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Thread: gerunds

  1. #1
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default gerunds

    Why is "playing" a gerund in the sentence below and not a verb?

    1) Her favorite fantasy is playing basketball.

    Why is "surprising" an adjective in the sentence below and not a verb?

    2) Everything you do is surprising.

    What is "running" in the sentence below?

    3.) She went running to the store.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: gerunds

    1- the fantasy is not actually playing the game- she would be doing that.
    2- try changing the words- everything you do is funny (adjective- fine).
    3 gerund

  3. #3
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    Default Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by 216
    1) Her favorite fantasy is playing basketball.
    2) Everything you do is surprising.
    3) She went running to the store.
    Here are a few things you can use to help you determine the function of the ING words in 1) through 3).

    There are two kinds of ING words: gerunds and participles. Gerunds are nouns, they refer to a thing, and they function as subjects and objects. Participles, on the other hand, can be part of a verb or function as an adjective or adverb.

    Gerunds answer the questions Who? and What?

    EX: Swimming is fun. (Gerund, noun, a thing, subject of the sentence)
    EX: I like swimming. (Gerund, noun, a thing, object of 'like')

    Participles functioning as part of a verb always go hand-in-hand with a form of the verb BE (is, am, was, were, etc.).

    EX: I am swimming right now.

    If the BE + ING form is a verb, then it will express an action. That is, there's always a doer, or a person or things that's doING the action. "I" am the person doING the action 'swimming'.

    Participles functioning as adjectives modify nouns.

    EX: My swimming lesson is today.

    'swimming' is a participle, and it is functioning as an adjective. It modifies the noun 'lesson', or rather describes the noun 'lesson' by telling us what kind of lesson. What kind of lesson? It's a swimming lesson. (Participle, adjective)

    If a participle answers the question How?, it functions as an adverb, and adverbs can be moved around the sentence, which is a good test to use if you're not sure about the function of the ING word:

    EX: Max went screaming up the stairs.
    EX: Max went up the stairs, screaming.
    EX: Screaming, Max went up the stairs.

    TEST: How did Max go up the stairs? A: Max went screaming up the stairs.

    Note, if the ING word comes after a verb, e.g., went screaming, and the verb is not a form of BE (is, am, was, were), then the ING word is not part of the verb.

  4. #4
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: gerunds

    Is "screaming" a verb in the sentences below?

    1) John was screaming at her.
    2) She was still screaming when I last talked to her.
    3) John ran screaming at her to stop.
    Last edited by notmyname216; 12-Dec-2004 at 07:09.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    Is "screaming" a verb in the sentences below?

    1) John was screaming at her.
    2) She was still screaming when I last talked to her.
    3) John ran screaming at her to stop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    If the BE + ING form is a verb, then it will express an action. That is, there's always a doer, or a person or things that's doING the action. "I" am the person doING the action 'swimming'.
    Both 1) and 2) are BE + ING forms, and there is a person doING the action, whereas in 3), there isn't a BE + ING form.

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    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: gerunds

    So a "-ing" word can ONLY be a particle functioning as a verb if the prior verb is of the form BE + ING (is,an,was,were,etc...)?

  7. #7
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: gerunds

    Now I am confused in the example below "running" is suppose to be a gerund but it answers How? as a adverb (How did she go to the store? A:She went running to the store.)

    She went running to the store. (running is a gerund or particle functioning as a adverb?)
    Last edited by notmyname216; 13-Dec-2004 at 01:26.

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    Default Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    Now I am confused in the example below "running" is suppose to be a gerund but it answers How? as a adverb (How did she go to the store? A:She went running to the store.)

    She went running to the store. (running is a gerund or particle functioning as a adverb?)
    Those are good question. Let me help you further.

    First, if 'running' is a gerund, also known as a noun, it functions as a subject or an object. The subject of our sentence, see below, is 'She' and the object, well, there isn't an object of the verb, because the verb 'went' is intransitive.

    Subject: She went running to the store.

    'went' doesn't take an object, so 'running' can't be an object, and if 'running' not an object or a subject, then it can't be a gerund.

    Second, if 'running' is an adverb, it will answer the question "How?", and also, adverbs can be moved around the sentence, like this,

    Test #1
    She, running, went to the store.
    Runnng, she went to the store.
    She went to the store running.

    Test #2
    Q: How did she go?
    A: She went running.

  9. #9
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: gerunds

    Ok, using what I have learned so far on the sentence below:

    She has a note demanding money.

    "Demanding" is not a adverb, can not move "demanding" for it to sound correct.
    "she"=object "has"=verb, "note"=object, who="she", what="money"
    "Demanding" is not a gerund.
    "has" is not a "be" form of verb so "demanding" not a verb

    "demanding" must be a adjective.

    Is this correct?
    If not, why not.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    Ok, using what I have learned so far on the sentence below:

    She has a note demanding money.

    "Demanding" is not a adverb, can not move "demanding" for it to sound correct.
    "she"=object "has"=verb, "note"=object, who="she", what="money"
    "Demanding" is not a gerund.
    "has" is not a "be" form of verb so "demanding" not a verb

    "demanding" must be a adjective.

    Is this correct?
    If not, why not.
    She (subject) has (verb) a note demanding money (object).

    Excellent analysis! You've covered adverbs, gerunds, and verbs, but you left out adjectives.

    When we add in a form of BE (is, am, was, were, etc.) between the object 'a note' and 'demanding money, this is what happens:

    . . .a note is demanding money.

    The noun phrase 'a note' is the actor, or thing that's doing the 'demanding', so 'demanding' is part of a verb, which takes the word 'money' as its object, like this,

    A note (subject) is demanding (verb) money (object).
    => A note is asking for money.

    But 'is' is not in our original sentence, so we can't say that 'demanding' is a verb. But by adding 'is' we've shown that we're dealing with an adjective, or a phrase that describes the noun 'a note':

    Q: What kind of a note?
    A: A note demanding money. (Adjective, Participial phrase)

    Words that modify nouns are known as adjectives. So 'demanding money' functions as an adjectival phrase, specifically, a participial phrase because the phrase has an ING word.

    Hope that helps out.

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