Why are there so many verbs out there that are used as nouns?


  • Produce (lettuce, tomatoes, etc.)
  • Preserve (strawberry preserves)
  • Practice (law practice)
  • Trust (bank trust)
  • Seasoning (salt, pepper)

There are other nouns that seem to be hi-jacked too...

  • Premiums (insurance invoice)
  • Customs (taxes)
  • Periodicals (publications)
  • 2
    Why? Because it is useful?
    – Mitch
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 16:32
  • I don't recognise seasoning, premiums, customs or periodicals as verbs. No doubt they all could be, but I seem to be missing some of your point.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 19:41
  • By the way, produce, preserve and practice were all verbs before they were nouns. Trust and season were nouns first.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 19:45
  • Remember that in Britain many verbs change slightly when converting to nouns. For example; Lawyers practise law in their law practices, and advise their clients with sound advice.
    – WS2
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 20:08
  • Simply because it's possible in English. The structures in which nouns and verbs are used are so different that you won't have any difficulty with it. And when there is ambiguity then I would say it is due to an unskilled writer who can't avoid ambiguities.
    – rogermue
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


A vast number of words can be both verbs and nouns. You have listed only a few. Additionally verbs can act as nouns in a sentence by using them in gerund form.

Verbs can also act as adjectives, for example, participles.

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