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    #1

    Question gerunds

    Is the -ing form always a gerund when it it is followed by a preposition?

    In wikipedia's definition for gerund it says (when talking of verb patterns with the gerund) that prepositions are often followed by a gerund. Can this mean that sometimes an -ing form verb that is not a gerund can be used?

    In Grammar for English Language Teachers, Martin Parrott uses the 'the -ing form' when talking about using them after prepositions, why does he say "this has to be an -ing form", rather than 'this has to be a gerund'?

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    #2

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by saucer View Post
    Is the -ing form always a gerund when it it is followed by a preposition?
    Hello there,
    Gerunds are a funny subject that keep raising their ugly little head.
    If you have time, try and search through some of the older posts, you will find lots of stuff on gerunds that will possibly be able to help you.

    How about: I was walking by the river, when suddenly .........

    Here we have it as the past continuous followed by a preposition. (I think)

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    #3

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by indonesia View Post
    Hello there,
    Gerunds are a funny subject that keep raising their ugly little head.
    If you have time, try and search through some of the older posts, you will find lots of stuff on gerunds that will possibly be able to help you.

    How about: I was walking by the river, when suddenly .........

    Here we have it as the past continuous followed by a preposition. (I think)
    Yes I believe your sentence is right. You've used an -ing form followed by a preposition, and which is a participle - not a gerund - hence answering the poster's question in the negative.

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    #4

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes I believe your sentence is right. You've used an -ing form followed by a preposition, and which is a participle - not a gerund - hence answering the poster's question in the negative.
    "I was walking by the river, when sudenly...."
    In the above sentence, "walking" is not a (present) participle; it's a continuous tense verb.
    Present participles are adjectives, as in 'The man walking by the river is my uncle.'

    In both sentences, "walking' is followed by a preposition and is not a gerund.

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    #5

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    "I was walking by the river, when sudenly...."
    In the above sentence, "walking" is not a (present) participle; it's a continuous tense verb.
    Present participles are adjectives, as in 'The man walking by the river is my uncle.'

    In both sentences, "walking' is followed by a preposition and is not a gerund.
    Grammar must have changed a lot since I learnt it.
    "was walking" might be described as a continuous tense verb.
    "was walking" to me is a combination of the past tense of "to be" plus the present participle "walking".

    This is from Collins Cobuild English Grammar. Also:
    Participle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Present Participle - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com
    and many others.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Grammar must have changed a lot since I learnt it.
    "was walking" might be described as a continuous tense verb.
    "was walking" to me is a combination of the past tense of "to be" plus the present participle "walking".

    This is from Collins Cobuild English Grammar. Also:
    Participle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Present Participle - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com
    and many others.
    I agree, to be continuous tense, the form with -ing must be preceded by the verb "to be".

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    #7

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I agree, to be continuous tense, the form with -ing must be preceded by the verb "to be".
    The current argument is whether the "-ing form" is correctly called the 'present participle' in this case. indonesia and I (and my links) believe it is.

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    #8

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by saucer View Post
    Is the -ing form always a gerund when it it is followed by a preposition?

    In wikipedia's definition for gerund it says (when talking of verb patterns with the gerund) that prepositions are often followed by a gerund. Can this mean that sometimes an -ing form verb that is not a gerund can be used?

    In Grammar for English Language Teachers, Martin Parrott uses the 'the -ing form' when talking about using them after prepositions, why does he say "this has to be an -ing form", rather than 'this has to be a gerund'?
    Using -ing form would include both gerunds and present participles, so if he always uses the term, I presume he is trying to simplify things a bit rather than expect learners to distinguish between these forms. After all, working out whether it's a gerund or participle in 'Interesting as it was...' may be of greater interest to grammarians than learners.

    BTW, although it is usually a gerund after an infinitive, it is not always- you could have a present participle as an adjective if it's a noun phrase:

    I'm not interested in boring books.


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    #9

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The current argument is whether the "-ing form" is correctly called the 'present participle' in this case. indonesia and I (and my links) believe it is.
    'Present participle' is a morphological form of verbs. I think there is a common misunderstanding when people consider the verbal participle, which relates to function, and present participle, which relates to form, to be equal. They are not. In 'I am playing', playing is not a verbal; it is a verb, a main verb in present participle form.

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    #10

    Re: gerunds

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Grammar must have changed a lot since I learnt it.
    Maybe we were taught different things, or at least with a different emphasis. I will expand on 'my' approach to the topic.

    "was walking" might be described as a continuous tense verb. Well it most certainly can be and, from my prior post, you know that that is how I prefer to describe it.
    After all, it expresses a continuous action in the past. So describing "walking" as a continuous tense verb makes more sense to me. After all, it is the main verb of the clause/sentence.

    Otherwise, every -ing verb that isn't a gerund is then by default a present participle.
    And I know that many websites, at least by default, use this definition. But I prefer the definition of "present participle" that says it is a verbal form end in 'ing' and functioning as an adjective. This definition divides verb forms ending in 'ing' into continuous tense verbs, present participles and gerunds. It gives the present participle a crisper more-specific meaning.

    "was walking" to me is a combination of the past tense of "to be" plus the present participle "walking".
    But what is the main verb there?
    It's not "was"; it has to be "walking". So why call "walking" a particple.

    By the definition that makes more sense to me, "was walking" together constitutes a continuous tense verb. That's also what 'indonesia' called it.

    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 09-Feb-2010 at 02:14. Reason: correct spelling

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