I am working on NLP project, I saw during processing of large number of documents that there is always a noun either before or after a verb and both are strongly related.

I just need to verify my observation, are there situations where we can use verbs in English without using nouns at all ? if so how is that frequent, statistically speaking ?

  • There is one common situation: In the imperative a verb does not need a noun (not even a dummy pronoun like it as in It's raining). Example: Come here at once! Jan 10, 2016 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


If you mean strictly nouns, then there are lots of counterexamples with pronouns:

I heard you!

That smells!

She doesn't care.

If you are lumping pronouns in with nouns (not usual, but I can see you might) then examples are rarer, but they exist. Besides the imperatives that jknappen mentions, in informal conversation you hear things like the following:


Think so?

Haven't been.

These are clearly formed from "It depends", "Do you think so?" and "I haven't been", but while they may not be formal English they definitely occur and any practical grammar of English needs to account for them.

By the way, from your description, it sounds as if you are regarding a sentence as a string of words (when you say "either before or after a verb") That approach to NLP simply doesn't work: you need to consider structures, not just the surface string.


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