Page 1 of 15 Verbals- Gerunds and Participles Gerunds A gerund is a verbal that ends in -ing and functions as a noun. The term verbal indicates that a gerund, like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. However, since a gerund functions as a noun, it occupies some positions in a sentence that a noun ordinarily would, for example: subject, direct object, subject complement, and object of preposition. Gerund as subject: • Traveling might satisfy your desire for new experiences. • The study abroad program might satisfy your desire for new experiences. Gerund as direct object: • They do not appreciate my singing. • They do not appreciate my assistance. Gerund as subject complement: • My cat's favorite activity is sleeping . • My cat's favorite food is salmon. Gerund as object of preposition: • The police arrested him for speeding . • The police arrested him for criminal activity. A Gerund Phrase is a group of words consisting of a gerund and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the direct object(s), indirect object(s), or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the gerund, such as: Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than what we're trying to do. The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. Finding (gerund) a needle (direct object of action expressed in gerund) in a haystack (prepositional phrase as adverb) I hope that you appreciate my offering you this opportunity . The gerund phrase functions as the direct object of the verb appreciate .
Page 2 of 15 Verbals- Gerunds and Participles my (possessive pronoun adjective form, modifying the gerund) offering (gerund) you (indirect object of action expressed in gerund) this opportunity (direct object of action expressed in gerund) Newt's favorite tactic has been lying to his constituents . The gerund phrase functions as the subject complement. lying to (gerund) his constituents (direct object of action expressed in gerund) You might get in trouble for faking an illness to avoid work . The gerund phrase functions as the object of the preposition for . faking (gerund) an illness (direct object of action expressed in gerund) to avoid work (infinitive phrase as adverb) Being the boss made Jeff feel uneasy. The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence. Being (gerund) the boss (subject complement for Jeff , via state of being expressed in gerund) Punctuation A gerund virtually never requires any punctuation with it. Points to remember: 1. A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that is used as a noun. 2. A gerund phrase consists of a gerund plus modifier(s), object(s), and/or complement(s). 3. Gerunds and gerund phrases virtually never require punctuation.
Page 3 of 15 Verbals- Gerunds and Participles Exercise on Gerunds: Underline the gerunds or gerund phrases in the following sentences and label how they function in the sentence (subject, direct object, subject complement, object of preposition).
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- Participle, Gerund