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A gerund is nothing but words that are formed by using verbs but they perform the function of a noun. You can easily identify a Gerund as each of it has a verb ‘-ing’ (Present participle) at its end. Gerund phrases are also called a phrase which is made of a gerund along with any objects or modifiers that are relevant to them. It is just like a noun that a gerund functions. It can also perform the function of a subject, an object.

Basics of the gerund

One of the basics of the gerund is that it is pronounced as ‘Jer-und’ and by definition, it means, “An English noun formed from a verb by adding -ing’ that is a present participle but it performs the function of a noun.”


  • My hobby is drawing.
  • My pediatrician suggests eating veggies in my daily diet.

In the examples given above, the words that are ending with ‘-ing’ are playing the role of nouns. In the first sentence, ‘drawing’ is a predicate nominative and also a word that completes the linking verb, and it also renames the subject simultaneously. In the second sentence, the gerund ‘eating’ is acting as the object of the verb ‘suggests’.


By making a gerund phrase, you can easily identify Gerund as a singular word or even with other words. Altogether, a single noun is a function performed by the phrase.

Ensure that you don’t confuse Gerund phrases with participle phrases as both are different. It is a participle phrase when it is used as a modifier that acts as an adverb or adjective. Apart from this, Gerund phrases can also function as objects in a sentence.

There is something also known as Dangling Gerunds and dangling participles that are similar to each other. Unlike dangling participles, dangling gerunds are somewhat less consecutive, however, they can crop whenever gerunds or gerund phrases act like objects of a preposition such as by, with, after, before.

Quiz on Gerund