Distinguishing Gerunds & Participles

In the English language, verbs can sometimes be used as other parts of speech, known as verbals. There are three types of verbals: Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives. Gerunds and Participles can be confusing due to their similarities, as both are formed by adding ‘ing’ to a verb and indicate an action or state of being. This article will highlight the differences between Gerunds and Participles.

Key Takeaways

  • A gerund is a verbal noun derived from a verb but functions as a noun.
  • A participle is a verbal that functions as an adjective.
  • Both gerunds and participles are formed by adding ‘ing’ to verbs, but past participles have the verb with an added ‘ed’ instead of ‘ing’.

In the case of Participles, adding ‘ing’ to a verb makes it function as an adjective. For example:
– The singing parrot became the center of attraction at the gathering.
– The wounded soldier showed the courage to guard the post overnight.

In these sentences, “singing” and “wounded” function as both verbs and adjectives. “Singing” is a present participle, while “wounded” is a past participle.

On the other hand, a Gerund is a word that functions as a noun while still being a verb. This is achieved by adding ‘ing’ to a verb. For example:
– Johnny likes eating pastries.
– In some countries, drinking in public places is prohibited.

In these sentences, “eating” and “drinking” function as both verbs and nouns. They are derived from verbs but function as nouns, which is why they are referred to as verbal nouns.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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