What do the verbs coach, cook, and model have in common?

They are all exceptions to the rule that you add -er or -or to talk about the person who performs the action of the verb. I know that sounds confusing, so let’s look at some examples:

  • act -> a person who acts is an actor
  • love –> a person who loves is a lover
  • teach -> a person who teaches is a teacher
  • write -> a person who writes is a writer

This pattern (adding -er to talk about the person) is very common with action verbs. Now, let’s look at the exceptions:

  • coach -> a person who coaches is a coach (NOT coacher)
  • cook -> a person who cooks is a cook (NOT cooker)
  • model -> a person who models is a model (NOT modeler)

Don’t be confused that the noun and the verb look the same. Here are some example sentences…

My mother is a great cook. (“cook” is a noun)

Do you know how to cook? (“cook” is a verb)

The parents didn’t like how the coach was coaching the team. (“coach is a noun”, but “was coaching” is a verb)

She wanted to model, but she was too short. (“model” is a verb form used in an infinitive)

She wanted to be a model, but she was too short. (“model” is a noun used as the object of “to be”)

If you can think of any other verbs that don’t add -er, please leave a comment!  These are the only common verbs I could think of and I could not find a list on the internet.