AdjectivesGerundParticiplesVerbals

Gerund & Present Participle

Gerund & Present Participle


What is a gerund?

Those pesky gerunds and present participles! Practice … practice … practice …

  • A verbal that ends in ING
  • A verbal that is being used as a noun.

What does that mean?

The gerund can be replaced by a noun. A noun can be replaced by a gerund.

  • Cabbage is good for you. Cabbage is a noun.
    • Swimming is good for you. Swimming is a gerund being used as a noun.
  • They like swimming. Swimming is a gerund. Swimming is being used as a noun.
    • They like books. Books is a noun.
  • My favourite hobby is swimming. Swimming is a gerund.
    • My favourite hobby is art. Art is a noun.

We use the gerund if a verb comes after a preposition

  • Thank you for attending my concert.
  • She is really good at gardening.
  • They decided against driving to the dinner party.
  • They avoided the storm by leaving a day early.
  • We were really tired after skiing.
  • I received an award for my writing.

Phrasal verbs:

the gerund is used after the preposition.

  • A phrasal verb is a verb followed by a preposition or adverb.
    • She is looking forward to meeting you.
    • They will get around to taking their car to the garage.
    • He took up swimming last year.
    • We will look into taking a vacation next month.

Tip: Sometimes the meaning changes!

  • I stopped listening to the radio. I am not listening to the radio anymore.
  • I stopped to listen to the radio. I am listening to the radio now. I stopped what I was doing and now I am listening to the radio.
  • I forgot to tell you about the new TV show. I did not tell you about the new TV show. I forgot to tell you. I did not remember to tell you.
  • I forgot telling you about the new TV show. I told you about the new TV show. I forgot that I told you.
  • I remembered to tell you about the party. I told you about the party. I remembered to tell you. I did not forget to tell you.
  • I remember telling you about the party. I told you about the party. I remember that I told you about the party.

What is a present participle?


The present participle as adjective

  • The book is green. Green is an adjective.
  • The book is interesting. Interesting is an adjective.
  • It is a sparkling wine. Sparkling is an adjective.
  • It is a good wine. Good is an adjective.
  • Her manager gave her a glowing performance review. Glowing is an adjective.
  • His manager gave him an amazing performance review. Amazing is an adjective.
  • Her manager gave her a fabulous performance review. Fabulous is an adjective.

Tip: PRESENT and PAST PARTICIPLES as adjectives.

  • The new project was interesting. Present participle.
  • I was interested in the new project. Past participle.

When do we use infinitives?

Some verbs are only followed by the gerund and some verbs are only followed by the infinitive. Some are followed by either.

  • I like swimming. I like to swim.
  • I enjoy reading. We cannot say I enjoy to read.
  • I decided to swim. We cannot say I decided swimming.

Tip: Some verbs are followed by either, BUT the meaning changes!

  • I stopped listening to the radio. I am not listening to the radio anymore.
    • I stopped to listen to the radio. I am listening to the radio now.
  • I forgot telling you about the new TV show. I told you about the new TV show. I forgot that I told you.
    • I forgot to tell you about the new TV show. I did not tell you about the new TV show. I forgot to tell you.
  • I remember telling you about the party. I remember that I told you about the party.
    • I remembered to tell you about the party. I told you about the party. I remembered to tell you.

Try the gerund / present participle quiz!

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