I am currently doing an assignment. I am having difficulty understanding this phenomenon.

If the verb "taking" is in a passage would it be considered a conversion process, as "taking" can also be a noun? Similarly, is the verb "occupied" considered a verb to adjective conversion?

I know that the "ing" and "ed" are considered derivational – while conversion is zero derviational – if added to a word in order to form a noun/an adjective, yet are both the "ing" and "ed" considered a derivational addition, or just a conversion from a word with an inflectional prefix?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Hot Licks, Robusto, AndyT, user240918, JEL Sep 5 '18 at 5:22

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • A similar question was asked recently, but I'm not sure of the answer: Is “-ed” an inflectional or derivational morpheme in “the stressed syllables”? – sumelic May 5 '18 at 15:39
  • 2
    People can't even agree on what part of speech some of these words are, which would seem a prerequisite for determining whether A --> A' constitutes a change in POS. – Edwin Ashworth May 5 '18 at 16:41
  • 2
    As a rule, don't bother asking here about specific linguistic terms used in a specific class. They are often ad hoc and not based on any standards; often they reintroduce nonsense. "Conversion" just means using one word in several different POS roles, which is the norm in English, where almost any word can be used as noun, verb, or adjective without sticking on an ending. Giving it a fancy name doesn't explain anything. It just adds the nonsensical idea that there is, nonetheless, some official but inaudible POS tag on every word that must be removed by a process with a special name. – John Lawler May 5 '18 at 17:20
  • What is the assignment exactly? Where is the prefix? – Lambie Aug 24 '18 at 23:10

Here is one way to look at it:

'Take' and 'occupy' are verbs.

'Taking' and 'occupied' are participles (derived from the verbs); 'taking' and 'occupying' are Gpart, and 'taken' and 'occupied' are Ppart. Participles are used like adjectives (they can even take the '-ly' suffix to form adverbs). Gpart refers to the active participle and Ppart refers to the passive participle. Note: the Ppart can also be used for the perfect aspect, but that isn't important here.

Adjectives are qualities, but qualities are also things, and things are nouns. The Gpart can be used as a noun (called a gerund) by a 'zero derivation' (i.e., no additional change of affix). This is similar to using the infinitive marker 'to' with the root verb. We don't do this with the Ppart, instead requiring a phrase like "being occupied" or "to be occupied".

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.