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Thread: gerunds

  1. #11
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: gerunds

    I am not sure about this sentence:

    When hunting, a snake is very careful.

    If I rewrite it to say "A snake is very careful when hunting" then "hunting" must be a verb since it is after a "BE" verb.

    However, "hunting" sounds correct after the rewrite so "hunting" could also be a adverb.

    Am I missing something?

  2. #12
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: gerunds

    Not sure about this sentence:

    The problem started cropping up years ago.

    "cropping" can not be a adverb.
    "cropping" is not a adjective.

    "cropping up" is a phrasal verb, I believe. object="ago"?

    or

    "cropping" is the gerund?

    I think "cropping" in this case is a gerund.

  3. #13
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    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216

    When hunting, a snake is very careful.

    If I rewrite it to say "A snake is very careful when hunting" then "hunting" must be a verb since it is after a "BE" verb.

    Am I missing something?
    Yup. Is 'hunting' really after the verb 'is'? Let's look again:

    1. A snake is very careful when hunting.

    'hunting' is the 4th word after the verb 'is', so it can't be part of 'is' if it's so far away. So 'hunting' isn't a verb.

    If we ask the question, "When is a snake very careful?" we get the answer, "When hunting". Aha! "When hunting", the entire phrase, fucntions as an adverb. As for the ING word, well, we have to figure out if it's a gerund or a participle. One way of doing that is to add in a missing subject and verb, like this,

    2. The snake is very careful when it is hunting.
    3. When it is hunting, the snake is very careful.

    'hunting' in 3. and 2. functions as a participle. It's part of the verb 'is'. Now, in English, when the subject is the same in both clauses, the subject in the lesser clause, the independent clause, is omitted along with its verb:

    4a. When the snake is hunting, the snake is very careful =>
    4b. When hunting, the snake is very careful.

    Sentence 4b. is what's called a reduced, or shorter or more efficient form of sentence 4a. And in 4a., 'hunting' is a participle, so in 4b. it's a participle as well. It look like a gerund because it's all by itself, but it's not by itself. Its verb 'is' is just omitted from the context. That is, the speaker dropped it to save time and energy.

    In short, 'hunting' in 5. is a participle. It's part of a verb that's been omitted:

    5. When hunting, the snake is very careful.

  4. #14
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: gerunds

    Thanks for the help. It is starting to make some sense.

    Now for this sentence:

    When hunting, remembering ammunition for the gun is important.

    This one has two "-ing" words "hunting" => adverb?
    and remembering => also a adverb, I think.



    In the previous sentence:

    When hunting, a snake is very careful. (hunting=>adverb, "is" is omitted)

    If it was changed to this:

    When it is hunting, a snake is very careful. (hunting=>verb , because of "is")

    Also, was "cropping" a gerund?

  5. #15
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    Re: gerunds

    Sentence 1. is awkward. It doesn't have a subject. (By the way, it's the entire phrase 'When hunting' that functions as an adverb. The ING word by itself is not an adverb.)

    1. When hunting, remembering ammunition for the gun is important.

    Sentence 2. is odd. The noun should come before the pronoun, like this,

    2. When a snake is hunting, it is very careful.

    In 2. "hunting" functions as part of a verb, not a verb.

    What are your thoughts on "cropping". What tests have you tried?

  6. #16
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: gerunds

    Ok, I rewrote sentence 1:

    1. When I go hunting, remembering ammunition for the gun is important.

    Is "remembering" a participle functioning as a adverb?
    The same as "hunting" phrase does?

    I already showed my analysis for "cropping" a couple of responses back.

    My final result determined that "cropping" was a gerund functioning as a noun.
    Am I correct?

    I also read that any "-ing" word that occurs right after a preposition is a gerund functioning as a noun. Are there other "rules" that are already known, like that one, that makes identification of "-ing" words easier?

  7. #17
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    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    1. When I go hunting, remembering ammunition for the gun is important.

    Is "remembering" a participle functioning as a adverb? The same as "hunting" phrase does?
    1. is still incorrect. Now 'remembering' doesn't have a subject. Let's try,

    Remembering to bring ammunition when you go hunting is important.

    The underlined portion functions as the subject of the sentence, so that makes 'Remembering' a gerund. The word 'hunting' answers the question Where?

    Q: When you go where?
    A: Hunting.

    Quote Originally Posted by nmn216
    I already showed my analysis for "cropping" a couple of responses back. My final result determined that "cropping" was a gerund functioning as a noun. Am I correct?

    The problem started cropping up years ago.

    "cropping" can not be an adverb.
    "cropping" is not an adjective.
    "cropping up" is a phrasal verb, I believe. object = "ago"?
    "cropping" is a gerund?

    I think "cropping" in this case is a gerund.
    Well, if cropping were a gerund, that would make it a subject or an object. Now subjects and objects are integral parts of a sentence, so you can't leave them out of the sentence, but with our example, cropping can be omitted:

    A. The problem started up years ago.
    B. The problem started years ago.

    If a word can be omitted without changing the basic meaning of the sentence, then it functions as modification.

    Quote Originally Posted by nmn216
    I also read that any "-ing" word that occurs right after a preposition is a gerund functioning as a noun. Are there other "rules" that are already known, like that one, that makes identification of "-ing" words easier?
    Well, just the distributions we've discussed so far.

    Nouns functions as subjects and objects--either as the object of a verb or as the object of a preposition.

    Participles function as adjectives, as part of a verb, and as adverbs.

    To find out what function ING plays, ask the question:

    What (Gerund/noun)
    What kind of (Participle/Adjective)
    Why, How, Where, When (Participle/Adverb)
    BE + ING (Participle/Part of a Verb)


  8. #18
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: gerunds

    If a word can be omitted without changing the basic meaning of the sentence, then it functions as modification.
    Does that mean if the "cropping" word is not omitted then "cropping" would be a adjective?

  9. #19
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    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    Does that mean if the "cropping" word is not omitted then "cropping" would be a adjective?
    Well, no. Actually, what I was hoping you'd see is that 'cropping' functions as part of the verb 'started'; that is, it's not a participle, a BE +ING form, but rather an object, a gerund, which you had guessed correctly, but hadn't explained why.

    In English several verbs take a gerund as an object. Click here for a printable version of such a list

    In short,

    "playing" in 1), even though it comes after BE, is not a verb. The sentence structure shows us that 'playing basketball' renames 'favorite fantasy'. Nouns rename nouns, and nouns that end in ING are called gerunds, so 'playing' in 1) is a gerund.

    1) Her favorite fantasy is playing basketball.

    "surprising" in 2), even though is comes after BE, is not a verb. The sentence structure shows us that 'surprising' modifies 'Everything'. Adjectives modify nouns, and adjectives that end in ING are called participles, which makes 'surprising' in 2) a participle.

    2) Everything you do is surprising.

    Sentence 3) is an example of a verb that takes a gerund as its object.

    3) She went running to the store.

    Note, The verb BE takes a participle as its object, whereas a non-BE verb, as shown in the printable list about, takes a gerund as its object.

    In sum,

    Gerunds function as subjects and as objects: as the object of a preposition and as the object of a verb (e.g., went, started).

  10. #20
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: gerunds

    Sentence 3) is an example of a verb that takes a gerund as its object.

    3) She went running to the store.
    I thought it was determined that "running" was a participle functioning as a adverb in that sentence, not a gerund.

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