Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1
    sariputra is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    69
    Post Thanks / Like

    Gerund or Present Participle ?

    The highlight of the school spring season is our Arts Festival. It's a great evening of families spending time with one another, of students showing off their skills and ideas, and of parents and teachers proudly looking on.

    ************************************************** ***********

    Dear Sir/Ma'am

    With reference to the above sentences, would you kindly let me know
    which the underlined words are between gerunds and present participles ?

    I am looking forward to receiving your reply.
    Last edited by sariputra; 26-Mar-2007 at 07:20.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    First, what are your answers? What do you think?

  3. #3
    sariputra is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    69
    Post Thanks / Like

    Unhappy Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    First, what are your answers? What do you think?
    Thank you, Casiopea, for your response.

    I think both are possible.

    Firstly, spending, showing and looking in the said sentence can be interpreated as present participles which modifies preceding nouns, respectively.

    Secondly, the three -ing form words can be interpreated as gerunds which have been used as objects of the preceding preposition 'of' respectively. In this case, the three nouns just before the -ing form words are the subjects of the gerunds.

    Am I right ?
    Last edited by sariputra; 26-Mar-2007 at 08:16.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    When it comes to deteriming whether an -ing word is a gerund (noun) or a participle (adjective), one test never fails for me. I turn the noun + -ing phrase into a relative clause, and if the result is grammatical, I know the -ing word is functioning as part of a verb, as a participle, like here:
    1. families who/that are spending time with one another
    2. students who/that are showing off their skills and ideas,
    3. parents and teachers who/that are proudly looking on.
    Note, the nouns families, students, parents and teachers function as objects of the preposition of:

    of families
    of students
    of parents and teachers

    The -ing words spending, showing, and looking are too far away from the preposition of to be able to function as its objects.

    All the best.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,740
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    Thank you Casiopea.

    I too benefitted from this post though it is not mine.

    But I don't understand what is your final answer?

    I think `ing' form have three meanings :

    (1) Verb participle
    (2) Adjective participle
    (3) Gerund (Noun).

    Here I think it is `verb participle'. Am I right?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    Hello, user-gary.

    Ing forms have three functions:

    (1) It functions as part of a verb, notably the present progressive (known also as the present continuous):

    Ex: Max is sleeping. Be quiet. (Max is doing something)

    (2a) As part of a relative clause. The relative pronoun and the verb tend to be omitted (...),

    Ex: The person (who/that is) walking the dog is a friend of mine.

    (2b) Adjectival phrase. It can go at the head of the sentence or after the noun it modifies. Like this:

    Ex: Walking quickly, Stan was able to get home in time for dinner.
    Ex: Stan (who was) walking quickly was able to get home in time for dinner.

    Note, when it occurs at the head of the sentence, it can't be turned into a relative clause:

    Ex: Who was walking quickly, Stan was able to get home in time for dinner.

    The reason being, a relative pronoun (e.g., who) needs to follow its referent (e.g., Stan), not precede it. However, if we omit the pronoun and its verb, then the rest of the clause (walking quickly) can indeed be moved.

    (3) As a gerund. Gerunds functions as subjects and objects.

    Subject: Swimming is fun.
    Object: I like swimming.
    Object of a preposition: Let's talk about swimming.

    If you know where an -ing word is sitting in a sentence, you know what its function is. If it sits in a subject or object position, it can't be a participle. Spending, showing, looking, where do they sit? Which of these patterns do they fit into?

    subjecting + verb
    verb + objecting
    preposition + objecting

    (who/that) + BE + -ing

    All the best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,740
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Hello, user-gary.

    Ing forms have three functions:

    (1) It functions as part of a verb, notably the present progressive (known also as the present continuous):

    Ex: Max is sleeping. Be quiet. (Max is doing something)

    (2a) As part of a relative clause. The relative pronoun and the verb tend to be omitted (...),

    Ex: The person (who/that is) walking the dog is a friend of mine.
    Thank you.

    Your first example (Max is sleeping)
    and 2nd (a) example (The person who is walking the dog is a friend of mine).

    In clause `who is walking the dog' , `walking' do the same as in the first example.
    So here `walking' is present progressive. i.e. Verb

    Am I right?

  8. #8
    sariputra is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    69
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    When it comes to deteriming whether an -ing word is a gerund (noun) or a participle (adjective), one test never fails for me. I turn the noun + -ing phrase into a relative clause, and if the result is grammatical, I know the -ing word is functioning as part of a verb, as a participle, like here:
    1. families who/that are spending time with one another
    2. students who/that are showing off their skills and ideas,
    3. parents and teachers who/that are proudly looking on.
    Note, the nouns families', students, parents and teachers function as objects of the preposition of:
    of families
    of students
    of parents and teachers
    The -ing words spending, showing, and looking are too far away from the preposition of to be able to function as its objects.
    All the best.
    Thank you, Casiopea for your kind reply. Regarding your explanation, however, I have another question. If you regard the -ing form words as present participles which modifies the preceding nouns, please note the forms of possessives, which has been underlined below:

    1. a great evening of families who/that are spending time with one another
    2. a great evening of students who/that are showing off their skills and ideas,
    3. a great evening of parents and teachers who/that are proudly looking on.

    English grammar books say like this:

    QUOTE

    We normally use -'s for people or animals (Karen's eyes , the manager's office , the horse's tail, etc.)
    For things, ideas, etc., we normally use of (the name of the book, the owner of the cafe, etc.)

    UNQUOTE

    If it is so, I think it is natural that the underlined part should be written as follows ?

    1. families' great evening
    2. students' great evening
    3. parents' and teachers' great evening

    Such being the case, may the three above mentioned -ing form words well be interpreated as gerunds which have been used as objects of the preposition 'of' instead of present participle? In this case, the preceding nouns (families , students , parents and teachers) can be interpreated as the subjects of the gerunds respectively.

    For your convenience I write the "troblesome" sentence again:

    ********************
    It's a great evening of families spending time with one another, of students showing off their skills and ideas, and of parents and teachers proudly looking on.
    ********************

    I would appreciate it, if you kindly examine my allegation again.

    Best regards,
    Last edited by sariputra; 27-Mar-2007 at 05:19.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    Yes. Walking and sleeping are participles in form (that's what they look like). Every word has a form (what they look like) and a function (what they do in the sentence).

    In our example (1) sleeping is part of a verb phrase, is sleeping, which makes it a verb in function,

    (1) Max is sleeping.

    If we delete the main part of the verb, is, the result is ungrammatical.

    Ex: Max sleeping.

    The reason it's ungrammatical is that sleeping cannot function as a verb on its own. It has to be part of a verb when it's functioning as a verb.

    In our example (2) walking is part of a verb phrase, is walking, but walking doesn't function as a verb. It's part of a larger unit, a relative clause, who is walking the dog. That larger unit has an adjectival function. It modifies the noun the person.

    (2) The person who is walking the dog is a friend of mine.

    If we omit the relative pronoun and its verb (i.e., the words who is), the result is not only grammatical, the participle phrase walking the dog still keeps its adjectival function.

    Ex: The person walking the dog is a friend of mine.

    In sum, sleeping and walking are participles in form. The difference between them is their function, or rather how they act in the sentence. Sleeping functions as a verb, whereas walking, although connected to a verb underlyingly, doesn't function as a verb, because it's part of a larger unit, an adjectival clause.

    Does that help?

    All the best.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gerund or Present Participle ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sariputra View Post
    Thank you, Casiopea for your kind reply. Regarding your explanation, however, I have another question. If you regard the -ing form words as present participles which modifies the preceding nouns, please note the forms of possessives, which has been underlined below:

    1. a great evening of families who/that are spending time with one another
    2. a great evening of students who/that are showing off their skills and ideas,
    3. a great evening of parents and teachers who/that are proudly looking on.
    So, in other words, you're asking if the nouns families, students, parents and teachers could be possessive adjectives modifying the gerunds spending, showing, and looking, respectively. Right?

    Well, there's a rule for that. It goes like this, the apostrophe that's usually attached to a possessive noun is not required if that noun is plural and it modifies a gerund. Add in the apostrophe, however, and see what happens:
    d
    The festival is a great evening of families' spending time together.
    The festival is a great evening of students' showing off their skills and ideas.
    The festival is a great evening of parentsand teachers' proudly looking on.

    Two thing immediately strike me as odd with those sentences. First, they sound odd, but that in itself is not a strong argument. Second, notice that the adverb proudly pre-modifies looking. We expect that word order with adjectives, but not with nouns. When a gerund is modified by an adverb, which it can be, because it is, after all, a verbal, the adverb post-modifies.

    There's another argument you could consider. Meaning. What do the possessive noun phrases above mean?

    Let me know what you think.

    All the best.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. i need urgent help
    By nita in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2009, 13:13
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-Mar-2007, 10:03
  3. Gerund or Present Participle?
    By atm in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Dec-2006, 13:55
  4. Gerund or Present Participle
    By mary chipperfield in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 24-Nov-2006, 00:49
  5. present participle and past participle
    By dusrn11 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Jun-2005, 09:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •