I believe that in English each main verb has (at least) one corresponding noun with the same meaning that is formed from gerund/derivation. For examples, discovery is from discover; reading is from read; addition is from add, and simply zero derivations like love from love.

The converse is not true, i.e. nouns generally do not have verbs with the same meaning. I'd like this to be verified. Any thought is welcome.

2 Answers 2


Every non-defective verb, and some verbs that are defective as long as the missing forms don't include the gerund/participle -ing form, have a word that acts as a noun that is based on that verb - the gerund, which looks just like the progressiving participle. This is actually a feature of grammar, it's an absolute standard thing, and nothing of any note.

Some other verbs have other batching nouns, like those forms with -tion endings (additional, multiplication, floccinaucinihilipilification, distillation) and -ery endings (creamery, slavery). Recovery and discovery were actually imported as nouns that we then chopped bits off of to make verbs.

If you want to only use words that are generally recognised, just learn individual words here and don't try to guess or form new nouns from verbs in this way yourself. Use gerunds, by all means, but the other sorts of nouns from verbs should not be coined except by someone who is fluent - and you will find that native speakers will do so in some situations, when there seems to be a need. Sometimes that need is a need to seem clever, sometimes it's because they actually need a word that doesn't exist - and one of the most understandable ways to coin a word is to follow an established pattern.

  • 1
    There's also "-ment", e.g. "imprisonment" Mar 11, 2019 at 22:49

I think this is the case for many verbs, but certainly not all. Auxiliary verbs such as can, could, would, should, must, may, might have no gerund and no noun form that I can think of.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .