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)
(Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)