Lesson 3: Paraphase by Changing Nouns to Verbs

This is Lesson 3 of the Paraphrase Writing e-course. In this lesson, you will rewrite sentences by changing nouns into verbs.


University essays and government reports often use a writing style called ‘nominalization.’ This means some verbs are changed into nouns. There are many reasons to write like this. Generally, it is a report style that makes the writing seem more objective.

To paraphrase well, you have to know this writing style. And, you have to be able to change the nouns back into verbs. This skill is useful for paraphrasing.

Here are two examples.

  1. Long and wordy: You have to give us your decision by tomorrow.
  2. Better: You have to decide by tomorrow.
  1. Long and wordy: Researchers conducted an investigation into the problem.
  2. Better: Researchers investigated the problem.

The first sentences use a verb that was changed into a noun (i.e. nominalization). These sentence are long. We can paraphrase the sentence by making it shorter. You can see that in the second sentences; here I changed the nouns to verbs.

This is one of the benefits of learning this paraphrasing skill. Your sentences will be shorter but they will have the same idea as the original sentence.

Paraphrase Writing Questions

Here are the questions for this lesson. If you want, download the writing worksheets with the questions and answers here.

  1. This essay gives an analysis of the problem of climate change and describes a potential solution.
  2. The Korean President did not give an explanation for the pardon of his business friend.
  3. Our class debate concerned the issue of nuclear weapons.
  4. We performed a review of the company’s annual reports.
  5. The school club of actors did a performance of Romeo and Juliet on the second of June.
  6. There is a need for further study of this Master’s program.
  7. It is necessary for political candidates to give a good performance during a TV debate.
  8. There is a need in our city for an assessment of the recycling system.
  9. It is my hope that students will use this material.
  10. The police conducted an investigation of the robbery.

Download the Writing Worksheets

Click here to download the worksheet for this lesson. The worksheets have the questions and suggested answers.

Good luck.


Rob Whyte is a university teacher, teacher trainer and writer.

2 thoughts on “Lesson 3: Paraphase by Changing Nouns to Verbs

  1. I am an English teacher at a small university in Oaxaca state and have been looking for good ideas for teaching paraphrasing at the sentence level to my FCE students. These lessons look like exactly what I’ve been searching for. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

What is 3 + 14 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is: