Here is the sentence:

We will canoe down the river this summer.

Here canoe is a noun that is like a boat. How can we say "canoe down" in the sentence above?

  • "Canoe" here is a verb. You can canoe down the river, sail down the river, swim down the river, etc.
    – None
    Jan 27, 2014 at 9:00
  • It is hard to know which "boat" words can be used as a verb and which cannot. "I kayaked down the river" and "I punted down the river" are good but "I rowboated down the river" and "I sailboated down the river" are not; you'd say "rowed" or "sailed". Jan 27, 2014 at 15:13
  • @EricLippert That's a good point. It's definitely a challenge. But in this case, the OP could find the verb canoe in a dictionary.
    – user230
    Jan 28, 2014 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


You are right. Canoe is a noun but then it's also a verb!

Canoe (v) - (sport) travel by canoe.


The word canoe can be either noun or verb.

noun: a light, narrow boat with pointed ends and no keel, propelled with a paddle or paddles..
verb: travel in or paddle a canoe.

It's always a good idea to consult dictionaries.

Also, in English, verbification is common:

Verbification, or verbing, is the creation of a verb from a noun, adjective or other word. Verbification is a type of functional shift. It is also a form of derivation, and may involve any of the various derivational processes.

And yes, in order to answer this question, with the help of Google's search engine, I googled both canoe's definitions, and also verbification. One dictionary also lists googleable as a word too.


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