What are gerunds or verbal nouns?

Study the following sentence:

Teaching is a verb ending in -ing. At the same time, it is the subject of the verb is, and hence function as a noun. (Only nouns or noun equivalents can serve as subjects and objects.) Such a form of the verb ending in -ing and used as a noun is called a gerund or a verbal noun.

Uses of the gerund

The gerund has the following uses.

As the subject of a verb

A gerund can be the subject of a verb.

As subject complement

A gerund can serve as the complement of a subject.

As the object of a verb

A gerund can be the object of a verb.

As the object of a preposition

A gerund can be the object of a preposition.

Gerunds as simple nouns

Many gerunds are now treated as simple nouns. Most of them take articles before them and form plurals with -s.

Certain verbs and adjectives are followed by a preposition. We cannot use an infinitive after them. Instead, we use an -ing form.

Other verbs and adjectives that are usually followed by a preposition are: interested in, keen on, absent from, desirous of, despair of, fond of, confident of, insist on, stop from, abstain from and prohibit from.

Sections in this article

Prepositional phrases
Verbal phrases
Participle phrases
Infinitive phrases
Gerund phrases
Adjective clauses
Noun clauses
-ing Forms

See Also

Exclamations exercise
Exclamations: common errors
Common mistakes with pronouns - Part 2
Common errors with adjectives - part 1
Common errors with adjectives - part 2

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