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Nouns as Verbs?

Concise writing can be achieved in numerous ways. The quickest way is to eliminate unnecessary words in a sentence.


By nature, certain usages of language are wordier than others. One such example is a nominalization, where a verb is turned into a noun form. See the example below to identify and eliminate nominalizations from your writing.


Sentence: The researcher made a decision to conduct the remaining focus groups in an online format.


Edited Sentence: The researcher DECIDED to conduct the remaining focus groups in an online format.


Explanation: In the first sentence, the word "decision" functions as a nominalization since it can be replaced with the verb "decided." Though the word "decision" also can function as a noun without being used as a nominalization (i.e. She regretted her decision to delay admittance to law school), in the sentence above, it is part of a verb phrase, where the verb "made" is unnecessary (unlike in the sentence above, where the verb "regretted" is necessary).


To delete the nominalization, two parts of the verb phrase are deleted ("made a") in the edited sentence, and the nominalization "decision" is changed to the verb "decided." To learn more about and see other common examples of nominalizations, please refer to a grammar handbook or use a reputable online source.


Cultivating writers...one tip at a time!


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