1

When you describe the action, which ones are used, and what does the other pair's usage and meaning (a + verb), if they are unfit?

    1. This is a walk.
    2. This is walking.
    1. This is a buy.
    2. This is buying.
    1. This is a sleep.
    2. This is sleeping.
  • 1
    "Walk" in number 1 is a noun, not a verb. So is "buy" in number 2. "Sleep" in number 3 is an uncountable noun, so it can't take "a" as the article. Please learn what a gerund is here! – P. E. Dant Aug 5 '16 at 5:44
1

This is walking.
This is buying.
This is sleeping.

There are few contexts I can think of where using these sentences would be appropriate. The two that I can think of are:

  • Something said as part of a demonstration or example. Perhaps you are explaining a word to a non-English speaker. You walk, and tell them that "this is (called) walking."

  • Something said to emphasize that "this" is a particularly good example of "-ing." A common example of the phrase being, "(now) this is living," which means that the speaker considers their current lifestyle to be a good one, and probably one they wouldn't change.


This is a walk.
This is a buy.
This is a sleep.

As @P.E.Dant said, these are all nouns (not verbs), and #3 is incorrect. Generally, sleep is an uncountable noun, although it can be countable in certain contexts. For example:

There are two sleeps until Christmas.
Meaning: There are two nights left until Christmas day.

I can only imagine this is a walk being said in the context of a sponsored walk, when somebody asks what you are doing: "This is a walk (to raise money for charity)."

This is a buy is slightly more applicable. It's quite common to describe a low price for a product as a good buy. The term is also used for drug deals, as in "it's a (drug) buy".


I'm not certain that I've completely understood your question, but I will try to answer it.

If you are trying to describe what you are currently doing, you would say:

I am walking.
I am sleeping.

This can also be used to describe future actions:

I am buying a house (next Tuesday).

Be careful when using buying, as in certain contexts you may want to use shopping instead. Compare their definitions (from Oxford Dictionaries):

buy
[WITH OBJECT]
Obtain in exchange for payment:
"she bought six first-class stamps"
"he had been able to buy up hundreds of acres"

[WITH TWO OBJECTS]: "he bought me a new frock"
[NO OBJECT]: "homeowners who buy into housing developments"


shop
[NO OBJECT]
Visit one or more shops or websites to buy goods:
"she shopped for groceries twice a week"
"sometimes it's more convenient to shop online"

[WITH OBJECT]: "take a trip to downtown San Diego to shop the upscale stores of Horton Plaza"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.