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  1. #1
    rambharosey is offline Junior Member
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    Default Participle or Gerund..

    Laws banning smoking in public places are about to be passed.

    I understand that "smoking" is a Gerund here, but was wondering if "banning" is Gerund or Participle. Can someone please clarify and also let me know how we distinguish.

  2. #2
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Participle or Gerund..

    Hello, rambharosey.
    'banning' in your sentence is a 'present participle'. (And I agree with you that 'smoking' is a noun (gerund).)

    "Laws (banning smoking in public places) are about to be passed."

    Those words in parentheses (which I think are called a 'participle clause') above postmodify the noun 'Laws'. They describe what kind of 'laws' they are. Therefore they function adjectivally. It is very much like a relative clause:

    "Laws (which ban smoking in public places) are about to be passed."

    I hope you'll understand what I mean.
    (I'm sorry that I cannot explain well enough how to distinguish the difference between 'participles' and 'gerunds'.)
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 05-Sep-2012 at 16:49.

  3. #3
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Participle or Gerund..

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    (I'm sorry that I cannot explain well enough how to distinguish the difference between 'participles' and 'gerunds'.)
    Please don't apologise for that. I have been teaching for some 45 years now, and I still can't, with 100% accuracy, always identify what some would claim to be gerunds (or participles). My excuse is that I see little point in labelling for the sake of labelling. I see my job as helping learners to speak/write/understand English, not to be able to label words. Most of my students have been able to survive with 'the -ing form'.

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