Please attention to the below examples, firstly:

1-You can give me a hand,
2- Would you mind giving these plates a wipe?

We can paraphrase the above sentence as:
1- You can hand me,
2- would you mind wiping these plates?

I found the second example from here: "Would you mind ___ these plates a wipe [...]?" Why is the answer "giving"?
And, I am not sure about veracity of the first example.

Now my question is we can add "give" to every sentence and turn the verb of that sentence to a noun?

  • "You can hand me" is not idiomatic in English, it is missing a noun, e.g. “You can hand me that piece of paper” “You can hand me the hammer now” etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 31, 2020 at 9:43
  • "wipe" suggests using a dry cloth to get rid of dust or crumbs. It is not the same as "washing".
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 31, 2020 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


The OP mentions two verbs in their question; hand and wipe and asks if any verb can be changed into a noun when the verb "give" is added.

Here are a few examples of verb usages

  • People hand documents, forms, objects etc.

    1. Can you please hand over your ID card, please?
      He handed her his business card
  • People or machines can wipe a surface clean from dirt, dust, germs, crumbs etc.

    1. Here's a clean napkin to wipe your mouth with
      ‘There's no need to wipe down the grocery’, she argued.

The same verbs are also nouns, independently whether give is added or not.

  1. Hand me that wipe (a wipe is a cleaning cloth)
  2. The kitchen counter needs a wipe. (the counter needs to be cleaned)
  3. Clean glass cookware with the wipe of a sponge that is saturated with vinegar. (LDOCEO)
  4. She gave the coffee table a final wipe.
    . . . .
  5. Farmer hands are in short supply (a [factory]hand is a labourer/manual worker)
  6. This was made by hand.
  7. Please give the band a big hand. (a loud enthusiastic applause)
  8. He asked for her hand in marriage. (he proposed)
  9. Do you need a hand? (Do you need help?)

Only examples 4 and 7 have the verb give; the other verbs are: be, ask, clean, hand, make, and need.

If we add give in a sentence it does not automatically change a verb into a noun.

  1. He gave her an ask (NO)
  2. Please give me the ask (NO)

The noun "ask" does exist, it's a bit informal and its meaning is similar to demand or request

  1. That's a tough ask (YES)
  2. It was an awkward ask for extra funds (YES)

The noun "need" is very common, there's no need to add "give".

  1. There is an urgent need for a COVID vaccine.
    The need for PPE has not slacken.

In short

Nouns can be verbed in English and verbs are often nouned; look up their meanings in a good online dictionary to see how they are used.

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