The following information is from Phrases: Verbal Phrases: Talk Soup — FactMonster.com.
Three additional functions are listed here Humanist Archives Vol. 18 : 18.045 J. K. Rowling's address?.
Gerunds can function as
(2) direct objects,
(3) indirect objects,
(4) objects of a preposition,
(5) predicate nominatives, and
Here are some examples of gerunds:
- Leroy expanded his skills by studying.
The gerund “studying” is the object of the preposition “by.”
- At the age of 10, Irving started running.
The gerund “running” is a direct object.
- My mother's sole occupation, kvetching, makes her tedious company.
The gerund “kvetching” (an especially virulent form of complaining) is an appositive in this sentence.
Like a participle, a gerund can be part of a phrase. In that case, the whole package is called a gerund phrase
. (Got you with that one, didn't I?) Here are some gerund phrases busy at work in their sentences:
- The quiet, steady rowing soothed him.
The gerund phrase is “the quiet, steady rowing.”
- My evening routine features jogging slowly around the block.
The gerund phrase is “jogging slowly around the block.”
- Thousands of “Dead Heads” show their dedication to their departed leader by following what's left of The Grateful Dead around the country.
The gerund phrase is “following what's left of The Grateful Dead around the country.”
- gerund as an attribute in preposition to noun
- gerund as an attribute in postposition to noun
- gerund as an adverb