Would you please, tell me how to explain that the -ing forms in the following sentences are gerunds:
My goal is studying physics in England.
Sarah's dream was travelling to China.
Processing food is keeping it away from spoiling.
Is there any critreion by which the distinction between gerunds and present continuous form is easily made????
Many thanks in advance.
If 'was travelling' were the present continuous of the verb 'to travel', the noun 'dream' would be the doer of the action expressed by that verb. In other words, 'dream' would be understood as something moving in the direction of China, which is absurd. The idea of the sentence is that the content of Sarah's dream was a trip to China. So, 'What was Sarah's dream?' 'Sarah's dream was travelling to China.' 'Travelling' combines nominal and verbal features and is used as a predicative in this sentence. Therefore, it's a gerund.