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Gerund phrases

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Grammar

A gerund is a form of a verb used as a noun. Gerunds always end in
-ing. They always act as nouns. Gerunds can function as subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, objects of a preposition, predicate nominatives, and appositives. Here are some examples of gerunds:

  • Trespassing is prohibited. (The gerund ‘trespassing’ is the subject.)
  • I love driving a fast car. (The gerund ‘driving’ is the object of the verb ‘love’.)
  • His crime, stealing a policeman’s helmet, was considered serious. (The gerund ‘stealing’ is an appositive in this sentence.)

Like a participle, a gerund can be part of a phrase. Don't confuse gerunds and present participles, because both end in -ing. A gerund functions only as a noun, while a participle functions only as an adjective.

  • Collecting stamps is a hobby of his.
  • I hate the idea of getting old.
  • The thought of failing never entered his head.
  • Our object, collecting a million dollars for the project, cannot be easily fulfilled.

Sections in this article

Prepositional phrases
Verbal phrases
Participle phrases
Infinitive phrases
Gerund phrases

See Also
Adjective clauses
Noun clauses
-ing Forms


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