What Are Gerunds?
The Difference between a Gerund and a Present Participle
To create a present participle simply add '-ing' to the base of the main verb. For example:
sleep → sleep
work → work
Sometimes simply adding -ing is not enough. Here we will discuss the rules:
- If the verb ends in consonant + stressed vowel + consonant, double the last letter.
- If the verb ends in consonant + unstressed vowel + consonant, (the base verb is not stressed) do not double the last letter.
- If the verb ends in 'ie,' change the 'ie' to 'y.'
- If the verb ends in vowel + consonant + 'e,' omit the 'e.'
1. Gerunds as Subjects
Gerunds can take the role of subject of the verb. Look at these examples:
2. Gerunds as Objects
Gerunds can also be used as the objects of the verb. Look at these examples:
3. Gerunds as Objects of Prepositions
When the gerund is a noun, it can be the object of a preposition. For example:
I'm very good at
I'm afraid of
4. Gerunds as Subject Complements
Gerunds can be used as the subject complement of the linking verb 'be.' For example:
The best thing about my trip to Japan was
A good way to lose weight is
Gerunds will often be at the head a gerund phrase. A gerund phrase consists of a gerund, its objects, and all modifiers.
Here, the gerund phrase consists of the gerund eating. Although gerunds are noun, they still have some properties of a verb like having an object or other modifiers.
Gerunds vs. Present Participles
Both gerunds and present participles are created from a verb, and both end in –ing. However, they have different functions:
- Gerunds act like nouns
- Present participles act like verbs or adjectives
A gerund is a nominal structure made by adding -ing to the main verb to be used as:
- the subject of a verb
- the object of a verb
- the object of a preposition
- a subject complement