What Are Verbal Nouns? (with Examples)

Our most common search themes:

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 Nouns

Here 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).)
Compare the example above to this example of a gerund:
  • 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).)
In English, verbal nouns are formed in a number of ways (usually by adding a suffix to the base form of the verb). For example:

VerbVerbal NounExample in a Sentence
To buildbuilding It was a lovely building .
The money will fund the building of a bridge.
To arrivearrivalTheir arrival has been delayed.
To repeatrepetitionI do not want another repetition of yesterday.
To decidedecisionThat was an awful decision by the referee.
To attackattackHe mounted a surprise attack with the Romans.
(Note: With some verbs, the verbal noun is identical to the base form of the verb.)
Your score:

Click on the one with a verbal noun:

What are gerunds? The different types of nouns Glossary of grammatical terms
professional grammar checker
Follow Us on Twitter Like us on Facebook by Craig Shrives Search
professional grammar checker

Search Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter
Chat about grammar Ask a Grammar Question