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What are Gerunds?

gerund is a verb in its -ing (present participle) form that functions as a noun that names an activity rather than a person or thing. Any action verb can be made into a gerund.


Spelling Tip

Verbing (Present Participle)

  • Add -ing to most verbs. Ex. play > playing, cry > crying, bark > barking
  • For verbs that end in e, remove the e and add ing. Ex: slide > sliding, ride > riding
  • For verbs that end in ie, change the ie to y and add ing. Ex: die > dying, tie > tying
  • For a verb whose last syllable is written with a consonant-vowel-consonant and is stressed, double the last letter before adding ing. Ex: beg > begging, begin > beginningHowever: enter > entering (last syllable is not stressed)


Gerund Examples

Gerunds can appear at the beginning of a sentence when used as a subject:

  1. Jogging is a hobby of mine.

Gerunds can act as an object following the verb:

  1. Daniel quit smoking a year ago.

Gerunds can serve as an object after a preposition:

  1. I look forward to helping you paint the house.

Note: The same spelling rules that apply to the progressive tenses also apply to gerunds.

Some verbs and verb phrases are directly followed a gerund:

  1. Paul avoids using chemicals on the vegetables he grows.

Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive without causing a change in meaning:

  1. Some people prefer getting up early in the morning.
  2. Some people prefer to get up early in the morning

Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or infinitive but with a change in meaning:

  1. He remembered sending the fax. (He remembered the act of send the fax)
  2. He remembered to send the fax. (He remembered the fax and sent it.)

Present participle clauses

A present participle clause can express:

  • an action that happens at the same time as the action in the main clause:

    Tom lost his keys (while) walking through the park. (Tom lost his keys while he was walking through the park.)
    She left the room singing happily. (She left the room as she was singing happily.)

    The participle clause can come first in literary styles:

    (While) walking through the park, Tom lost his keys.

  • an action that happens just before another action:

    Opening the envelope, I found two concert tickets. (I opened the envelope and I found two concert tickets.)

  • an action that is the result of another action:

    Moments later a bomb exploded, leaving three people dead and twelve others injured.
    When I entered they all looked at me, making me feel uncomfortable.

  • a reason for the action in the main clause:

    Having nothing left to do, Paula went home. (Since Paula had nothing left to do, she went home.)
    Knowing a little Russian, I had no difficulty making myself understood. (As I knew a little Russian, I had no difficulty making myself understood.)
    Working as a sales rep, I get to travel a lot. (I travel a lot because I work as a sales rep.)

    Here the subjects of the two actions can be different:

    The weather being nice, we decided to go for a picnic. (As the weather was nice, we decided to go for a picnic.)

    The difference between the gerund and the present participle


  • Since the simple gerund and the present participle have the same form (verb-ing), sometimes it can be difficult to decide whether an -ing form is a gerund or a present participle.

    It may be worth remembering that a gerund always functions as a noun:

    Function Example sentence
    Subject Hiking can be a relaxing and rewarding activity.
    Complement What I really like is travelling to other countries.
    Object of a verb Jill suggested going for a drink.
    Object of a preposition He rushed out of the room without saying a word.
    Object of a prepositional verb Could you give up smoking?
    Part of a compound noun We had no drinking water left.

    The present participle has the following functions:

    Function Example sentence
    Continuous aspect I wasn't listening.
    What have you been doing?
    You must be joking.
    I happened to be passing your house.
    Adjective The survey revealed some worrying results.
    The results of the survey were/seemed worrying.
    Participle clauses The man driving the car was not injured.
    Tom lost his keys (while) walking through the park.
    Opening the envelope, I found two concert tickets.
    Having nothing left to do, Paula went home.

    Sometimes it is a matter of interpretation whether an -ing form is a gerund or a present participle:

    Hunting lions can be dangerous.

    Hunting as a present participle functions as an adjective and describes lions. The sentence means:

    Lions that hunt can be dangerous.




    Follow these links and do the exercises:

  • https://webapps.towson.edu/ows/exercises/participles_gerunds_ex3.aspx

  • https://www.englishgrammar.org/gerunds-present-participles/

  • https://www.englishpractice.com/grammar/participles-gerunds-exercise/

  • https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/participles/exercises

  • https://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=grammar-mastery-quiz-chapter-17-participles-gerunds-infinitives

Fuente: Created by Susan Zilberstein
Fecha: 2/7/2018 | Creado por: Susana Beatriz
Categoria: Grammar Time
Etiquetas: Zilberstein, Susan, 2018, 5, Teens, Inglés, Almagro