some verbs can be used as nouns,so what differences between verbal noun and gerund? for example: 1.Winning is not everything. (does "win" work?) 2.Please return it after use.(does "using" work?) 3.Walking is a good form of exercise for both young and old. (does "walk" work?)

please give me the reasons,or if both work,any different meanings? thank you!

1 Answer 1

  1. Winning is not everything. (does "win" work?)

Yes, but as a verb it would need to be in the to-infinitive form: "To win is not everything". It sounds very formal, but sayings like this often are - for example "to know is to understand". As a noun it would be "a win is not everything".

  1. Please return it after use. (does "using" work?)

"Using" could work, but only as a verb. As this is an instruction or command - the kind you might see on a sign or notice - the strict rules of grammar do not always apply. As a noun, "use" is countable, so if you wanted it to be grammatical rather than instructional you might want to say "after each use".

  1. Walking is a good form of exercise for both young and old. (does "walk" work?)

"Walk" as a verb doesn't sound right. It would have to be "To walk is good exercise", which may be grammatically correct as in your first question, but it isn't at all idiomatic, I can't imagine anyone saying it. As a noun, it would be "a walk is a good form of excercise.

  • thanks for your prompt reply.I know "To win" is right,but I still want to know why 'win' cannot be subject alone, 'win' is a noun itself as well as verb.
    – davidzhang
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 11:57
  • "To win" is a verb. If you wanted to use it as a noun you would have to say "A win".
    – Astralbee
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 12:16
  • got it! thank you very much!
    – davidzhang
    Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 0:19

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