noun “division”. The suffix “ment” can also be added to nominalize some verbs. For example, “agree” is a common verb that can be changed to a noun by adding the suffix “ment”. When you add the suffix “ing” to a verb, you can create nouns called gerunds. For example, “study” is a common verb that can be changed to the gerund “studying” as shown in this sentence: Studying is important.  Often words are added after the gerund to create a gerund phrase as is the case in the following sentence: Studying English is challenging. Understanding nominalization and examining the sentences below  should enable you to develop your vocabulary and communicate more effectively.

After you read the examples, try a quiz to check your comprehension.


Here are some common school words that illustrate nominalization using the suffixes “tion” and “ing”.



(verb) add                         Add these four numbers.

(noun) addition                 You need to know addition for this test.

(gerund) adding                Adding  is a good skill.


(verb)  attend                    Please attend to your homework.                             

(noun)  attention               The teacher said, “I need your attention.”

(gerund p) attending         Attending classes regularly is beneficial.


(verb) collaborate             Students collaborate when they work well together.

(noun) collaboration         Their collaboration produced good results.

(gerund) collaborating      Collaborating should improve your oral skills.


(verb) concentrate              Concentrate and you will understand.

(noun)  concentration         Good concentration is important in school.

(gerund p) concentrating    Concentrating on a problem will help solve it.


(verb) continue                  I will continue to study next year.

(noun) continuation           The continuation of these classes is necessary.

(gerund p) continuing        Continuing your studies is a good idea.




(verb) converse                  We can converse in English.

(noun)  conversation          We are having an interesting conversation.

(gerund p) conversing        Conversing in English regularly will improve your fluency.


(verb) create                      The teacher said, “Now create your own poem.”

(noun) creation                  This work of art is my own creation.

(gerund p) creating            Creating weekly features is enjoyable.



(verb)  dictate                    I will dictate the spelling words now.

(noun) dictation                 Dictations are helpful for learning how to spell.

(gerund p) dictating           Dictating sentences is the teacher’s responsibility.



(verb)  educate                  Teachers educate their students.

(noun) education               A good education is important.

(gerund p) educating         Educating people is an interesting job.


(verb) graduate                 Some students will graduate in June.

(noun) graduation             Graduation is an exciting time for students.

(gerund p) graduating       Graduating from high school is her goal.



(verb) illustrate                The students often illustrate their stories.

(noun) illustration            The illustrations in this book are beautiful.

(gerund p) illustrating      Illustrating books is a creative process.  


(verb)  memorize              The teacher said, “Try to memorize these words.”

(noun)  memorization       Memorization is a good spelling skill.

(gerund p) memorizing     Memorizing grammar rules can be challenging.


(verb) multiply                  Multiply these numbers.

(noun) multiplication        Multiplication will help you answer this problem.

(gerund) multiplying         Multiplying is not difficult.



(verb) organize                 Please organize your papers.

(noun) organization          Paper organization is important in school.

(gerund p) organizing       Organizing your papers should help you succeed.



(verb) punctuate               Don’t forget to punctuate your sentences.

(noun) punctuation           Correct punctuation counts.

(gerund p)punctuating      Punctuating paragraphs is easy.



(verb) register                Students register for classes every September.

(noun) registration         The registration takes about an hour.

(gerund) registering       Registering is necessary.


(verb) subtract               Do you know how to subtract?

(noun) subtraction         Use subtraction to answer these math questions.

(gerund) subtracting      Subtracting is a math skill.


(verb) suggest                The teacher said, “I suggest you nominalize some words.”

(noun)  suggestion         Her suggestion was a good idea.

(gerund p) suggesting    Hopefully, suggesting these ideas is helpful for students.



(October 24, 2010)

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