Verb and Noun Pairs 200 examples (Pronunciation Guide+PDF)

Many English words have a verb form and a noun form. This can be confusing. The verb form and the noun form are sometimes pronounced differently, which can be even more confusing!
I wrote this blog post to help ESL students use these words with confidence.

Verb or Noun? – Grammar

Let’s start by answering a basic question.  What’s the difference between a noun and a verb?
A noun is a person, place, or thing.
A verb expresses an action or existence.
“A dog is running in the park.” – A DOG (thing) is running (action) in the PARK (place).

A basic English sentence will have this pattern. Subject – Verb – Object. The subject and object in a sentence will be nouns. DOG (Subject) is running (Verb) in the PARK (Object).

How can I tell a noun from a verb?

The sentence example above is very basic. Natural English sentences will use clauses and conjunctions to tell longer stories in a single sentence. Here is a simple way to tell if a word is a noun or a verb in a longer sentence.
Nouns often follow an article (a, an, the) or the possessive form of a noun or pronoun. (my, his/her, its, John’s, etc.)
Verbs will follow a subject and be conjugated (changed into past, present, future, continuous tense, etc.)

Noun – Happy birthday! I bought you a present.
The noun present follows the article a.
Verb – They will present their findings tomorrow at the meeting.
The verb present follows a subject – “They” – and is conjugated in the future tense. – will present

If you know the correct form, you can use the correct pronunciation.

Verb and Noun pairs – Pronunciation

Are all verb and noun pairs pronounced differently?

One-syllable Verb and Noun pairs

Many noun and verb pairs have only one syllable so there is no change in word stress between the verb and the noun. They all sound the same with a few exceptions. (You can find the exceptions in the one-syllable verb and noun list at the bottom of this post.)


noun – a series of names, items, figures, etc., especially when they are written or printed
“I wrote a shopping list this morning.”
verb – to write a list of things in a particular order
“I listed everything I need for my trip.”

List - verb and noun

Two-syllable Verb and Noun pairs

When noun and verb pairs are two syllables we pronounce them correctly by focusing on the syllable stress. English 2-syllable nouns will put stress on the first syllable. CONduct.
2-syllable verbs will put stress on the second syllable. conDUCT.


noun – CONduct – a person’s behavior in a particular place or in a particular situation
“Our school has a strict code of conduct.”
verb – conDUCT – to organize and/or do a particular activity 
“My university will conduct a survey on Friday.”

Three-syllable Verb and Noun pairs

There are a few cases where the verb and noun pair is three syllables and ends with the letters -ATE. For these examples, the sound of the last letters will change, not the stress. The stress will still be on the third syllable.


noun – asso-she-IT ~ a person that you work with, do business with, or spend a lot of time with
“Peter is a business associate of my father.” (asso-she-IT)
verb – to spend time with someone, especially a person or people that someone else does not approve of
“I try not to associate with angry or negative people.” (asso-she-ATE)

Associate audio below ↓

In this post, I will also give you 36 noun/verb pair examples with over 70 natural example sentences. Each example sentence has audio to improve your English listening skills and pronunciation. You can quickly start using the correct word stress with noun/verb pairs.

Noun and Verb Pair Vocabulary 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 examples with AUDIO

associate N V 

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

Verb – ①I try not to associate with angry or negative people. [asso・SHE・ATE] I don’t like to spend time with negative people.

Verb – ② I like to associate new grammar 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.

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. [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 – The company was contracted to build a new 50,000-seat stadium. [conTRACT] The company has made an official agreement to build a stadium.

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

I make typos sometimes when I write my blog content. I often use voice typing which can also cause simple Grammar errors in my blog post document.
I use Grammarly to help me catch these mistakes. It saves me a lot of time! It can help your English writing too. Get Grammarly for free.

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・ah・GIT] 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・ah・GATE] 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 is spelled with two ‘S’s.)
– I think I’ll have cheesecake for dessert.
Dessert vs Desert – Pronounce these words CORRECTLY(Audio)

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 one jacket I can get a 30% discount on a second jacket. [DIScount] If I buy 2 jackets there will be a 30% price reduction on the second one.

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 come to climb the mountain. This 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 becomes 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 this 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 – They will present their findings tomorrow at the 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 the careful study of renewable energy.

Verb – Unemployment is projected to fall next year. That’s good news. [proJECT] The number of unemployed people is expected to drop next year.

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 – James Dean was a popular actor in the 1950s. He had the 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 rain 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] They 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 V

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

Verb –  The airline upgraded me to first-class, [upGRADE] The airline moved me to 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.

One-syllable Verb and Noun pairs – List

One-syllable words rarely change sounds between the verb and noun forms, but there are a few exceptions. Below is a list of 150 common one-syllable Verb and Noun pairs, 4 word pairs with different pronunciation, and 23 uncommon word pairs that you probably didn’t know.

  • The noun and verb forms are often related in meaning. *For example ACHE and JUICE.

  • There are some examples where the meaning is totally different. The only thing that is the same is the spelling. *For example BOWL and FLY.

This is not a complete list, there are many one-syllable verb and noun pairs. I tried to include the most common words in this list with a verb and a noun form. 

  • ache
  • act
  • age
  • air
  • back
  • bat
  • belt
  • bet
  • bite
  • bowl
  • call
  • block
  • book
  • box
  • brush
  • buzz
  • dance
  • dare
  • dip
  • dot
  • drive
  • drum
  • dye
  • end
  • face
  • fall
  • fan
  • feast
  • fence
  • fight
  • file
  • fire
  • fish
  • flame
  • flash
  • flow
  • fly
  • fool
  • frame
  • front
  • grid
  • glaze
  • glow
  • grill
  • grow
  • growl
  • grunt
  • guard
  • guess
  • hail
  • hand
  • harm
  • help
  • hit
  • hope
  • hug
  • itch
  • jam
  • judge
  • juice
  • jump
  • kick
  • kiss
  • lace
  • lap
  • laugh
  • lie
  • limp
  • link
  • list
  • look 
  • love
  • mark
  • match
  • milk
  • mop
  • nail
  • nap
  • need
  • nest
  • nurse
  • oil
  • ooze
  • pain
  • paint
  • park
  • play
  • pat
  • pen
  • pet
  • pick
  • pin
  • pitch
  • plan
  • plug
  • pose
  • press
  • price
  • punch
  • quack
  • quilt
  • quote
  • race
  • rain
  • raise
  • rat
  • rise
  • rock
  • rope
  • run
  • rust
  • rest
  • sail
  • saw
  • scale
  • set
  • shave
  • shop
  • show
  • ship
  • sign
  • ski
  • sleep
  • smoke
  • snow
  • spill
  • spray
  • spring
  • stamp
  • stand
  • strike
  • string
  • sweat
  • tack
  • talk
  • tax
  • team
  • test
  • tie
  • tip
  • toast
  • train
  • trap
  • trip
  • view
  • visit
  • vote
  • walk
  • work
  • wrap
  • yawn
  • zone

Thanks to for help making this list.

Four one-syllable Verb and Noun pairs with different pronunciations

use 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 my friend Kentaro’s car} anytime. (Learn how to use the verbs LEND and BORROW HERE)

house N V

Noun – I just bought a new house. [HAUS] I just bought a new building to live in.

Verb – People whose homes were flooded were temporarily housed in community centers. [HOWZ] People whose homes were affected by the flood were given a place to live.

lead N V

Noun – Exposure to lead can make you sick. [LED] Lead is a chemical element and a heavy grey metal.

Verb – We hired a tour guide to lead us around Singapore. [LEED] A tour guide showed us around Singapore.

wind N V

Noun – The wind was strong today. It was perfect for sailing. [WIN・D] The air was moving quickly today.

Verb – I have to wind my watch all the time. It’s a pain. [WINE・D] I have to turn the small gear on the side of my watch to make it work.

Noun and Verb pair 14-page PDF E-guide

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