Words that are formed with verbs but perform the function of a noun are called Gerunds. It is very simple to identify a Gerund as each Gerund is a verb ‘-ing’ (Present participle) at its end. Gerund phrases can also be called a phrase that consists of a gerund along with any objects or modifiers related to it. The function of a gerund sentence is just like a noun, it can also perform the function of a subject, an object, or even that of a predicative nominative. Let us look at the basics of gerund.

One of the basics of gerund is that the gerund 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, it is used as a noun.

Let us understand with some examples:

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

In both of the examples given above, the words that are ending with ‘-ing’ are performing the action of nouns. In the first sentence, ‘drawing’ is a predicate nominative and also a word or a group of words that completes the linking verb, thus renaming the subject. In the second sentence, the gerund ‘eating’ acts as the object of the verb ‘suggests’.

You can identify Gerund as a singular word or even with other words, making a gerund phrase. Altogether, the phrase performs the function of a single noun.

Ensure that you don’t confuse Gerund phrases with participle phrases. When it is used as a modifier that acts as an adverb or adjective, it becomes a participle phrase. Gerund phrases can also function as objects in a sentence. It can also be replaced with a simpler object noun in order to confirm that it is really an object.

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

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