Noun And Verb Technique

PureTesting offers end-to-end testing solutions. Our offerings includeTest Consulting, Testing Services, Test Trainings, and SDLC Products. PureTesting is recognized as a Testing Thought LeaderOur people work on Innovative concepts, write white papers, and present concepts at international forums.
PureTesting’s unique value proposition of offering better, faster, less expensive testing solutions is compelling to our clients in India, Europe, New Zealand, and US who regard us as a long-term testing partner. The domains in which PureTesting has expertise are: Banking & Financial Services, Datacom and Telecom, Pharmaceuticals, Embedded Systems, eLearning, EAI, ISVs.
PureTesting was incorporated in 2005 and is headquartered in NOIDA (near Delhi), India with offices in Texas, USA; London, UK; and Auckland, New Zealand.
The author, Vipul Kochar is a co-founder of PureTesting. Hel has over 12 years of testing experience and is also the founder of, a popular testing portal.
Prior to PureTesting Vipul worked at Adobe Systems India Pvt. Ltd. where he managed the testing of Adobe Reader (formerly known as Adobe Acrobat Reader) on Linux, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX and Handheld platforms. Vipul has won several awards including Logica CMG Triple Star Award for most original contribution at EuroStar 2005, Denmark. Vipul is a regular speaker at QAI International Conference, CONQUEST, World Conference on Quality etc. He is also the President of Indian Testing Board, member of ISTQB. Vipul holds a MS in Computer Engineering from IIT, Delhi.
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What Are We Going to Talk About?
Noun and Verb Technique
***Nouns and Verbs, Adjectives and Adverbs
Some software systems exist to manipulate specific kinds of data
The kinds of data sets are the nouns
The manipulations are the verbs
Adjectives and adverbs affect the manipulation
Identify these items
Write test in sentences
Even trace coverage
For example, an ATM system should
Accept deposits
Process withdrawals
Answer inquiries
Kinds of deposits, withdrawals, inquiries?
Quickly? Securely?
This test design technique comes from Elisabeth Hendrickson.
***Rex Black: Effective and Efficient Testing Course
Extending Noun and Verb Technique
Challenges in using the technique
Often Requirements are not sufficiently detailed
Extracting enough Noun and Verbs is difficult
Writing complex scenario based tests from this technique is difficult
The technique has been extended at PureTesting and used successfully
Next few slides will present the extension with the help of an example
Extract the nouns and verbs
Use 5W1H to extract adjectives, adverbs and more information
Use pre and post conditions to extract more nouns and verbs
Enumerate properties of every noun
Break down these properties to base elements
Use boundary values, equivalence classes on the base elements
Write tests for individual properties
Combine operations (verbs) to write scenario based test cases of arbitrary complexity
Applying the Extended Technique
Example: File Open
Requirement fragment:
The application allows users to open supported files.
With the given requirement fragment
Very few meaningful test cases can be written using any test design technique
Using out extension to noun & verb technique we plan to write extensive test cases
Extracting the Nouns and Verbs
The application allows users to open supported files
Extracting Nouns
Extracting Verbs
Extracting Adjectives and Adverbs
File open
Look for properties of this noun
Also ask What, Why, When, Where, Who, Which, How,
How much/many
Look for properties of this verb
Also ask What, Why, When, Where, Who, Which, How,
How much/many
File: Properties
Enumerate all the properties of FILE
File has
Creation date
Accessing date
Modification date
File: Properties
Access Control
Password protection
Compression Support
Encryption Support
Creating application version
Breaking Down the Properties: Name
Name -is a string
String -is a SEQUENCE of Characters
Sequence = Length of string
Characters are elements of some valid character set
(THUS) Name
Has a length
Has a set of allowed characters
And some characters are not allowed (/ or \ in file name on windows, spaces on Linux/Unix platforms)
Applying Boundary Values
Has a length (maximum and minimum)
Has a set of allowed characters (valid equivalence class)
And some characters are not allowed (invalid equivalence class)
Properties: Location
Is a string
Has a length (maximum and minimum)
Has a set of allowed characters (valid equivalence class)
And some characters are not allowed (invalid equivalence class)
Also denotes physical location
On a locally connected drive (HDD, CD, Floppy)
On the LAN
Using UNC path
Other operating systems (e.g. Linux connected using samba)
On a web page as a link
Properties: State
in use/not in use
In use/open
Without data
With data
Properties: Type
Supported/not supported by the application
Binary or Text
Valid/invalid (corrupt)
Properties: Extension
With extension
Without extension
Correct extension
Incorrect extension
Properties: Attributes
Read only
Dealing with the Verb(s)
Applying 5W1H
Open What?
File with various properties
Supported and unsupported files
Open Where?
Supported Operating Systems
Application under test
Browser plug-ins, if supported
Dealing with the Verb(s)
Open how?
Open in various ways
double click
drag and drop
command line
application menu
open with
Open how many?
Open one (minimum number of) file
Many files
Max. number of files that can be opened simultaneously
How fast
How much time does it take to open the file?
Some Simple Positive Test Cases
Open a (supported) file
Minimum size
Maximum size
Minimum name length
Maximum name length
Located on a network drive/web
With and without appropriate extension
Created using older/newer version of creating application
Password protected
Some Simple Negative Tests
Open file(s) of
Unsupported type
Changed extensions
Corrupt file
Invalid/non-existent name
Scenario Based Tests
Open a new file. Open another existing but closed file.
Open an already open file.
Open an existing file. Modify it. Open the same file again.
Open an existing file. Modify it. Open another file.
Open a local file. Open another file on the web.
Open multiple files together. Check performance
Open a very large file on the network. Check performance.
Repeat the Open operation a number of times (repetitive tests for resource leaks)
Expanding the requirement
What (after file open)?
File is opened
in the application window
What are properties of application window?
Location on the screen
Size of the window
State of GUI elements such as menus/buttons (enabling/disabling etc.)
What are the properties of OPEN FILE?
Cursor location
Zoom level
Writing more Tests
What is the position of application once file is opened
What is the cursor position after opening the file
At what zoom level does the file open?
Using the extended N&V technique testers can
Write effective set of test cases
Reduce the impact of bad/missing requirements
Raise important questions about software behavior
Bring more uniformity in the coverage even when different testers write tests cases
Use Noun and Verb technique to create test cases for the following requirement excerpt
A word processing software has Find feature. User can invoke the find dialog to enter the string to be found. Find is case insensitive and circular. Find button is used repetitively to find the next occurrence.
Focus on test cases for Find feature.
After finding the test cases using noun and verb technique elaborate the requirements by speaking out the actions.
Create more test cases using pre and post conditions.