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How do you say the verb run in a sentence as a noun?

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I wasn't clear if you meant the gerund as in the answer below or "run" as a noun (as in "to get a run at it"). –  Neil Coffey Feb 22 '11 at 23:41
    
Merriam-Webster has a slew of noun definitions for run (12) with some examples. –  Mitch Jul 8 '11 at 17:00
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4 Answers

The part of speech you are looking for is known as a gerund. Usually, the verb is conjugated with the form that terminates in "—ing" when it's used in a sentence. For example, in the sentence,

As an aspiring Olympic athlete, every day Alex strove to master the art of running."

"running" is not being used as a verb, because it is not an action that Alex is (necessarily) performing or the state that Alex is in, but rather a noun, used to describe a field of knowledge or a general class of activities that involve the verb.

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In the sentence

They took part in the run

run is used as a noun meaning a race in which you run.

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Along with this, bobsleigh tracks are commonly known as runs, fenced-in areas of parks where canines can roam off-leash are called "dog runs", and so on. –  bye Feb 22 '11 at 23:39
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Since there was a run on the bank, I went for a run in the dog run area; but the runoff from the rainstorm caused me to have a run-in with another runner, and gave me a run in my stocking. No more running for me. –  Hellion Feb 22 '11 at 23:43
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@Hellion why did you not answer with that sentence? –  zzzzBov Feb 22 '11 at 23:55
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Because its primary goal is to be funny rather than informative. –  Hellion Feb 23 '11 at 2:00
    
@Hellion Ooh, I think you missed a usage: What about the runs, as in "Oy, when I read that, I laughed so hard I nearly got a case of the runs?" –  Uticensis Feb 23 '11 at 3:44
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You can use it in the sense of "a continuous spell of a particular situation or condition":

Tom has had a run of bad luck recently.

or to describe the scoring of a point in baseball:

Tom scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

or in the sense of "a widespread and sudden or continuous demand for [something]"

There was a run on the bank, with customers yelling for their deposits.

or as "a track made or regularly used by a particular animal"

We made a run for the dogs so they could get some exercise.

or in the meaning of a "journey accomplished or route taken by a vehicle, aircraft, or boat, esp. on a regular"

I make the Boston to New York run on Amtrak at least twice a week.

There are others, but you get the idea.

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The other answers here explain well the situation with run, but in general, verbs cannot be used as nouns.

Many verbs do have noun senses—that is, when used as a noun, the word has a set meaning related to the verb. However, the nature of the relationship between the verb sense and the noun sense is not necessarily predictable. In some cases, the noun use of a verb is an instance of that verb being acted—e.g. run, drop, bounce. In other cases, the noun use is the result of the verb—e.g. mash, mix, spit. In most cases, however, you form a noun from a verb by adding a nominal suffix, such as these:

  • -sion/tion: prevent–prevention, provide–provision
  • -ance/ence: avoid–avoidance, provide–providence
  • -ment: manage–management, disagree–disagreement
  • -ure: please–pleasure, license–licensure
  • -y: discover–discovery

Since you cannot predict which suffix to use, or whether to use a suffix at all, you have to memorize each case.

How does this relate to the original question? The questioner asked “how do you say the verb run in a sentence as a noun”. The answer is “you don’t”. You can use the word run as a noun—because it has meaning as a noun—but the verb run can only be used as a verb.

There is one further point: that of the gerund-participle inflection -ing, which can be added to most any verb and used in noun position. The gerund-participle running can be used as a noun—e.g. “running is not my idea of a good time”.

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