You're quite right; an English word can usually be used as a noun, verb, or adjective in some context (though which one varies), and most European languages don't work that way.
This is due to the fact that most European languages are far more inflected than English is. English is much more like Chinese, where the same sequence of sounds may mean many things; but English doesn't have characters to display them. Instead we use a sort of an alphabet, which sort of represents some parts of the pronunciation, if you can guess right. Also like Chinese.
In German, for instance, which is closely related to English, you can see what English might have been like if it had kept all its inflections. There is never any doubt about whether a word is a verb or a noun in German; either way, you rarely see the root word, only inflections and derivations from it. Verbs have two tenses, same as English, but every verb form indicates number, tense, and often person of the subject. This is only true in English of the verb be (if it is a verb).
Even German infinitives have a special suffix to mark them as infinitives. Plus, every verb has a separate set of subjunctive forms that mark almost all the same distinctions. This is not true in English of any verb at all.
As for nouns, there is only one plural suffix in English, and its use is quite regular; there is no gender or case, except in personal pronouns. In German every noun has its own plural form; there are about a dozen variants. Plus there are four cases and three genders (actually four, since the plural inflections all work the same for every gender). Usually the nominative is the root, but the gender and plural forms, and all the case forms, must be learned individually for every noun.
Adjectives are even more complex in German, and totally uninflected in English; I won't go into the details.