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    #1

    Can a gerund verb act as an adjective?

    This is a quick question that I have. We're studying reduced relative clauses, or contact clauses, in class. One activity has students make contact clauses. For example:

    The boy smoking is Takeshi.

    However, some students made statements like this:

    The smoking boy is Takeshi.

    I wanted to know if this was ok? Can you use the gerund of a verb to successfuly turn itself into an adjective, or does this only work with certain gerunds (e.g. boring).

    Thanks.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can a gerund verb act as an adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by dshaw002 View Post
    This is a quick question that I have. We're studying reduced relative clauses, or contact clauses, in class. One activity has students make contact clauses. For example:

    The boy smoking is Takeshi.

    However, some students made statements like this:

    The smoking boy is Takeshi.

    I wanted to know if this was ok? Can you use the gerund of a verb to successfuly turn itself into an adjective, or does this only work with certain gerunds (e.g. boring).

    Thanks.
    A smoking boy is one who's about to burst into flames!

    b

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    #3

    Re: Can a gerund verb act as an adjective?

    Well, how about sleeping boy. Is it ok in this case, and we can treat gerunds on a case by case basis?

    For example:

    The boy sleeping is Takeshi.

    and

    The sleeping boy is Takeshi.

    Are these both ok?

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can a gerund verb act as an adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by dshaw002 View Post
    Well, how about sleeping boy. Is it ok in this case, and we can treat gerunds on a case by case basis?

    For example:

    The boy sleeping is Takeshi.

    and

    The sleeping boy is Takeshi.

    Are these both ok?
    Yes, and gerunds can behave as adjectives.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Can a gerund verb act as an adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by dshaw002 View Post
    Well, how about sleeping boy. Is it ok in this case, and we can treat gerunds on a case by case basis?

    For example:

    The boy sleeping is Takeshi.

    and

    The sleeping boy is Takeshi.

    Are these both ok?
    Yes, but this isn't the gerund (which is a noun). You're making these adjectives out of the present participal - which has the same form as the gerund.

    'Sleeping' is the present participal here:
    The boy (who is) sleeping is Takeshi.
    Takeshi is sleeping.
    The sleeping boy is Takeshi. (participial adjective).

    The following 'sleeping' is a gerund, a noun.
    We have to do something about Takeshi's sleeping in class.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Can a gerund verb act as an adjective?

    That's why I like the old gerund/ gerundive distinction.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Can a gerund verb act as an adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by dshaw002 View Post
    Well, how about sleeping boy. Is it ok in this case, and we can treat gerunds ['-ing words'?] on a case by case basis?

    ...
    - but 'case by case' can apply to a single word in different contexts:

    "A boy who is smoking" but "A smoking gun"

    b

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