Posted by: Idioma Extra | September 16, 2010

Thursday Tidbits


Unique nouns used as verbs

There are many words in the English language that are both nouns and verbs. You already know many of them (drink, answer, surprise, order, etc.) However, there are many unique nouns that are commonly used as verbs by native English speakers that are less familiar to English learners. Here are some examples:

Noun definition Verb definition Example
Head A part of the body To lead (n.) He has a large head.(v.) She headed the investigation.
Water A liquid; H20 The action of providing plants with water (n.) You should drink water.(v.) You need to water the plants.
Hand A body part To give (n.) He cut his hand.(v.) Please hand me the book.
Card A small piece of paper with information To check someone’s identification (n.) I gave him my card.(v.) The dance club always cards people to make sure they are 21.
Total Complete amount To destroy (usually in reference to cars) (n.) What was the total for the meal?(v.) He completely totaled his car in the accident.
Bomb A device that explodes To fail completely (n.) The bomb fell on the village.(v.) She bombed the test.
Rat An animal To reveal information about someone without them knowing (rat on) (n.) I found a rat in my kitchen.(v.) My sister ratted on me to my parents for using the car without permission.
Stomach A body organ To tolerate (for things or people and always used negatively)) (n.) My stomach really hurts.(v.) I can’t stomach country music.
Floor What you stand or walk on inside a building To shock (n.) The floor is made of wood.(v.) I was floored by the amount of violence in the movie.
Nail A body part; a piece of metal to secure wood To give the perfect answer; to do well at a task (n.) You need to remove the nails from the wall.(v.) I nailed the test! I got a perfect score!

Check Yourself

Using the chart above, complete the following sentences with the correct word. If the word is used as a verb, be sure to use the appropriate tense.

1) I should have prepared more for the interview. I completely ____________ it.

2) I can’t ________________ people who talk about how much money they have.

3) On average, the human body is composed of 60% ____________.

4) He always gets _______________ at the liquor store because he looks so young.

5) I was completely ______________ when my parents told me I was adopted.

6) I would like to know who is _______________ the research project.

7) He asked me what the _______________ was for the damage.

8 ) The mafia boss went to jail because one of his employees ________________ on him.

9) The contestant ______________ all the answers and won the game show.

10)  Would you mind ________________ me those scissors over there?

Last week’s answers:

Answers to last week´s Check Yourself

A. Now try to identify the context of the following sentences and the correct position of the word just. In some cases, more than one answer will be possible.

1-exactly              2-only                   3-barely               4-recently           5-sarcasm

1) I’m really exhausted. I ran ten miles today. 4

__I’m really exhausted. I just ran ten miles today.___

2) I fell on some ice on the sidewalk and hurt myself. It’s a scratch, though. 2

___I fell on some ice on the sidewalk and hurt myself. It’s just a scratch, though___

3) I had the winning lottery number, but I lost my ticket. That’s my luck! 5

___I had the winning lottery number, but I lost my ticket. That’s just my luck.___

4) The police missed the thief when they arrive to the scene of the crime. 3

____The police just missed the thief when they arrived to the scene of the crime.___

5) The doctor told me that I was allowed to eat soft food for a few days. 3

____The doctor told me that I was allowed to eat just soft food for a few days._____

B: Now put the following sentences in the correct order. There may be more than one possibility.

1) that  mine My bought just friend a car is like.

____My friend bought a car that is just like mine.______

2) I the do weekend exercise usually just on.

_____I usually do exercise just on the weekend._______

3) I my chores just completed have all.

___I have just completed all my chores._____

4) need right That’s now just what I!

___That’s just what I need right now!_____

5)  just before arrived home  the storm We began.

____We arrived home just before the storm began.______

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