I have learnt something about deverbal nouns before.

a)These readings are quite interesting (Here it means books,refers to something)

b)I did some reading of history books(Here it means the act, it has verbal characteristics)

But some words in dictionary are quite confusing, please help check the following sentences:

Dealing: business activities, the relations that you have with somebody in business; eg: I knew nothing of his business dealings (Here the meaning of "dealing" should be the same with a)? refers to something?)

Greeting: something thay you say or do to greet people(here should be the same with a)?

Swimming: an activity or sport(Here should be the same as b)? Because it has some verbal characterisitcs)

Please help me to check my thought.

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund – user180089 Jul 29 '16 at 21:54
  • I did some reading does not use a deverbal noun. As you say, some verbal characteristics are retained, though 'reading' is closer to the nounal end of the cline here. A reasonable test for a deverbal noun usage is whether a plural variant is available. His paintings are expensive [yes]. His painting the wall is annoying me [no]. Painting is fun [no]. I didn't want him painting the wall [no]. He is painting the wall [no]. An analysis of ing-forms using the gradience model is given in ACGEL by Quirk et al; if you look up 'Quirk gradience' here you should find it mentioned. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 29 '16 at 22:02
  • Yes normally the 's' works but there are some exceptions like:killing (it is act but we can say killings) – moyeea Jul 29 '16 at 22:21
  • 'Deverbal nouns' are defined according to their grammatical behaviour rather than how closely related to 'verbal notion' they are. Even with five paintings, someone painted them. I agree, though, that this is an inadequate model: 'killings' is a deverbal noun, but 'paintings' seems far less 'verby'. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 29 '16 at 22:46
  • So painting(you mean pictures) is a noun swimming reading shouting killing these are about act right? – moyeea Jul 29 '16 at 23:16

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