Can we make a sentence using a word that is a noun as well as a verb?

For example:

In that era guards used to guard.

Does this sentence sound okay with the word guard repeated like that?

  • You can freely use the same word twice in that manner.
    – user3395
    May 7, 2018 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


You may technically have a sentence such as "In that era guards used to guard." where a word appears twice as different parts of speech. However in terms of good writing style, it's advisable not only to avoid reuse of the same word in a single sentence like this, but even further to avoid reuse within the entire paragraph or essay, to the extent that it can be helped. Always try to vary your words in interesting and expressive ways. "In that era guards would protect the fortress." "In that era guards would stand watch outside the palace gate."

  • As a general rule, I agree with what you're saying. However, there are times where such repetition can be effectively used for emphasis or humorous effect. For example: "In that era, guards used to guard – they didn't just sit around and watch TV screens."
    – J.R.
    May 7, 2018 at 17:54
  • @J.R. Agreed. You are correct sir.
    – Sam
    May 7, 2018 at 18:02
  • 1
    There's a whole class of cognate object constructions which are perfectly acceptable, many of them in formal English: "I slept the sleep of the saved and thankful." (Churchill)
    – user230
    May 7, 2018 at 18:08

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