Is there a rule I am missing?

English grammar and usage issues

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Missmeleni
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Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Jul 2020, 12:27
Status: Prospective Teacher

Is there a rule I am missing?

Unread post by Missmeleni » 15 Jul 2020, 12:29

Hello, I hope I am right to post here.

I'm currently studying English to teach (my second language) and I am very confused about a particular simple part of it. I can speak it very well, but the technical side is very hard. I have watched many youtube videos, and studied and googled and I am not getting any answer so I feel I am missing something that everyone else has understood.
I want to go back to basics to understand how I easily identify a verb from a noun. I will use the sentences which I got from google already sorted into verb and noun forms, and are used in a common example using the word sleep to make it simple:

VERB:-
-I sleep 8 hours at night
-I sleep at night
-I need to sleep more

NOUN:
-I got 8 hours sleep last night
-His sleep was well earned
-I need more sleep

My problem is I can not see any difference in rule in any of these sentences.

How is 'I need to sleep more' a verb, whereas 'I need more sleep' a noun? What is the difference between these sentences?

I know that a noun describes a thing, person, object, state of being. I also understand the different nouns (countable, plural, abstract etc). And a verb describes an action, what is happening, a state of being.

I need to know how do I easily sort the word sleep into a verb or noun form? Is there some other word in the sentence a give away? Is a word being added to make the verb into a noun? Even in the noun examples, you are describing the process of an action so why are they nouns and not verbs?

I will not be offended if you break it down into idiot form as I am struggling and worried I will not ever get this right. If I can understand this simple thing without anxiety, then I will understand more when my course progresses.

Thank you thank you so much for reading and possibly helping me! English is a very hard language to learn.

Safari
Member
Posts: 12
Joined: 10 Jan 2020, 22:22
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: Is there a rule I am missing?

Unread post by Safari » 15 Jul 2020, 13:09

Missmeleni wrote:
15 Jul 2020, 12:29
Hello, I hope I am right to post here.

I'm currently studying English to teach (my second language) and I am very confused about a particular simple part of it. I can speak it very well, but the technical side is very hard. I have watched many youtube videos, and studied and googled and I am not getting any answer so I feel I am missing something that everyone else has understood.
I want to go back to basics to understand how I easily identify a verb from a noun. I will use the sentences which I got from google already sorted into verb and noun forms, and are used in a common example using the word sleep to make it simple:

VERB:-
-I sleep 8 hours at night
-I sleep at night
-I need to sleep more

NOUN:
-I got 8 hours sleep last night
-His sleep was well earned
-I need more sleep

My problem is I can not see any difference in rule in any of these sentences.

How is 'I need to sleep more' a verb, whereas 'I need more sleep' a noun? What is the difference between these sentences?

I know that a noun describes a thing, person, object, state of being. I also understand the different nouns (countable, plural, abstract etc). And a verb describes an action, what is happening, a state of being.

I need to know how do I easily sort the word sleep into a verb or noun form? Is there some other word in the sentence a give away? Is a word being added to make the verb into a noun? Even in the noun examples, you are describing the process of an action so why are they nouns and not verbs?

I will not be offended if you break it down into idiot form as I am struggling and worried I will not ever get this right. If I can understand this simple thing without anxiety, then I will understand more when my course progresses.

Thank you thank you so much for reading and possibly helping me! English is a very hard language to learn.
Seems to me the best way is to think more holistically about each sentence rather than fixating on nouns or verbs.

Can you parse a sentence? That is, break the text down into its component parts (including nouns, verbs, adjectives etc) and understand/analyse how they relate to each other. I suppose not otherwise you wouldn’t be asking this question :mrgreen: But really it would be very much worth your while to learn about parsing - it will answer many other questions for you. And you will learn to see almost instantly how a sentence is arranged and its parts of speech.

This page talks about parsing:
https://www.thoughtco.com/parsing-grammar-term-1691583

And these pages can help with parts of speech:
https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/parts-of-speech.htm

Hope that helps. Let us know any specific questions you still have.

I will also try to feedback on the examples you gave soon.

Btw, not being able to parse a sentence puts you well and truly among most native speakers! Which doesn’t surprise me because your English is so good ;) Ask any native speaker in the street to explain parts of speech and they’d look at you gone out.

Safari
Member
Posts: 12
Joined: 10 Jan 2020, 22:22
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: Is there a rule I am missing?

Unread post by Safari » 15 Jul 2020, 13:23

Missmeleni wrote:
15 Jul 2020, 12:29
VERB:-
-I sleep 8 hours at night
-I sleep at night
-I need to sleep more

NOUN:
-I got 8 hours sleep last night
-His sleep was well earned
-I need more sleep
One of the most basic rules of grammar: every sentence needs a verb. You can make a sentence with just a verb. You cannot make a sentence with just a noun, or just an adverb etc.

So if you see the following sentence, you can already parse it:

SLEEP!

Clearly, the word must be a verb. It cannot be a noun.

Now...
I sleep at night.
Where’s the verb? Can’t be “night” because you (hopefully) know that’s a noun - and anyway we don’t put prepositions like “at” in front of verbs. And you know it’s not “I” or “at”. So “sleep” must be a verb in this case.

Just two very basic examples of what I was talking about in the previous post. Obviously it gets more complicated, but perhaps this gets the ball rolling for you.
Last edited by Safari on 15 Jul 2020, 13:27, edited 1 time in total.

Missmeleni
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Jul 2020, 12:27
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: Is there a rule I am missing?

Unread post by Missmeleni » 16 Jul 2020, 10:03

This has actually helped me so much, thank you so much for your time, this is something I will remember! It will help me in the future!

kdammers
Rising Star
Posts: 30
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 10:41
Status: DoS

Re: Is there a rule I am missing?

Unread post by kdammers » 16 Jul 2020, 12:41

"Every sentence needs a verb."

Yes and no.

What? You disagree? Who? You?

Yes, every "standard sentence" in English needs a verb, but it also needs a noun, even if it is only an "understood" noun as in "(You:) stop."

But there are other types of sentences, especially in spoken English that do not need a noun (subject) or verb (predicate). These are especially seen in responses, where the subject noun (or noun phrase) and the predicate verb are understood, as in "An ice cream cone," "Because of Bill," "Never" and "Bill" in response to "What did she order?" "Why did she cry?" "Will she ever recover?" and "Who broke her heart?"

Have you ever heard a native speaker of English answer "It is seven" to the question, "How much is three plus four?" Rarely, if ever.

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