Unit 56 Common verb + noun patterns

Main points

* Examples are: `have a bath’; `give a shout’; `make promises’; `take care’.

* Common verbs are often used with nouns to describe actions.

* You use `have’ with nouns referring to eating, drinking, talking, and washing.

* You use `give’ with nouns referring to noises, hitting, and talking.

* You use `make’ with nouns referring to talking, plans, and travelling.

1 When you want to talk about actions, you often use common verbs with nouns as their object. The nouns describe the action. For example, if you say `I had a shower’, the noun tells you what the action was. The common verbs have very little meaning.
I had a nice rest.
She made a remark about the weather.

The nouns often have related verbs that do not take an object.
Helen went upstairs to rest.
I remarked that it would be better if I came.

2 Different verbs are used with different nouns.

You use `have’ with nouns referring to:

meals:breakfast dinner drink lunch meal taste tea
talking:chat conversation discussion talk
washing:bath shower wash
relaxation:break holiday rest
disagreement:argument fight quarrel trouble

We usually have lunch at one o’clock.
He was having his first holiday for five years.

3 You use `give’ with nouns referring to:

human noises:cry gasp giggle groan laugh scream shout sigh whistle yell
facial expressions:grin smile
hitting:kick punch push slap
talking:advice answer example information interview lecture news report speech talk warning

Mr Sutton gave a shout of triumph.
She gave a long lecture about Roosevelt.

4 You use `make’ with nouns referring to:

talking and sounds:comment enquiry noise point promise remark sound speech suggestion
plans:arrangement choice decision plan
travelling:journey tour trip visit

He made the shortest speech I’ve ever heard.
In 1978 he made his first visit to Australia.

5 You use `take’ with these nouns:


He was taking no chances.
She was prepared to take great risks.

6 You use `go’ and `come’ with `-ing’ nouns referring to sports and outdoor activities.
She goes climbing in her holidays.
Every morning, he goes jogging with Tommy.

Note that you can also use `go for’ and `come for’ with `a jog’, `a run’, `a swim’, `a walk’.
They went for a run before breakfast.

7 You use `do’ with `-ing’ nouns referring to jobs connected with the home, and nouns referring generally to work.
He wants to do the cooking.
He does all the shopping and I do the washing.
The man who did the job had ten years’ training.
He has to get up early and do a hard day’s work.

`Do’ is often used instead of more specific verbs. For example, you can say `Have you done your teeth?’ instead of `Have you brushed your teeth?’
Do I need to do my hair?