Lesson 3: Paraphase by Changing Nouns to Verbs

Welcome to 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 noun to a verb.

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

Now you try

Download the worksheet here. Read the sentence. Change the nouns into a verbs and make the sentences shorter. The worksheet also has suggested answers.

Good luck.