Verb and noun pairs with examples (audio+PDF)

In this post you will find 36 English verb and noun pairs. Listen to natural examples with real audio! Learn to make the correct sound for verb and noun pairs that have the same spelling but different pronunciation. Over 70 natural example sentences!

Verb or Noun? – Grammar

Example #1

conduct
noun – CONduct – a person’s behavior in a particular place or in a particular situation
verb – conDUCT – to organize and/or do a particular activity 

Here is a simple way to tell which form a word is in (verb or noun). If you know the correct form, you can use the correct English pronunciation.

Nouns often follow an article (a, an, the) or the possessive form of a noun or pronoun. (my, his/her, its, John’s etc.) 

“Our school has a strict code of conduct.”

Verbs will be conjugated (past tense, present tense, future tense, continuous tense etc.) or be in the infinitive form (to + verb)

“My university will conduct a survey on Friday.”

“My university is going to conduct a survey on Friday.”

Verb and Noun pairs
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In most cases, the difference is the word stress. The noun form will stress a different syllable of the word than the verb form. There are a few cases where the word ends with the letters -ATE, the sound of these letters will change, not the stress.

Example #2

associate 
noun – asso-SHE-IT ~ a person that you work with, do business with or spend a lot of time with

verb – asso-SHE-ATE ~ ① to make a connection between people or things in your mind
② to spend time with someone, especially a person or people that someone else does not approve of

Vocabulary LIST

List is an example of a word with both a noun and a verb form, but the pronunciation is the same for both versions.
LIST
noun a series of names, items, figures, etc., especially when they are written or printed
verb ① [list something] to write a list of things in a particular order
② [list somebody/something] to mention or include someone or something in a list

List - verb and noun
The pronunciation of LIST doesn’t change from noun to verb.

The word list has only one syllable. (Learn more about syllables HERE) All of the words on this list have two or more syllables, except for one. USE has only one syllable, but the pronunciation still changes between the noun form and the verb form. (Use is the final word on our list.)

Listen to the correct pronunciation with natural example sentences below. The word definitions used in this post are from Oxford learner’s dictionaries. Links to the definitions are beside each word. N for the noun definition and V for the verb definition.

*Some of the words on this list have multiple definitions, you can find other meanings at the links provided. (N V)

Verb and noun pairs with examples & AUDIO

associate N V 

Noun – Peter is a business associate of my father. [asso・SHE・IT] Peter works with my dad.

Verb – I like to associate new grammar that I learn with my own real experiences, it makes the grammar easier to remember. [asso・SHE・ATE] I connect new grammar to a real experience in my mind. (Learn my Grammar Connection Method HERE)

I try not to associate with angry or negative people. [asso・SHE・ATE] I don’t like to spend time with negative people.


compound N V

Noun – They are building a large prison compound in my hometown. [COMpound] They are building a complex that will be surrounded by a wall.

Verb – Cutting the budget will not solve anything. Budget cuts will only compound our problems. [comPOUND] Reducing the budget will make things worse.


conduct N V

Noun – Our school has a strict code of conduct. [CONduct] We are told how to behave when we are at school.

Verb – My university will conduct a survey on Friday. They want to know how most students get to school. [conDUCT] My university will organize a survey and ask the students some questions.


conflict N V

Noun – Sadly there are many conflicts in the world right now. [CONflict] Many places are having strong disagreements.

Verb – My experiences in Japan conflict with some of the stories I was told before I came. [conFLICT] The stories I was told are the opposite of my experience.
(I was told is the passive voice – learn this grammar HERE)


contest N V

Noun – I entered a break dancing contest when I was 12.  [CONtest] I entered a break dancing competition when I was 12.

Verb – After Donald passed away his youngest son contested his will. [conTEST] Donald’s youngest son opposed the will because he felt it was wrong.

verb and noun pairs example - contest

contract N V

Noun – I just signed a new 3-year contract with the high school where I teach English. [CONtract] I have an official 3-year agreement to work at the school.

Verb – My nephew was contracted to a professional hockey team in Canada. [conTRACT] My nephew has made an official agreement to play hockey for a pro team.


contrast N V

Noun – There is a big contrast between the customer service in Japan and the service I receive in Canada. [CONtrast] There is a big difference between the customer service at stores in these 2 countries.

Verb – I like to contrast American movies with Japanese movies. The style and pace are quite different. [conTRAST] I like to compare the 2 movie styles and show how they are different.

verb and noun pairs example - contrast

decrease N V

Noun – There was a decrease in school applications last year. [DEcrease] The number of applications was reduced.

Verb – The number of students at my school decreased last year. [deCREASE] The student population became smaller.


delegate  N V

Noun – The meeting was attended by delegates from over 100 countries! [del・ag・IT] People who were chosen to represent their countries attended the meeting.

Verb – I’m so busy at work! I think I will delegate some tasks to my assistant. [del・ag・ATE] I will give part of my work to my assistant.


desert N V

Noun – If you travel in the desert you should bring lots of water. [DEzert] If you travel in a dry area with little water, you should bring your own.

(Be careful of the noun dessert! It has two ‘S’s)
I love to eat cheesecake for dessert!

Verb – I was left in the mall by myself. My friends deserted me. [deZERT] My friends left me by myself in the mall.


detail N V

Noun – Édouard Manet’s paintings are beautiful, he pays attention to every detail. [DEtail] Manet pays attention to even the small points or features in his paintings.

Verb – This brochure details all the features of the car. [deTAIL] This brochure gives a list of facts and information about this car.

Detail - Noun and Verb meaning

discount N V

Noun – If I buy 2 jackets I get a 30% discount on the second one! [DIScount] There was a 30% price reduction of the second jacket.

Verb – Stores usually discount their clothes at the end of the season. [disCOUNT] They take some money off the usual price.


escort N V

Noun – When leaders travel to other countries they often have police escorts. [EScort] World leaders have local police travel with them to protect them.

Verb – It’s getting dark, please let me escort you home. [esCORT] Let me take you home so you are not alone, to make sure you are safe.


export N V

Noun – Lumber is one of Canada’s main exports. [EXport] Lumber is one of the main goods that it sells to other countries.

Verb – Canada exports lots of lumber and oil to the United States. [exPORT] Canada sells some of its resources to America. 


impact N V

Noun – Many people are climbing Mt. Everest and this has had a serious impact on the environment of Nepal. [IMpact] Many tourists coming to climb the mountain has had a powerful effect on the environment.

Verb – The value of the Canadian dollar impacts businesses that export goods. [imPACT] The value of the Canadian dollar affects companies that sell goods to other countries.


import N V

Noun – This store sells lots of exotic furniture and other imports from overseas. [IMport] The store sells furniture and other things that came from other countries.

Verb – I was surprised to learn that America imports more than half of its oil from Canada! [imPORT] More than half of The United States’ oil is brought in from Canada.

verb and noun pairs example - imports

increase N V

Noun – There has been an increase in blood donations at the clinic. People want to help after the hurricane. [INcrease] There was a rise in the number of people who donated blood after the hurricane.

Verb – I really want to find a girlfriend. If I get out more and try new things I will increase my chances of meeting a nice girl. [inCREASE] If I go out and meet more people the chance that I will meet a nice girl become greater.


insert N V

Noun – I bought some inserts for my shoes. They’re soft and make it easier to walk. [INsert] I bought a thin cushion to put inside my shoes.

Verb – I inserted $2.00 in the vending machine but it didn’t give me my drink! [inSERT] I put $2.00 into the money slot of the vending machine but I didn’t get a drink.


insult N V

Noun – Mike said my suit looks cheap. That’s an insult! [INsult] Mike made a remark that was trying to offend me.

Verb – Mike insulted my suit his morning! What a jerk! [inSULT] Mike’s comment about my suit offended me.


invite N V

Noun – I didn’t get an invite to Craig’s party. Maybe he is mad at me. [INvite] I didn’t get a spoken or written request to come to Craig’s party.

Verb – Craig invited many people to his party. But not me. [inVITE] Craig asked many people to come to his party, but he didn’t ask me.


misprint N V

Noun – The ad in the newspaper says the shoes are $1000.00, but I think it’s a misprint. [MISprint] There is a mistake in the (printed) advertisement.

Verb – The printing company misprinted the ad. [misPRINT] Th company printed the ad incorrectly.


object N V ~ there are 4 uses of the NOUN object. Click the N to see them all!

Noun – A basic English sentence has a subject, a verb, and an object. [OBject] One use for the noun object is the thing in a sentence (also a noun) that is affected by the verb of the sentence.

Verb – I object to your question, it’s not relevant to the discussion. [obJECT] I disagree with your question, it is not related to what we are talking about.


permit N V

Noun – You can’t camp here without a permit from the park. [PERmit] You need an official document to be allowed to camp here.

Verb – The park rangers don’t permit fires here. [perMIT] Fires are not allowed in the forest.

Permit - Noun and Verb meaning

present N V

Noun – Happy birthday! I bought you a present! [PREsent] I bought a gift for you.

Verb – We hired an outside company to test the safety of our plant. They will present their findings tomorrow at the annual meeting. [preSENT] The company will show us what they found for us to consider.


produce N V

Noun – It’s better to buy local produce, imported produce is not as fresh. [PROduce] It is better to buy fruits and vegetables grown on farms close to where you live.

Verb – Our goal is to produce more solar batteries than any other company in the area. [proDUCE] Our goal is to make more solar batteries than anyone else in the area.


project N V

Noun – I’m working on a project for school. It’s about renewable energy. [PROject] I am making a piece of work involving careful study of a subject.

Verb – A movie projector projects onto a big screen in the front of the movie theater. [proJECT] The projector makes light and images fall on a flat screen. 


protest N V

Noun – There was a large protest in front of the government office. [PROtest] People gathered in a group to express their strong disagreement with the government.

Verb – My class protested loudly when the teacher gave us 6 pages of summer homework. [proTEST] My class told the teacher that they don’t like the summer homework that he gave us.


rebel N V

Noun – Jams Dean was a popular actor in the 1950s. He had an image of a rebel. [REbel] The characters he played didn’t like rules or authority.

Verb – Teenagers often rebel against their parents. [reBEL] Teenagers often fight against their parents’ rules.


refund N V

Noun – The rains shoes I bought leaked! I took them back to the store and demanded a refund. [REfund] I strongly asked for the money back that I paid for the rain shoes. I brought the leaky shoes back to the store.

Verb – The store apologized and refunded my money. [reFUND] The store returned the money I paid for the rain shoes.


reject N V

Noun – The rain shoes were rejects and shouldn’t have been at the store. [REject] The shoes couldn’t be used and should not have been sold.

Verb – My idea for the new school mascot was rejected by the students. [reJECT] My idea was not accepted.


subject N V

Noun – A basic English sentence has a subject, a verb, and an object. [SUBject] In English grammar a subject is a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun representing the person or thing that performs the action of the verb, about which something is stated, or, in a passive sentence, that is affected by the action of the verb. 

Verb – At karaoke last night I subjected everyone to my terrible singing. [subJECT] People were forced to listen to my terrible singing.


survey N V

Noun – My university will conduct a survey on Friday. They want to know how most students get to school. [SURvey] The did an investigation of how students get to school by asking questions.

Verb – The government surveyed the land so they could make a map of the area. [surVEY] The government looked at the land carefully to get an impression of it.


update N V

Noun – Will it rain tomorrow? I’ll check the weather app on my smartphone for an update. [UPdate] I will check my weather app for the most recent information about the weather.

Verb – I have to update the software on my smartphone. I hope it makes my phone faster. [upDATE] I have to make my software more modern by getting the newest version.


upgrade N V

Noun – On my flight to Canada I was given an upgrade to first-class! Lucky! [UPgrade] I was given a seat of better quality.

Verb –  The airline upgraded me to first-class! Awesome! [upGRADE] The airline moved me a better seat.


upset N V

Noun – No one thought we would win the game because the other team was too strong, but we beat them easily! It was a total upset! [UPset] We beat the team that was expected to beat us.

Verb – Brenda has been crying all morning. I think something upset her. [upSET] Something happened to Brenda to make her unhappy.


use N V

Noun – In Tokyo, I have no use for a car. The public transportation is awesome. [YOU•S] For me a car has no purpose in Tokyo. I don’t need one because public transportation is very convenient.

Verb – If I need a car I can use my friend Kentaro’s, he said I can borrow it anytime. [YUUZ] I can do something {in this case DRIVE} with my friend Kentaro’s car anytime. (Learn how to use the verbs LEND and BORROW HERE)

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I hope this post has been helpful for you to pronounce verb and noun pairs correctly and the examples were useful. This list is only some of the many verb and noun pair examples that exist in English. Can you think of any I missed? Tell me in the comments! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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