Lesson 10: Gerunds
In this section, we will be discussing gerunds, their definition and different uses.
- To define gerunds
- To discuss the proper way to use gerunds
- To use these verbs in sentences
In this lesson, we’ll be taking up gerunds. Gerunds are unique less for how they are structured or formed and more for how they function within a sentence. In this section, we’ll be taking a look at how these verbs act and why it’s important for us to know how to use them when we write sentences.
A gerund is a verb in its present progressive form (–ing) which acts like a noun. It expresses an uncompleted, generalized action.
It’s very important for us to know how to use gerunds in a sentence because they are needed for instances when we’ll be referring to certain actions or processes (i.e. the planting of mangoes). We also need to be able to identify when a sentence we’re reading is talking about a certain process and when we’re reading an incomplete sentence. It’s important to know the difference between seeing is believing and seeing is paper bag.
When using gerunds in a sentence, a possessive noun or pronoun usually (but not always) comes before it. A phrase which contains a gerund is called a gerundial phrase. Below are a couple of examples of gerunds used in sentences.
Dancing is her first love.
Her singing is incredible.
I hope you don’t mind my using the comfort room.
More specifically, gerunds can be used as subjects of a sentence, objects of verbs or prepositions or as subject complements. Below are examples of all three uses.
- Swimming is excellent cardio. (subject)
- She likes painting her nails. (object)
- Her favorite hobby is collecting stamps. (subject complement)
Gerunds help simplify sentences and paragraphs. Instead of having to say the art form of dance we can just say dancing—and so on and so forth. In this section, we discussed their different uses and looked at different examples of gerunds. We also discussed that the importance of studying gerunds: to be able to tell the difference when a verb acts as a noun’s action and when it acts a noun in itself. This helps us understand how to construct our sentences in line with what we mean to say. It also helps us understand the other things that we hear or read.
Our next lesson will be tackling infinitives. Keep reading and you’ll learn about their definitions, how to use them in a sentence and why it’s important to know how to use them. We’ll also talk about how they behave within a sentence and how to identify infinitive phrases.