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    #1

    Gerund and ?

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough tell me the eventual difference between the words in bold in the following three pairs of sentences?

    1.1. All their sayings and doings did not impress him.
    1.2. His saying so did not impress us.

    2.1. He was interrupted by the ringing of the telephone.
    2.2. The telephone stopped ringing.

    3.1. The early coming of spring surprised everubody.
    3.2. Peter’s coming late surprised everybody.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards

    V.

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    #2

    Re: Gerund and ?

    Hello Vil,

    The second form in each case is a gerund, whereas the first form is a verbal noun.

    The gerund generally has the normal functions of a verb (e.g. it can be qualified by an adverb, and can take an object, if transitive), whereas the verbal noun tends to have the functions only of a noun (e.g. it can only be qualified by an adjective).

    Best wishes,

    MrP
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    #3

    Re: Gerund and ?

    Hi Mr.Pedantic,

    Thank you for your clear explanation. Owing to you I made clear my position.

    The gerund should not be confused with the verbal noun, which has the same suffix –ing.

    The verbal noun may be modified by an adjective.

    He (Tom Sawer) took a good scolding about clodding Sid and did not seem to mind it in the least.

    The gerund may be modified by an adverb.

    Drinking, even temperately, was a sin.

    Thank you again.

    Regards

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 25-Jul-2008 at 07:02.

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    #4

    Re: Gerund and ?

    You're welcome!

    Here are two more examples:

    1. Drinking strong liquor immoderately can lead to intoxication.
    2. The immoderate drinking of strong liquor can lead to intoxication.

    Thus "drinking" in #1 displays two characteristics of the gerund of a transitive verb: it can take a direct object, and can be qualified by an adverb.

    "Drinking" in #2, meanwhile, displays three characteristics of a verbal noun: it is preceded by an article; it doesn't take a direct object, even though "drink" is transitive; and it is qualified by an adjective.

    (I should add that some grammars simply call participles, gerunds, and verbal nouns "-ing forms".)

    Best wishes,

    MrP
    ·
    Not a professional ESL teacher.
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