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Sometimes, however, verbs rely on the nouns that accompany them for their meaning. When this happens, we call such verbs ‘delexical’ (or ‘light’) verbs. Verbs with little meaning: delexical verbs. There are a number of very common verbs which are used with nouns as their object to indicate simply that someone. Bath and chance are not verbs. “*Take a choose” is grammatically incorrect since choose is a verb. To make it grammatically correct you can.

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In these delexical structures most of the meaning is found in the noun, not in the verb. In most cases, there is a verb which has a similar meaning to the delexical structure.

Using delexical structures allows us to add additional information to the action by using adjectives with the nouns, rather than an adverb, which at times can sound awkward.


This is the case not only with the above mentioned example, but in many delexial the examples discussed here. See the lesson Do vs.

Make for more delexical structures with these two verbs. Lets have a drink! They had an argument last night.

John had a hot shower after his day out in the cold. We need to have a conversation. Next year I will have a long holiday in France. I need to take a longhot bath.

Take a breakyou look exhausted. Can you take care of my dogs while I am on vacation?

Delexical Verbs

Can you take a look at my article before I submit it to the publisher? Have you made the arrangements for your trip yet? My parents made a quick visit to the British Museum when they were in London. Helen made a very important point in the meeting this morning. The President will make his speech at the end of the inauguration. Give me a shout when you are ready to go. Please give Sally a big hug for me!


Lección de inglés: Delexical Verbs

Dlexical dad always gives me good advice. Go ahead, give it a kick! Beth goes swimming every day. Can you please do the washing?

Let me help you do your hair.