Verbs that start with N run the gamut from nestle and nuzzle to nettle and needle. They can create a homey environment as you nest, or cause a scandal as you nitpick. You'll notice some of the verbs listed below are words we typically use in their noun form. So, it'll be interesting to see them functioning in a different capacity.
Let's kick things off with a quick review of verbs before we nominate our top 50 N-verbs.
A verb is a word that expresses action or a state of being. In the English language, every word sits in a specific place and plays a specific role in a sentence. As such, verbs typically come after the subject of the sentence and before the object of the sentence.
For example, "Nancy needs to walk to the grocery store." In this sentence, "Nancy" is the subject, "needs" is the verb showing action, and "grocery store" is the object receiving the action of the verb.
N-verbs are an interesting bunch. We might think of some of the verbs listed below as nouns, such as "nail," "nest," or "note." But, it's interesting to watch them shapeshift into action words. Here are 50 common verbs that start with the letter N.
1. Nab - to seize suddenly, snatch, or steal
2. Nag - to constantly urge, annoy, or scold
3. Nail - to attach or join
4. Name - to give a title to a person, place, or thing
5. Nap - to sleep for a brief period of time, usually during the day
6. Narrate - to tell a story or to tell what happened
7. Narrow - to reduce in width or extent
8. Nationalize - to convert from private control to governmental control
9. Natter - to talk idly or chatter
10. Naturalize - to confer the rights of citizenship upon an immigrant
11. Nauseate - to cause to feel sick
12. Navigate - to plan your course or steer, guide, or move through something
13. Neaten - to put in order and make neat
14. Necessitate - to make something unavoidable
15. Need - to want, desire, or require
16. Needle - to annoy someone by nagging or criticizing
17. Negate - to prove false or to render ineffective
18. Neglect - to fail to care for someone or something
19. Negotiate - to discuss both sides of an issue until an agreement is reached
20. Neigh - to make a sound similar to a horse's cry
21. Nest - to create and settle into a warm and secure refuge
22. Nestle - to settle down comfortably and snugly
23. Nettle - to sting, poke, or annoy
24. Network - to exchange contact information with other people
25. Neuter - to make an animal incapable of reproduction
26. Neutralize - to make ineffective, destroy, or counteract
27. Nibble - to take small bites
28. Nick - to put a tiny cut in something
29. Nickname - to give an additional or substitute name to something or something
30. Niggle - to complain or find fault in a petty or nagging way
31. Nip - to pinch or bite
32. Nitpick - to find fault with someone or something in a finicky or petty manner
33. Nod - to quickly raise and lower the head, usually in agreement
34. Nominate - to name or appoint to an office or position
35. Nonconform - to fail or refuse to make the same or be in agreement
36. Normalize - to bring to the natural or usual state
37. Notarize - to certify or attest to the validity of a signature on a document
38. Notate - to makes a note in words or music
39. Note - to observe or remark
40. Notice - to learn about or see something for the first time
41. Notify - to tell or make known
42. Nourish - to feed or develop
43. Novelize - to adapt something into a fictional novel
44. Nudge - a gentle push to get attention or give a signal
45. Nullify - to invalidate something or cancel the effectiveness of something
46. Numb - to cause to become without feeling
47. Numerate - to count
48. Nurse - to care for someone or something
49. Nurture - to feed, train, or develop someone or something
50. Nuzzle - to push or rub against
The primary category of verbs is action verbs. Makes sense. Action verbs, also known as dynamic verbs, express the action of the sentence, whether that's physical or mental. For example, "Dr. Goodwell had to notify the husband of his wife's death." Here's a more thorough list of action verb examples.
Another category of verbs is linking verbs. Linking verbs are typically "to be" verbs, as in "am," "is," "are," "was," and "were." They link the subject with more information. For example, "Birds nurture their chicks."
Then, things get really interesting when students are introduced to irregular verbs. Regular verbs change from present tense to past tense with the simple addition of -ed at the end. For example, "They couldn't name their child Ned, so they named him Nathan."
Irregular verbs, however, live by their own set of rules. In fact, there's no rhyme or reason to their shape-shifting manner. Although there are no common irregular verbs that begin with N, here's an example: "I didn't want to meet him at the fountain, so I met him at the cafeteria."
The only way to familiarize yourself with irregular verbs is to memorize them. Be sure to review this list of irregular verbs to commit some of the most popular ones to memory.
Click on the link in each sentence to see more example sentences containing that N-verb:
1. She knew she was going to nab the last notebook in the store.
2. His voice is well-suited to narrate the story.
3. The pirate captain knows how to navigate a ship.
4. We're going to have to negotiate better terms.
5. She loves to nest in her new homes.
6. The barber tries not to nick his clients with the razor blade.
7. If you agree, nod your head.
8. I'm going to notate everything he says.
9. Green tea will nourish your body.
10. Claire is going to nurse you back to health.
The more you nurture your vocabulary, the greater the likelihood you'll be able to novelize your life. Some of the best writers maintain a vocabulary list they can turn to when the words aren't coming.
You can do the same with a substantial list of verbs and add variety to your writing. How about another popular letter? Enjoy this list of verbs that start with E.