What is it called when you have a noun that is either the act of doing a verb or the result of having done the verb, and is not a gerund, and usually has a suffix like "al" or "tion"?


  • remove -> removal
  • add -> addition

And by extension, my actual problem is to find this form for the word "edit." Something that is not a gerund and means the equivalent of the pseudo-word "editation".

  • Do you mean anything other than how an edit is what we call what you've done when you've edited something?
    – tchrist
    Jul 14, 2019 at 3:05
  • If you want to talk about the act, it's "editing". If you want to talk about the result, it would be either just "edit" (for talking about just the change), or "draft" (for the whole document). Jul 14, 2019 at 3:22
  • You mention that your actual Problem is to find that type of word for "EDIT" ; I am not sure whether you want it for that exact word or an equivalent will work ; Since MODIFY and REVISE are equivalent to EDIT, you may want MODIFICATIONS and REVISIONS.
    – Prem
    Jul 14, 2019 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


I don’t believe there is a single, unambiguous word for this precise concept.

The class of deverbal nouns comes very close:

Deverbal nouns are nouns that are derived from verbs or verb phrases, but that behave grammatically purely as nouns, not as verbs. They are distinct from verbal noun types such as gerunds and infinitives, which behave like verbs within their phrase (although that verb phrase is then used as a noun phrase within the larger sentence).

But as you can see, a deverbal noun does not necessarily mean either the act of doing the noun or the result of it. They nearly always do, but they may have other meanings as well (e.g., from exist we have the deverbal noun existence, which is neither the act nor the result of existing, but more like the state in which existing occurs).

Deverbal nouns are by some considered a subcategory of verbal nouns. The Wikipedia article treats them as such, by which definition the best answer to your question is probably verbal noun.

Unfortunately not everyone would agree with that definition. In my experience, the more common definition of a verbal noun in the context of English is any noun form that corresponds to a verb, refers to the action (or result) or a verb and retains some verbal traits, like the ability to take objects for example. In English, that means infinitives (‘to err is human’) and gerunds (‘dreaming is easy’), but not deverbal nouns, which are pure nouns and do not retain any verbal properties. I would classify both the examples you give as deverbal nouns, but not verbal nouns; others would classify them as both.

There is also the question of whether you actually want to include forms like infinitives and gerunds – the examples you give are both derived nouns, whereas infinitives and gerunds are inflected forms; and since you say you’re really looking for a word of this type for edit that isn’t a gerund, I’m guessing you want to exclude the inflected forms.

So depending on your theoretical standpoint and whether you want to refer to both inflected and derived forms, I think your best choice would be either verbal noun, deverbal noun, or both. Since you appear to not want to include gerunds, I will suggest deverbal noun as your best bet, even though a deverbal noun doesn’t necessarily have to refer to the act or result of the base verb.


I believe that is called a nominalization.

  • 1
    This is too broad. Nominalisation is simply when any non-noun is used as a noun, with or without overt marking (e.g., the poor); it says nothing about the meaning or function of the word, except that it’s used as a noun, and the base word can be an adjective, an adverb, a preposition, anything. Jul 14, 2019 at 6:34
  • You 'believe'? Could you please explain why you believe this?
    – Chenmunka
    Jul 15, 2019 at 17:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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