Gerunds - Parts of Speech

Gerunds are a part of the verb that ends in “ing.”  They can be used as a verb or they can be used as a noun.

Because this part of speech has two different and identifiable uses, it is similar to a participle.  (The participle can be used as a verb or an adjective.)

  • This part of speech is part verb and part noun.
  • A participle is part verb and part adjective.
  • Both these parts of speech end in “ing.”


Think of a verb with an “ing” ending.  How can you use it as a noun?

  • The verb – sing
  • Add “ing” – singing


The part of speech depends on the use:

  • As a verb – The choir is singing in the church.
  • As a noun – We could hear singing in the church. (gerund)
  • As an adjective – The singing bird was a lovely addition to the breakfast ambiance. (participle)






Gerunds as nouns


A noun may be used as a subject in a sentence.  See the subjects here:

  • Singing is an excellent pastime for senior citizens.
  • Swimming can be either an individual or a team sport.
  • Listening better should be everyone’s goal.

It is clear above that these special words function as both nouns and subjects.  But are they really verbs?  Yes, because there are "modifiers" that answer certain questions after the verb:

  • Singing loudly can become annoying to the listeners.  (how?)
  • Swimming in a competitive club can be either an individual or a team sport. (where?)
  • Listening conscientiously and well should be everyone's goal. (how?)


A noun may be used as an object of a verb in a sentence.  See the objects here:

  • She enjoys singing in the choir.
  • He likes to watch swimming in the Olympics.
  • They lobbied to have swimming added to the school program.


...as verbs

But are they verbs too?  Yes, because there are "modifiers" that answer certain questions after the verb:

  • She enjoys singing daily in the choir. (when?)
  • He likes to watch swimming in the Olympics. (where?)
  • They lobbied to have swimming competitively added to the school program. (how?)


NOTE:  This part of speech could also be used after a “being” or "copula" verb.  In that case, it would be a "subject complement."


Summary

Summary

Learning about parts of speech will help you become skilled as a writer.  It's a good thing to know when and how to use words, phrases, and clauses correctly.

  • Learn to identify correct usage. 
  • Learn to pick out incorrect usage. 
  • Improve your skills as a business writer.

Strive for success!


LINK - Click this link to find an excellent course in business writing.

LINK - Return from Gerunds to Part of Speech