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Classwork Series and Exercises {English Language SS2}- Nominalization and Skill Focus (Paraphrasing a Poem)


Grammar: Nominalization

Vocabulary Development: The Human Body

Skill Focus: Writing Skills

A. Grammar: Nominalization

It is useful to expand your vocabulary  and one way to do this to know how to use suffixes  to form new words. A suffix is something we add to the end of a word to change its meaning or grammatical status. The use of these suffixes to change the meaning of words is called Nominalization. Many nouns are derived from other words and these words maybe adjectives or verbs.


we can add the word -hood to some nouns to form an abstract noun: man – manhood, child – childhood.

In some other cases we can add -ship to form an abstract noun: leader – leadership, scholar – scholarship

More commonly nouns can be formed from adjectives. The commonest way is by adding -ness:  good – goodness, kind – kindness

In linguistics, nominalization  is the use of a word which is not a noun (e.g. a verb, an adjective or an adverb) as a noun, or as the head of a noun phrase, with or without morphological transformation. The term can also refer specifically to the process of producing a noun from another part of speech via the addition of derivational affixes (e.g., legalize versus legalization)

A “nominalized” sentence is one in which abstract nouns perform most of the work. Abstract nouns are things you can’t touch or easily visualize (such as “analysis” or “solution”). These vague nouns contain within them a hidden verb (“analyze” or “solve”); the process of turning a word from a verb into a noun is called “nominalization.”

Two types of nominalization are found in English. One type requires the addition of a derivational suffix to create a noun. In other cases, English uses the same word as a noun without any additional morphology. This second process is referred to as zero-derivation.

Derivational Nominalization

This is a process by which a grammatical expression is turned into a noun phrase. For example, in the sentence “Combine the two chemicals,” combine acts as a verb. This can be turned into a noun via the addition of -ation, as in “The experiment involved the combination of the two chemicals.”

Examples of nouns formed from adjectives:

  • scarcity (from scarce)
  • carelessness (from careless)
  • kindness (from kind)
  • intensity (from intense)

Examples of nouns formed from verbs:

  • creation (from create)
  • nominalization (from nominalize)
  • investigation (from investigate)
  • movement (from move)
  • reaction (from react)
  • approval (from approve)

An especially common case of verbs being used as nouns is the addition of the suffix -ing, known in English as a gerund.

  • giving (from give)
  • running (from run)
  • editing (from edit)


Some verbs and adjectives in English can be used directly as nouns without the addition of a derivational suffix. Some examples include:


  • I need a change. (change = noun)
  • I will change. (change = verb)


  • The murder of the man was tragic. (murder = noun)
  • He will murder the man. (murder = verb)

Forming Nouns from Adjectives

Suffix Examples Examples of use in sentences
-ness Adj: KindNoun: Kindness My aunt is always kindMy aunt shows great kindness to my friends
-dom Adj: FreeNoun: Freedom The slave was set freeThe slave has regained his freedom
-ity/-ty Adj: ScarceNoun: Scarcity Petrol has become very scarceThere is scarcity of Petrol everywhere
-ce Adj: ViolentNoun: Violence In war, soldiers must be prepared to be violentI dislike any kind of violence
Forming Nouns from Verbs
Suffix Examples Examples of use
-er Verb: PlayNoun: Player I can play footballI am a great player
-ant Verb: ServeNoun: Servant He served his master wellI am not your servant
-(t)ion Verb: CorruptNoun: Corruption Our nation is very corruptCorruption is very widespread
-(e)ry Verb: RobNoun: Robbery He robbed me of  my moneyThe robbery was done at midnight
-ment Verb: SettleNoun: Settlement Settle your disputes amicablyThe settlement was generally acceptable
-ance/-ence Verb: DisturbNoun: Disturbance You disturbed me last nightHe was arrested  for disturbance of peace
-age Verb: CoverNoun: Coverage She always covers many topicsHer coverage of that topic was poor

Irregular Forms

angry – anger: He was never angry – He never showed anger

proud – pride: Bola is too proud – Bola is full of pride

wide – width: It is four metres wide – It is four metres in width

long – length: It is two feet long – It is two feet in length


Turn the adjectives below into nouns making one sentence each

  1. deaf
  2. literate
  3. great
  4. social
  5. innocent
  6. popular
  7. human
  8. wide
  9. fertile
  10. rude

Change the following verbs into nouns and write sentences of your own with each word

  1. bribe
  2. deny
  3. evaluate
  4. arrive
  5. rsemble
  6. decorate
  7. reject
  8. betray
  9. bless
  10. treat
  11. ignore
  12. report
  13. announce

B. Vocabulary Development: The Human Body

How much do you know about the human body? The box below contains a list of organs of the body and their definitions mis-matched. Match the organ with its correct definition

1. Heart a. The strong muscular organ in which the developing baby grows inside the mother
2. Kidneys b. The organ where food digestion begins to take place
3. Lungs c. Organ in the chest which pumps blood through the body
4. Bones d. A large organ in the body which helps to digest food and cleans your blood
5. Uterus e. The organ in your lower back that separates waste liquid from your blood and creates urine
6. Muscles f. The hard part of your body that form its frames
7. Liver g. The organ inside your head that controls how you feel, think and move
8. Spleen h. The natural outer layer of the body that protects it from the outside world
9. Brain i. The organ near your stomach that controls the quality of your blood
10. Pancreas j. Organ that you breathe with
11. Stomach k. A gland that produces insulin
12. Skin l. The pieces of flesh inside your body that connect your bones together and can contract to enable movement

C. Skill Focus: Writing Skills

Poetry: Get off this estate

‘Get off this estate.’

                ‘What for?’

‘Because it is mine.’

                ‘Where did you get it?’

‘From my father.’

                ‘Where did he get it?’

‘From his father.’

                ‘And where did he get if?’

‘He fought for it.’

                ‘Well, I’ll fight you for it!’

                                               (By Carl  Sandburg)


1. What effect does the poet achieve by writing this as a dialogue?

2. Read the skill focus section and write a paraphrase of the poem.

3. Write an appreciation of the poem, indicate what you feel about the poem – what it says to you! You can also indicate how you feel the poem manages to achieve its effect by its use of language such as rhythm, alliteration, rhyme e.t.c.

Skill Focus

1. How to write a paraphrase of a Poem

A paraphrase is a rewrite of a text, making the meaning clearer. Here is a possible paraphrase of the poem. The poet imagines a dialogue taking place between a landowner and a man. The landowner orders the man to get off his estate. The man questions the landowner’s right to the land, and the landowner replies that  he inherited it from his father. Asked where his father obtained it, the landowner says that his father fought for it. Whereupon the man says that he will fight the landowner for it too.

2. How to write an Appreciation

An appreciation requires you to evaluate what the poet has written. Here is a possible appreciation of the poem. The poem achieves its effect by the use of dialogue, and by paradox. The strong, simple dialogue makes the logic of overthrowing the status quo seem simple. The man’s argument runs thus: if your only right to your land is because your grandfather fought for it, then, by the same token, I can acquire your land in the same way. If I am wrong, then your grandfather was wrong and you therefore have no right to the land! The poet is enjoying the paradox that if you respect tradition, you must also respect the need for, or possibility of, change.

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