Headlines - Gerund

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Nightmare85

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Hello,
This could be a bit more complex.
In headlines I often read such things:
(Imaginary examples)
Three years old boy driving a car.
Man eating food on the moon.
Soldiers showing new dangerous weapons.


It's about the gerund.
Is this some special gerund?
I thought:
- adding an is or an are = wrong, or at least not necessary
- using Simple Present = wrong,
or at least not necessary

Maybe this gerund does not say anything about the time.

I hope you can understand my question although it could be a bit strange.

Cheers!
 

TheParser

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Dec 8, 2009
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Hello,
This could be a bit more complex.
In headlines I often read such things:
(Imaginary examples)
Three years old boy driving a car.
Man eating food on the moon.
Soldiers showing new dangerous weapons.

It's about the gerund.
Is this some special gerund?
I thought:
- adding an is or an are = wrong, or at least not necessary
- using Simple Present = wrong, or at least not necessary

Maybe this gerund does not say anything about the time.A three

I hope you can understand my question although it could be a bit strange.

Cheers!
***NOT A TEACHER***Nightmare 85: You have asked a great question. (1) Newspapers, as you know, often delete words to save space in headlines and captions (words under the pictures). My books tell me that those -ing words in your sentences are not called "gerunds." As you know, gerunds are used like nouns. But those -ing words in your sentences are acting like adjectives. For example: "driving a car" tells us about the "three-year-old boy." So the books tell us to call the -ing word a participle. By the way, you are right: if you add a form of "be," it becomes the progressive/continuous: A three-year-old boy is/was driving a car. Thank you.
 

sarat_106

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Mar 19, 2008
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English Teacher
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Oriya
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***NOT A TEACHER***Nightmare 85: You have asked a great question. (1) Newspapers, as you know, often delete words to save space in headlines and captions (words under the pictures). My books tell me that those -ing words in your sentences are not called "gerunds." As you know, gerunds are used like nouns. But those -ing words in your sentences are acting like adjectives. For example: "driving a car" tells us about the "three-year-old boy." So the books tell us to call the -ing word a participle. By the way, you are right: if you add a form of "be," it becomes the progressive/continuous: A three-year-old boy is/was driving a car. Thank you.
Three years old boy driving a car.
Man eating food on the moon.
Soldiers showing new dangerous weapons.

You are absolutely right. These expressions are basically phrases. The ‘ing’ form of a verb, also known as present participle can be used as an adjective or a noun. When used as noun it is called gerund and as an adjective it modifies a noun. Here the participle forms are used as participle phrases (underlined) to modify the preceding nouns such as boy, man and soldiers respectively..
 
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