Saturday, March 26, 2016


Today, at lunch, I asked a friend how her son's English classes were "going";  she asked, in an exasperated tone, "WTH are GERUNDS?  I swear I never heard of them and didn't have them in school."

I said, "Gerunds are words that end in I-N-G;  they are verbs made into nouns--like GOING."

Later that day I quizzed several exceptionally intelligent people and NONE could tell me what a gerund IS!

GERUND:  a noun made from a verb by adding the letters  "I-N-G".  Every gerund, without exception, ends in "I-N-G".  Gerunds function as nouns and will be subjects, subject complements, direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions in sentences.

The gerund form of the word READ is READING;  WRITING is the gerund form of WRITE; SMOKING is the gerund form of SMOKE;  see the examples:

SMOKING is a very expensive habit.
My favorite past time is READING.

SMOKING CIGARETTES costs a lot of money.
My favorite past time is READING HISTORY.

1.  READING has been my favorite avocation.  READING is the subject of the verb "HAS BEEN".
2.  My first passion is READING.  READING is the subject complement of the verb "IS".
3.  I enjoy READING more than watching television.  READING is the direct object of the verb "ENJOY".
4.  I give READING a lot of my spare time.  READING is the indirect object of the verb "GIVE".
5.  When I had ten books in my briefcase, everyone knew I was devoted to READING.  READING is the object of the preposition "TO".

However, not ALL words ending in "I-N-G" are gerunds;  some are PRESENT PARTICIPLES; present participles complete progressive verbs or act as modifiers.  EXAMPLES:

1.  One day, I was READING a magazine.  READING is the present participle completing the past progressive verb "WAS READING".
2.  A drink splashed on my READING MATERIAL;  READING is the present participle modifying "MATERIAL".
3.  I always keep my books in safe READING areas.  READING is the present participle modifying "AREAS".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's good that you include me in your surveys, but I always seem dumb! ML