Monthly Archives: June 2019

Turn nouns into verbs

Simplify your writing and make it easy for your readers by turning nouns into verbs. It works because a verb reduces the number of words, is a shorter word and is more active.

You may not even realise you are using nouns. Long nouns are often considered to be a more formal style of writing. But you won’t impress readers by using longer phrases – you just make it harder for them to fight through the words to follow your meaning.

Here are some examples. Turn:

  • ‘the implementation of the program’ into implementing the program
  • ‘the establishment of’ into establishing
  • ‘the utilisation of’ into using
  • ‘the evaluation of’ into evaluating
  • ‘realisation’ into realising.

When you have several long nouns in a long sentence, the more you can turn into verbs the better. Or choose a shorter noun: use instead of utilisation, change instead of transformation or modification.

For instance,

  • ‘The evaluation of the program was a factor in the modification of the implementation of the program’ can become ‘Evaluating the program changed how it was implemented’.
  • ‘The implementation of the program led to greater utilisation by the customers’ can become ‘Implementing the program increased customer use’.

There is, of course, still a place for a well-chosen noun. Even using the same word as a verb instead of a noun can help. Try ‘understanding’, not ‘the understanding of’.

It’s all part of making it easy for the reader, as covered in these related posts:

For help on turning nouns into verbs in your writing, please contact me at rhdaniels@bigpond.com