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Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

COM200 (Communication Skills: Composition)

Tutorial IV: Understanding Clarity Actions in Verbs (Solution)

January 28, 2016

Exercise I
Turn the following verbs and adjectives into nominalizations, and the nominalizations into
verbs and adjectives.
Remember that some verbs and nominalizations have the same form as in (a) and (b)
(a) Poverty predictably causes social problems.
(b) Poverty is a predictable cause of social problems.
Believe: belief

Analysis: analyze

accurate: accuracy

Evaluate: evaluation expression: express

clear: clarity

suggest: suggestion

appearance: appear

careful: care

define: definition

description: describe

present: presence

discuss: discussion

elimination: eliminate

available: availability

emphasize: emphasis explanation: explain

expensive: expense

approach: approach

comparison: compare

proud: pride

decrease: decrease

expansion: expand

happy: happiness

improve: improvement measurement: measure

sad: sadness

examine: examination annihilation: annihilate

gloomy: gloom

increase: increase

tragic: tragedy

prescription: prescribe

Create a sentence using verbs and/or adjectives from Exercise 1. Then rewrite it using the
corresponding nominalizations (keep the meaning the same).
I SUGGEST that we DISCUSS the issue.
My suggestion is that our discussion of the issue be done.
Only when you see how a clear sentence can be made unclear, will you understand why it
seemed clear in the first place.
Exercise II
One sentence in each of the following pairs is clear, expressing characters as subjects and
actions as verbs; the other is indirect, with actions in nominalizations and characters often
not in subjects. Identify which is which.
1a. Some people argue that atmospheric carbon dioxide does not elevate global temperature.
1b. There has been speculation by educators about the role of the family in improving
educational achievement.
2a. Smoking during pregnancy may cause fetal injury.
2b.When we write concisely, readers understand easily.
3a. Researchers have identified the AIDS virus but have failed to develop a vaccine to immunize
those at risk.
3b. Attempts by economists at defining full employment have been met with failure.
4a. Complaints by editorial writers about voter apathy rarely offer suggestions about dispelling it.
4b. Although critics claim that children who watch a lot of television tend to become less able
readers, no one has demonstrated that to be true.
5a. The loss of market share to Japan by domestic automakers resulted in the disappearance of
hundreds of thousands of jobs.
5b. When educators discover how to use computer-assisted instruction, our schools will teach
complex subjects more effectively.
6a. We need to know which parts of our national forests are being logged most extensively so
that we can save virgin stands at greatest risk.

6b. There is a need for an analysis of library use to provide a reliable base for the projection of
needed resources.
7a. Many professional athletes fail to realize that they are unprepared for life after stardom
because their teams protect them from the problems that the rest of us adjust to every day.
7b. Colleges now have an understanding that yearly tuition increases are impossible because of
strong parental resistance to the soaring cost of higher education.


la. Clear; Verbs: argue, elevate; No nominalizations.

lb. Unclear; Verbs: has been; Nominalizations: speculation, improving, achievement.
2a. Unclear; Verbs: cause; Nominalizations: smoking, injury.
2b. Clear; Verbs: write, understand; No nominalizations.
3a. Clear; Verbs: identified, failed, develop, immunize; Nominalizations: risk.
3b. Unclear; Verbs: met; Nominalizations: attempts, defining, employment, failure.
4a: Unclear; Verbs: offer; Nominalizations: complaints, suggestions, dispelling.
4b. Clear; Verbs: claim, watch, become, demonstrate; Nominalizations: readers.
5a. Unclear; Verbs: resulted in; Nominalizations: loss, share, disappearance.
5b. Clear; Verbs: discover, use, teach; Nominalizations: instruction.
6a. Clear; Verbs: know, log, save; No nominalizations.
6b. Unclear; Verbs: is, provide; Nominalizations: need, analysis, use, base, projection.
7a. Clear; Verbs: fail, realize, are unprepared, protect, adjust; Nominalizations: life.
7b. Unclear; Verbs: have, are; Nominalizations: understanding, increases, resistance, costs,
Exercise III

Now revise the unclear nominalized sentences in Exercise II into clearer sentences with
verbs. For each sentence, use its paired verbal version as a model.

For example, sentence to revise:

2a. Smoking during pregnancy may lead to fetal injury.

Model: 2b. When we write concisely, readers understand more easily.
Your revision: When pregnant women smoke, it may injure the fetus.


Some educators have speculated about the role of family in improving the education system.
When pregnant women smoke, it may injure the fetus.
Economists have attempted to define full employment but have failed.
Although editorial writers complain about the voter apathy, ways to dispel it are rarely
5. When domestic automakers lost market share to Japan, hundreds of thousands of jobs
6. We need to analyze how library is used so that we can provide a reliable base to project the
resources we need.
7. Colleges now understand that it is impossible to increase tuition yearly because parents are
resisting the soaring cost of higher education.