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What Are Verbal Nouns? (with Examples)A verbal noun is a noun that has no verb-like properties despite being derived from a verb. This means that a verbal noun can be modified by adjectives, be pluralized (if the sense allows), and be followed by a prepositional phrase.
A verbal noun is different from a gerund. A gerund is a noun that, having derived from a verb, retains a few verb-like properties. For example, a gerund can be modified by an adverb and can take a direct object.
Examples of Verbal NounsHere is another example of a verbal noun (shaded):
- This bad drawing of a dog is not acceptable for your project. (This is a verbal noun. It is acting just like a noun. Just like any noun could have, it has a determiner (This) and an adjective (bad), and it is followed by a prepositional phrase (of a dog).)
- Badly drawing a dog is not acceptable for your project. (This is a gerund. It is functioning as a noun, but it has two notable verb-like properties. Just like any verb could have, it has an adverb (badly) and a direct object (a dog).)
|Verb||Verbal Noun||Example in a Sentence|
|To build||building||It was a lovely building . |
The money will fund the building of a bridge.
|To arrive||arrival||Their arrival has been delayed.|
|To repeat||repetition||I do not want another repetition of yesterday.|
|To decide||decision||That was an awful decision by the referee.|
|To attack||attack||He mounted a surprise attack with the Romans.|
(Note: With some verbs, the verbal noun is identical to the base form of the verb.)
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