Verbals, Appositives, Prepositional Phrase

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  • Topic: Participle, Gerund, Adjective
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VERBAL - a word formed from a verb but functioning as a different part of speech. Types of Verbals
Participles
A participle is a verb form used as an adjective to modify nouns and pronouns. The following sentence contains both a present and a past participle: The children, crying and exhausted, were guided out of the collapsed mine. Crying is a present participle, formed by adding -ing to the present form of the verb (cry). Exhausted is a past participle, formed by adding -ed to the present form of the verb (exhaust). Both participles modify the subject, children. All present participles end in -ing. (A verb form--made by adding -ing to the base form--that functions as an adjective. Present participles are the only verb forms that are completely regular. The present participle is used with a form of the auxiliary be to express the progressive aspect.)

The past participles of all regular verbs end in -ed. (A verb form--made by adding -ing to the base form--that functions as an adjective. Present participles are the only verb forms that are completely regular. The present participle is used with a form of the auxiliary be to express the progressive aspect.) However, irregular verbs have various past participle endings (for instance, thrown. ridden, built, and gone). A participial phrase is made up of a participle and its modifiers. A participle may be followed by an object, an adverb, a prepositional phrase, an adverb clause, or any combination of these. In this sentence, for example, the participial phrase consists of a present participle (holding), an object (the torch), and an adverb (steadily): Holding the torch steadily, Merdine approached the monster.

In the next sentence, the participial phrase consists of a present participle (making), an object (a great ring), and a prepositional phrase (of white light): Merdine waved the torch over her head, making a great ring of white light. Gerunds

A traditional grammatical term for a verbal that ends in -ing and functions as a noun. Adjective: gerundial. A gerund with its objects, complements, and modifiers is called agerund phrase or simply a noun phrase.

A gerund is a verb form ending in -ing that functions in a sentence as a noun. Although both the present participle and the gerund are formed by adding -ing to a verb, note that the participle does the job of an adjective while the gerund does the job of a noun. Compare the verbals in these two sentences:

The children, crying and exhausted, were guided out of the collapsed mine. Crying will not get you anywhere.
Whereas the participle crying modifies the subject in the first sentence, the gerund Crying is the subject of the second sentence. Infinitives
A verbal--usually preceded by the particle to--that can function as anoun, an adjective, or an adverb. Adjective: infinitival.

An infinitive is a verb form--often preceded by the particle to--that can function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Compare the verbals in these two sentences: I don't like crying in public unless I'm getting paid for it. I don't like to cry in public unless I'm getting paid for it. In the first sentence, the gerund crying serves as the direct object. In the second sentence, the infinitive to cry performs the same function.

Exercise: Identifying Verbals
1. The children's singing and laughing woke me up.

2. Merdine likes to dance in the rain.

3. There are many ways of breaking a heart.

4. A broken heart will mend over time.

5. "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city." (George Burns)

6. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.

7. "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying." (Woody Allen)

8. "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying." (Woody Allen)

9. "It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail." (Gore Vidal)

10....
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