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  1. #1
    Amy! is offline Newbie
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    Question Difference between gerund and present participle

    Hi! I was looking for some info about the difference between gerund and the present participle. I thought I got it, but now I realize it is not that simple.
    When I saw this, I got reallly confused

    Please read it carefully because first I thought one of them was wrong then I started to doubt...

    A washing machine: Gerund = A machine for washing.
    A washing machine: Present Pariciple = A machine that washes.

    Is washing a noun (gerund) or an adjective (p.participle)???

    So I now I'm not sure how to identify a gerund or a p.participle

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Difference between gerund and present participle

    The words 'gerund' and 'present participle'' are merely labels. They can be useful, but they can be confusing at times. Unless you are interested in abstract grammar rather than in using the language, it's simpler to refer to these as 'ing-forms'.

  3. #3
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Difference between gerund and present participle

    In general the difference is the same as that between the Latin Gerund and Gerundive, also seen in French, and sometimes observed by grammarians in English:

    Gerund: acts as a noun: Jogging is my favourite sport.
    Gerundive: acts as a verb: I sprained my ankle while jogging.

    You can remember the difference between the two by recalling that the word "verb" and the word "gerundive" both have the letter V.

  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Difference between gerund and present participle

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    ...
    You can remember the difference between the two by recalling that the word "verb" and the word "gerundive" both have the letter V.
    That would be a useful mnemonic if I wamted to remember a use of 'gerundive' that seems to me mistaken. Gerundive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia doesn't suggest that the term 'gerundive' has any useful position in describing English, though I see from http://home.pct.edu/~evavra/kiss/RPP/GC_10.htm that some teaching systems use 'gerundive' to mean what most people mean by 'present participle'..

    (This explains a problem I had understanding a US colleague once - her use of 'gerundive' was really confusing. Thanks for unwittingly helping me lay this ghost!)

    b

  5. #5
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    Bennevis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Difference between gerund and present participle

    To corroborate what has been said so far on this subject, the best way to set the gerund apart from the present participle is to see whether the word in question is acting as a noun.

    Smoking is bad for you. (noun -> What is bad for you?)
    Do not go outside with, or stay around, your housemate when he is smoking. (verb -> What is he doing?)

    In your example with "washing machine", "washing" is the present participle. It's here used as an adjective.

    Here is a good take on gerunds:
    http://www.perfectyourenglish.com/gr...-ing-forms.htm

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Difference between gerund and present participle

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That would be a useful mnemonic if I wamted to remember a use of 'gerundive' that seems to me mistaken. Gerundive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia doesn't suggest that the term 'gerundive' has any useful position in describing English, though I see from http://home.pct.edu/~evavra/kiss/RPP/GC_10.htm that some teaching systems use 'gerundive' to mean what most people mean by 'present participle'..

    (This explains a problem I had understanding a US colleague once - her use of 'gerundive' was really confusing. Thanks for unwittingly helping me lay this ghost!)

    b
    Yes, I keep forgetting the Latin gerundive has a twist not present in the French.

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