Ready for some grammar? What was that? Did we hear a groan from someone out there?

OK, we know that grammar isn’t always the most exciting and fun subject during the school day — recess and lunch take those spots! — but it CAN be fun to play with words from time to time.

When you begin to learn grammar, you probably start with two of the most common parts of speech: nouns and verbs. Getting the hang of the difference between these two parts of speech puts you on the right track to becoming a good writer.

Nouns name things. Many times, you will hear people define nouns as persons, places or things. But they can also name feelings, ideas and acts.

Need an example? We just gave you one! Example is a noun. Some of our other favorite nouns are badger, Abraham Lincoln, vampire, Antarctica, couscous, love, indigestion, liberty and painting.

A noun that names one thing is singular. A name that names more than one thing is plural. For more information on singular and plural nouns, all you need to do is ask a moose.

Verbs describe action. We use verbs in sentences to describe what the nouns do. Monkeys peel bananas. Monkeys eat bananas. Monkeys love bananas. Peel, eat and love are all verbs in these sentences.

Hold on! Just a second. Not so fast. Just a couple of paragraphs ago, we said that love was a noun. Then we said love was a verb. Which is it?

Believe it or not, it’s both! Yes, it’s true. A word can be both a noun and a verb. In fact, there are many words that can be used to name a person, place or thing and also describe an action.

For example, if you’re going fishing, you’ll need bait. Once you find an earthworm, you can use it to bait your hook. If it’s hot while you’re fishing, you might get thirsty for a drink. If you brought drinks in a cooler with you, you can drink the drink that you brought!

There are many, many more examples of words that can be both nouns and verbs. Here are a few that you’re probably familiar with:

  • bowl
  • exit
  • fly
  • park
  • ship

30 Join the Discussion

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  1. We really liked the video on nouns. But, we were wondering if you have any videos on verbs? Thanks for putting out such great information every day.

    • Check it out, Bryleigh, you’ve learned something new with us today! We are so proud of all the great information you have learned while you’ve been WONDERing with us this week! Keep up the SUPER work, Wonder Friend! :)

    • Wow, we’re blushing at your kind compliment, Nevaeh L! We are oh-so-happy that you enjoyed today’s Wonder today! We certainly hope you’ll be back for more fun! :)

  2. I really liked today’s wonder! The article was really interesting. I learned a lot. Ciao for Now!……………….Berkleigh P.S.-I really like the flying pig theme! It is so cute. You should keep it like that!

    • Hi there, Wonder Friend Berkleigh! We are so excited to hear that today’s Wonder put a smile on your face. We’re all smiling today at Wonderopolis– it’s Friday and we are surrounded by fun, interesting friends!

      Check out how we used “smile” as both a noun and action verb (smiling) in the sentences above! ;)

      Thanks for complimenting our flying pig background– so far it’s one of our favorites, too! Have a SUPER day! :)

    • You’ve got a leg up on us, Hailey! :) We are glad you liked today’s Wonder about words… nouns and verbs are fun to Wonder about! Have a SUPER day! :)

  3. Wonderopolis,

    Today’s lesson was fun but very hard. Our reading class came up with a list together of words that are both a noun and verb.

    Here is our list so far:
    slide
    park
    vacuum
    swing
    play
    dance
    show
    map
    jump
    fish

    We really liked watching the video. It was so funny! Hope you have a great weekend!

    Sincerely,
    Ms. Mautone’s Reading Class

    • WOW, we are so proud of our Wonder Friends in Ms. Mautone’s Reading Class! It looks like you worked very hard on creating this AMAZING list of words that can be both nouns and verbs! GREAT WORK!

      Thanks for joining the fun today– we love Wondering with you! Have a WONDERfully wordy day!

    • Hey there, Gina M! We are sorry to hear that today’s word Wonder wasn’t one of your favorites, but we sure are glad you visited us today! We hope you have a fantastic Friday! We’ll see you soon, Wonder Friend! :)

    • We’re so excited that you came up with some words that can be both nouns and verbs! WOHOO for Mrs. Thomas’s Tigers! We’re glad you are WONDERing with us and we can’t wait to see you soon… hopefully we’ll have some science Wonders to share! :)

    • Alright, Wonder Friend Bianca, we LOVE your enthusiasm! We Wonder if you enjoy language arts class, or if you are a future writer… a journalist or an author, perhaps? We really enjoyed WONDERing about words with you– hope to see you soon! :)

    • Hi there, Blakeleigh, we are glad you’re here today! Thanks for WONDERing with us as we learned about different parts of speech today– we hope you have a SUPER WONDERful day… and you have a great weekend, too! :)

    • WHOA, what a cool way to spend the day in class, Bianca! We are so excited that you and all your classmates joined us for lots of fun and WONDERing! Thanks for including Wonderopolis! :)

  4. We loved this wonder. It has really inspired us too! We talked about verbs and nouns and made a very long list of words that could be both (how surprising!). We have decided to publish a book of sentences that use both the verb and noun. We decided we would title our book Ship your ship: a crazy book about verbs and nouns. Thanks for the great inspiration!

    • Nice work, Reid Rocks 12! We are so proud of you and all the hard work you put in! Thanks for sharing your WONDERful news with us! HOORAY! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Can a word be both a noun and a verb?
  • What’s the difference between nouns and verbs?
  • Can you create your own funny sentences using the same word as a noun and a verb?

Wonder Gallery

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Try It Out

The examples above are just a few of the hundreds of words that can be both nouns and verbs. What others can you think of?

Put on your imagination hats and think of as many words as you can that can be both nouns and verbs. Then write some funny sentences using some of these words in both ways.

If you don’t mind, share some of your creative sentences with your Wonder Friends by posting them to Facebook. We can’t wait to read what you come up with!

Still Wondering

Use ReadWriteThink’s Word Choice worksheet to record interesting nouns, verbs and adjectives you hear as friends read stories.

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