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Nominalization

 

Techniques > Use of language > Parts of speech > Nominalization

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A nominalized verb is one that is turned into into a noun.

'-ion' at the end of a word is a good indicator of a likely nominalized verb. Another good test is whether you can turn it back into a verb.

Thus:

Act becomes action
Discuss
becomes discussion
Arrive
becomes arrival
Pay
becomes payment

Use nominalizations to formalize or create distance.

Example

It was not my decision.

Consideration of this would be appreciated.

Departure will commence in five minutes.

Discussion

'Nominalization' is itself a nominalization of 'to nominalize'.

Nominalizing a verb turns it into an object that can, literally, be viewed objectively. This separates it from people, decreasing emotional attachment and facilitating the objective examination. This is one reason why this style is common in formal business and academic reporting.

Nominalizing can be used to distance a person from their actions. This can appear as an excuse or may be a practical therapeutic technique.

The distancing and objective sense of a nominalized verb makes it ideal for formal situations.

See also

Using Verbs, Using Nouns, Objectification, Active and passive verbs

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