Verbs: Nominalisations cheat sheet

Strong writing uses verbs rather than turning them into nouns (nominalisations). Nominalisations hide the real action. Your writing sounds more formal and your sentences might be longer than they need to be.

Recognising nominalised verbs

Nominalised verbs often end in –ion, -ment, -al, -age, -ing, -ance, -ant, -dom.

  • Find the verb (action, doing word) in your sentence.
  • Check the noun that follows closely. Can you turn this into the verb?

Examples

Here are some examples of nominalisations turned back into verbs.

Avoid these nominalisations Use these verbs
Achievement Achieve
Action Act
Agreement Agree
Appearance Appear, seem
Application Apply
Approval Approve
Arrival Arrive
Assessment Assess, review, check, evaluate
Beginning Began
Transition Ttransit, change
Commitment Commit, promise, agree to
Communication Communicate, tell, email, call
Conclusion Conclude, decide
Confirmation Confirm
Consideration Consider
Consultation Consult, discuss
Continuation Continues
Contribution Contributed, gave, donated, helped
Decision Decide
Definition Define
Demonstration Demonstrate, show
Description Describe
Determination Determine
Development Develop, produce, make, create
Discussion Discuss
Donation Donate, give
Editing Edit
Employment Employ
Enhancement Enhance, improve, upgrade
Enrolment, re-enrolment Enrol, re-enrol
Evaluation Evaluate
Examination Examine, check
Expectation Expect
Explanation Explain
Implementation Implement, set up, install
Implication Imply, suggest
Indication Indicate, show, prove
Inspection Inspect, check
Instruction Instruct, teach, tell
Intention Intend, mean
Introduction Introduce
Investigation Investigate, check
Leadership Lead
Mentoring Mentor, coach
Notification Notify, tell, email, call
Objection Object
Observation Observe, saw, notice
Ownership Own
Payment Pay
Performance Perform, act, sing, do
Prioritisation Prioritise, order, rank
Progression Progress, improve
Reaction React, respond, reply
Recommendation Recommend
Reduction Reduce, cut back
Referral Refer
Reformation Reform, change, improve
Refusal Refuse
Rejection Reject, deny
Relocation Relocate, move
Replacement Replace, change
Requirement Require, must
Resistance Resist
Resolution Resolve, decide, agree
Review (as a noun) Review (as a verb)
Revision Revise, change, edit
Ruling Rule, decide, order
Solution Solve, fix
Statement State, say
Submission Submitted, lodged, sent
Suggestion Suggest
Training Train
Transformation Transform, change
Translation Translate
Undertaking Undertake, do, promise