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I looked up relax in various English dictionaries and it is always listed as a verb only, the noun being relaxation. However in my mother tongue (Italian) relax is normally used as a noun. Is this just one more case of misusing a foreign term or are there situations where it is possible to use relax as a noun in English too?

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closed as general reference by Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Hugo, FumbleFingers, jwpat7, Mitch Apr 12 '12 at 16:21

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

La lingua italiana e quella inglese divergono in questo caso, come in altri. Per noi 'relax' e' un sostantivo, per loro no. Loro direbbero "the relaxation is often need ...", noi invece diciamo "il relax e' spesso necessario ..." – user19148 Apr 9 '12 at 23:08
Dimenticavo! La tua domanda e' interessante: quindi +1. – user19148 Apr 9 '12 at 23:14
I thought so, but "relaxation" sounds a bit odd to me. However, shouldn't your sentence be "relaxation is often needed..."? Maybe you just misspelt a couple of words when typing. Thank you for your reply and your appreciation – Paola Apr 9 '12 at 23:19
Yes, you are right; but with my BlackBerry I am not able to write better. Goodnight. – user19148 Apr 9 '12 at 23:26
up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, it's strictly a verb. "I'm relaxing", "you should relax", "he relaxed", whatever. Saying "I'm having a relax" would typically be regarded as an invalid nouning.

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So you're telling me that I should use the term as a verb only, and that under no circumstances is it to be used as a noun. Thanks – Paola Apr 9 '12 at 23:16
@Paola: Right. Sorry for the confusing answer pre-edit; I partially misread your question the first time through. – chaos Apr 9 '12 at 23:23
-But only as an INTRANSITIVE verb. A favorite item of Chinglish (I'm an ESL teacher) is to use it as a transitive verb, as in "After studying hard all day, I like to play basketball to relax myself." – Hexagon Tiling Apr 10 '12 at 1:09
Not so. Transitively, you can relax your grip, for example. – FumbleFingers Apr 10 '12 at 1:18
Or, if you're excessively uptight about obscure rules of grammar, you may be advised to relax your sphincter. – chaos Apr 10 '12 at 14:08

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