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  1. #1
    Rooba is offline Newbie
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    Default Gerund Nouns Vs Participle Adjective

    Hi everyone,

    Can a word be a gerund noun and a participle adjective ? For example, if we add (ing) to the verb (read) it will be (reading) which is a gerund noun and can not be a participle adjective !

    Is this right ? Is there some classification, maybe if the word is transitive or something ?

    I appreciate your replies.

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Gerund Nouns Vs Participle Adjective

    Yes and no!

    Gerunds and present participles are known technically as homomorphs : that is, they share the same outward form (spelling & pronuncication), and a common etymology and form-class (both are regularly formed from verbs), but they differ to some extent functionally within that sphere of commonality, perhaps in terms of finiteness (as in infinitive 'go' vs. present tense 'go') or of mood (e.g. indicative 'go' vs. subjunctive 'go'), and so forth.

    In the case of -ing forms (sometimes - but rather unwisely, in my view - termed 'gerund-participles'), the difference is rather more radical, since the gerund serves a primarily nominal (noun-like) function, while retaining some verbal powers, whereas the present participle serves a primarily adjectival function (whilst also retaining verbal powers).

    Thus, in summary, although they could be said to be the same in one sense, in another they differ considerably!

  3. #3
    Rooba is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Gerund Nouns Vs Participle Adjective

    philo2009,

    Thank you very much.

  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Gerund Nouns Vs Participle Adjective

    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi Rooba,

    In most cases the differentiation between the gerund and the participle does not present any difficult.

    Unlike the participle the gerund may be preceded by a preposition, it may be modified by a noun in the possessive case o by a possessive pronoun; it can be used in the function of a subject, object, and predicative.

    In the function of an attribute and of an adverbial modifier both the gerund and the participle may be used , but the gerund in these functions is always preceded by a preposition.

    There are cases, however, when the differentiation between the gerund and the participle presents some difficulty; for instance, it is not always easy to distinguish between a gerund as part of a compound noun and a participle used as an attribute to a noun. One should bear in mind that if we have a gerund as part of a common noun, the person or thing denoted by the noun does not perform the action expressed by the ing-form: e.g. a dancing-hall (a hall for dancing), a cooking-stove (a stove for cooking), writing-table (a table for writing).

    If we have a participle used as an attribute the person denoted by the noun performs the action expressed by the ing-form: e.g. a dancing girl ( a girl who dances), a singing child (a child who sings).

    However, there are cases which admit of two interpretations: for example a sewing machine may be understood in two ways: a machine for sewing and a machine which sews.

    Entering the room, he said “Please, excuse my intrusiveness!”

    And going over to the window, he stood looking out.

    He sat in the armchair reading a newspaper. (Present Participle)

    On reading the letter I put it into the drawer. (Gerund)

    That night walking up the great street with his sisters and brother, he wished that they need not do this any more, or at least that he need not be a part of it. (Present Participle)

    He received more and more letters, so many that he had given up reading them. (Gerund)

    Then she had gone to her room, saying she was deeply disappointed with them.

    The man crossing the street is my brother.

    They stopped to admire the stream winding away among the trees.

    Drinking, even temperately, was a sin. (Gerund)

    Regards,

    V.

  5. #5
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Gerund Nouns Vs Participle Adjective

    Vil wrote

    In the function of an attribute and of an adverbial modifier both the gerund and the participle may be used , but the gerund in these functions is always preceded by a preposition.

    (my underlining)
    Actually, not always. In e.g. busy doing (smth.) the -ing form is normally reckoned a gerund, but the logically expected preposition 'in' is obligatorily ellipted in contemporary usage.



    There are cases, however, when the differentiation between the gerund and the participle presents some difficulty; for instance, it is not always easy to distinguish between a gerund as part of a compound noun and a participle used as an attribute to a noun.

    In writing, true, but in terms of the spoken language, usually extremely easy, since an attributive gerund regularly takes phrase stress, while an attributive participle naturally does not, thus cf. flying lesson (gerund) & flying saucer (participle).


    However, there are cases which admit of two interpretations: for example a sewing machine may be understood in two ways: a machine for sewing and a machine which sews.

    Applying the phonetic test above, it is clear that, as far as native speakers of English are concerned, the first element in sewing machine is considered an attributive gerund!

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