A gerund phrase will begin with a gerund, an ing word, and might include other modifiers and/or objects. Gerund phrases always function as nouns, so they will be subjects, subject complements, or objects in the sentence. The Gerund Phrase
Examples: Eating ice cream on a windy day can be a messy experience if you have long, untamed hair. Eating ice cream on a windy day = subject of the verb can be. A more disastrous activity for long-haired people is blowing giant bubble gum bubbles with the car windows down . Blowing giant bubble gum bubbles with the car windows down = subject complement of the verb is.
Wild food adventures require getting your hair cut to a short, safe length. Getting your hair cut to a short, safe length = direct object of the verb require . Be careful not to mistake a gerund phrase for a present participle phrase.
Gerund and present participle phrases are easy to confuse because they both begin with an ing word. The difference is that a gerund phrase will always function as a noun while a present participle phrase describes ( adjective ) another word in the sentence .
Jamming too much clothing into a washing machine will result in disaster. Jamming too much clothing into a washing machine = gerund phrase, the subject of the verb will result. Jamming too much clothing into the washing machine , Aamir saved $1.25 but had to tolerate the curious stares of other laundry patrons as his machine bucked and rumbled with the heavy load. Jamming too much clothing into the washing machine = present participle phrase describing Aamir.
Bernard hates buttering toast with a fork . Buttering toast with a fork = gerund phrase, the direct object of the verb hates. Buttering toast with a fork , Bernard vowed that he would finally wash the week's worth of dirty dishes piled in the sink. Buttering toast with a fork = present participle phrase describing Bernard.
My dog's most annoying habit is hogging the middle of the bed. Hogging the middle of the bed = gerund phrase, the subject complement of the linking verb is. Last night I had to sleep on the couch because I found my dog Floyd hogging the middle of the bed. Hogging the middle of the bed = present participle phrase describing Floyd.
Gerunds are nouns that look like ing-ending verbs. They can be both subjects and objects. Gerund as a subject: Cooking is a very enjoyable activity. Gerund as an object: My father loves cooking . Gerunds are usually not plural. You cannot say Playings are fun. For a list of verbs that are followed by gerunds, For a list of common go + gerund combinations . For all charts that relate to gerunds and infinitives
In general, when a noun is required in a sentence, a gerund can be used. For example X is easier than Y . Working is easier than studying
Participle Phrase Recognition Practice A participle phrase consists of a participle and its accompanying words. The whole phrase will modify a noun or pronoun. The accompanying words can be: prepositional phrase (s), adverbs, and a direct object.
1. There is the present participial phrase [which usually employs an "-ing" form of a verb (like the gerund) within it.] [ Beginning ] Looking at the recent issue of Cosmo , the man who always sits in the back of the bus began to hum to himself a song from a strip tease act. [ End ] Dogs lick themselves all over, thinking they are superior to men. Usage: This form is usually used when the action within the participial phrase is still ongoing.
2. There is the past participial phrase [which usually employs an "-ed" form of a verb (similar to the participle) within it.] [ Beginning ] Attached to a mother that only a son could love, Jerry, the newborn, suckling pig, felt a profound attraction to ugliness come over him. [ End ] The lonely caddy became flustered, scared that his affections for the old man's daughter would be noticed. Usage: This form is usually used when the action within the participial phrase is completed.
Examples: Sitting in his office, the President called the Vice-president. Sitting in his office is a participial phrase that modifies the noun, President. In his office is a prepositional phrase modifying the participle, sitting , and answers the question, "where sitting?". Thus, it is an adverb prepositional phrase. Fearing failure, the student was very anxious about the test. Fearing failure is the participial phrase modifying student . Failure is the direct object of the participle, fearing , and answers the question, "fearing what?" Jen, waving good-bye, drove away.
Waving good-bye is the participial phrase modifying Jen. Good-bye is a direct object of the participle, waving . Bill, steadily gaining confidence, was able to parallel park the car. Steadily gaining confidence is the participial phrase modifying Bill . Steadily is an adverb, modifying the participle, gaining . Confidence is the direct object of the participle.
Locate the participle in each sentence. Type your answer into the box below the sentence. 1. We should help to rebuild houses destroyed by the storm. 2. Wearing a lei around her neck, the hula dancer moved to the rhythms of the ukulele. 3. Books placed onto the cart will be put back when the library closes at 5:00 p.m. 4. As of tomorrow, anyone carrying a suitcase heavier than thirty pounds will not be allowed on the train.
5. The student carried her completed exam to the instructor. 6. Be mindful of the people sitting over there. 7. Announcements posted on this bulletin board must receive approval from the dean. 8. My coffee mug, chipped from years of use, still means a great deal to me. 9. The falling leaves remind us that winter is coming. 10. Terrified by the series of events, the child sat on the ground and wept.
Exercise Directions: Find the participial phrases in the following sentences. Write down the participial phrase and then give the noun or pronoun it modifies. 1. Working in the lab, the scientist created a robot. 2. Early films were still pictures projected on a wall. 3. Moving pictures came later. 4. Food sealed in cans was given to the campers. 5. Quickly frozen food is necessary to preserve the freshness. 6. Coming into the room, the boy threw his books on the desk. 7. Joe, searching for the code, was really excited. 8. The store sold packaged bakery. 9. Pork and beans canned in tomato sauce is my favorite. 10. Relaxing on his back patio, Jeff fell asleep.
Why use the participial phrase? The participial phrase is just another way to write sentences with compound verbs in them. It provides a variety of sentence style. Compound verb : Cecil claims he lost his ticket for the doggie erotica show and insists the ticket taker let him in. Participial phrase : Claiming he lost his ticket for the doggie erotica show , Cecil insists the ticket taker let him in. Compound verb : He dragged the basket out of the fire, lifted the Pekingese by the scruff of its neck and kissed it full on its tiny, pink lips. Participial phrase : Dragging the basket out of the fire , he lifted the Pekingese by the scruff of its neck and kissed it full on its tiny, pink lips.
[Note: The action that occurs in the main clause is the one said to be emphasized. The participial phrase is said to be subordinated to the main clause.] Participial phrase (compound) : Dragging the basket out of the fire and lifting the Pekingese by the scruff of its neck , he kissed it full on its tiny, pink lips.
Exercise 2 . Combine these sentences by using past and present participial phrases. [Remember: the participial phrase can come before or after the main phrase.] 1. A. Our waitress was costumed in a kimono. B. She had painted her face white. C. She had arranged her hair in an upswept lacquered beehive. Costumed in a kimono, our waitress painted her face white and arranged her hair in an upswept lacquered beehive. Arranging her hair in an upswept lacquered beehive, our waitress painted her face white and costumed herself in a kimono.
2. A. He walked up to the pitcher's mound. B. He dug his toe into the ground. C. He swung his arm around backward and forward. D. Then he threw the ball and struck him out. Walking up the pitcher's mound, he dug his toe into the ground, swung his arm abackward and forward, threw the ball, and struck him out. Walking up to the pitcher's mound and digging his toe into the ground, he swung his arm backward and forward, threw the ball and struck him out.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is a 184-mile waterway constructed in the 1800's. B. It was a major source of transportation for goods during the Civil War era. Constructed in the 1800's, The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is a 184-mile waterway that was a major source of transportation for goods during the Civil War era.
A. The first football card set was released by the Goudey Gum Company in 1933. B. The set featured only three football players. C. They were Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, and Knute Rockne. Released by the Goudey Gum Company in 1933, the first football card set featured only three players: Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, and Knute Rockne.
Underline the verbal in each sentence and indicate whether it is a gerund (G), a participle (P) or an infinitive (I). 1. Jennifer’s goal was to graduate from the University of Houston-Victoria. 2. John’s favorite outdoor activity is skiing. 3. Going on a cruise and climbing Mt. Rushmore were Rachel’s summer vacation plans. 4. Dancing with the famous instructor, Dillon felt like a star. 5. Animals dumped in the streets often become a menace. 6. The girls love to swim at Julie’s house. 7. Watching the birds is one of Mr. Martin’s hobbies. 8. Janice, baking 10 cakes for the festival, accidentally burned one of them. 9. Working out daily should be an essential part of American life. 10. I have a book to return to the library.
Instructions: Identify the underlined phrase or clause. 1. Steven's book, which made Oprah's Book Club this month, is not in any store s. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 2. While preparing for the speech , Joe couldn't help but worry about his entrance. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 3. Ahmad wants to visit Quebec , but he will need to wait for his next vacation. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 4. Hoping for a miracle , the doctors continued the surgery. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 5. Our boss supports donating time to charity . a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase
6. Melanie hoped to find a cure for the disease, but she tried to be realistic. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 7. After the banquet , the cooks will take a well-deserved break. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 8. Joey is hoping for a change to play pool with his uncle. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 9. The dog that Sam chose from the litter seems to be healthy. a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase 10. Sam Smith, who recently spoke to the youth group, excels at motivating young people . a. prepositional phrase b. participial phrase c. gerund phrase d. infinitive phrase
+Inf help, make, let + inf with to agree, appear, arrange, ask, attempt, choose, dare, decide, demand, deserve, expect, fail, grow, happen, hasten, help, hope, hurry, learn, long, make (passive), manage, neglect, offer, pay, plan, pledge, pretend, promise, refuse, resolve, seek, seem, struggle, swear, threaten, vow, want, wish + Gerund appreciate, avoid, burst out, can't stand, contemplate, delay, deny, detest, dislike, endure, enjoy, escape, excuse, face, fancy, feel like, finish, give up, involve, it's no good/use, keep on, leave off, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, put off, resent, risk, spend/waste time, suggest, want (coll.) + inf or gerund hear, see, watch