piatok, 19 júla, 2024


Verbing – Nouns Used as Verbs

If you have been learning English for some time, you probably noticed that many English words are used in more than one part of speech.

Many words function as nouns and also as verbs, for example:

  • to chat [verb] – to have a chat [noun]
  • to love [verb] We love you. Love is all around. [noun]

This process in English is known as conversion = it converts a word into a different part of speech. And one form of conversion is using nouns as verbs, so this process is called verbing. Verbing has affected English over centuries.

Here are few examples:

  • to pepper food – this verb already existed in Old English
  • many nouns started to be widely used as verbs in the 20th century: to contact, to author, to reference, to interface

There are also words that function in more than two parts of speech, for example:


  • Liz looked down. [adverb]
  • Kids were running up and down the stairs. [preposition]
  • The down escalator is out of order. [adjective]
  • The plane has been downed. [verb]
  • There were more downs than ups in many companies last year. [noun]


  • Tom jumped up. [adverb]
  • The kitten climbed up the steps. [preposition]
  • The up escalator is working. [adjective]
  • He upped and left them. [verb, informal]
  • His grandma upturned her eyes when he … [prefix]
  • UP [Uttar Pradesh, state in India – abbreviation]
  • We have ups all the time we are here. [noun]

More about English >>