The Constant Confusion between Gerunds, Present Participles, and Progressive Verbs
Within English grammar, a verbal is a form of a verb that is used as another part of speech in a sentence. There are three specific kinds of verbals in grammar and they are; gerunds, participles, and infinitives. Gerunds are words that end in [-ing] and that also function as nouns in sentences. The term verbal indicates that a gerund is based on a verb and therefore expresses an action or a state of being. Since gerunds function as nouns, they tend to occupy some of the same positions in a sentence that ordinarily a noun would. In a sentence, gerunds can act as either of four things; the subject, direct objects, subject complement, or object of preposition. When identifying gerunds as the subjects of a sentence, it may be difficult at first to point them out. For example, the following sentences display gerunds as the subject: “1.Learning begins in infancy.
2. Good study habits begin in infancy.
3. Decorating our house has been a family tradition at Christmas for generations.”(NVCC)
In sentence number one, the word “learning” plays the role of the subject in the sentence. Some issues that may arise with sentence one is that because of how it looks, individuals may mistake “learning” as a verb. In the second sentence, the word “habits” is the subject, and it is easily recognized by most individuals as a noun. Now in both sentences one and two, it should be highlighted that the use of the gerund acting as a subject, is very identical to the use of a typical noun. Sentence three however, is a slightly different case. “Decorating the house” is the subject of the sentence because it is the subject of the verb “has been”. To make it easier to recognize the gerund phrase “Decorating our house” as the subject, one could ask the question “what has been a family tradition?” A gerund like the one in sentence three begins a phrase that, when taken...
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