Formal English follows some conventions which are useful in making communication very precise and effective but also brief. One such convention is nominalisation. This is the first of five High English grammar quizzes on the subject of nominalisation of words into nouns, and it gives an overview of the topic.
Nominalisation is the conversion of a word which is not a noun into a noun. Traditionally, verbs and adjectives are converted into nouns by the process of nominalisation. For instance, ‘recognise’ is a verb converted into a noun ‘recognition’ by adding a suffix ‘-tion’ with some modifications. Similarly, other verbs are converted into nouns by adding different suffixes. You will hopefully be familiar with the various suffixes which can be added to words to convert them into new words. Almost all the suffixes, such as ‘-sion’, ‘-tion’, ‘-ation’, ‘-ment’, ‘-ance’ and ‘-ence’ can be used to form nominalised words. Here are some examples of verbs converted into nouns by adding suffixes:
We can see how nominalisation is useful by considering some examples of them in action. Take a look at these sentences:
‘The students arrived at the examination hall well on time. The invigilator appreciated the students’ diligence.’ These can be converted into the single sentence:
‘The arrival of students at the examination hall well on time was appreciated by the invigilator.’ Here ‘arrive’ used as a verb in the first sentence is nominalised to ‘arrival’ and made use of in the third sentence.
The sentence, ‘We departed on time,’ can be converted into, ‘Our departure was on time,’ by nominalising ‘depart’ to ‘departure.’
The rules of grammar allow parts of speech other than nouns can be used in nominalisation. For instance, adjectives are used quite often by converting them into nouns. The ‘-ing’ form is another useful tool in nominalisation. Take the quiz on grammar that follows and learn more about nominalisation.