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Like a participle, a gerund can sometimesbe accompanied by other words thatcomplete its meaning.A gerund phrase consists of a gerundaccompanied by an adjective, an adverb, adirect object, or a prepositional phrase.
Examples Wearing tight shoes hurts. (gerund + D.O.) Long-distance running is fun. (adjective + gerund) I like dancing on ice. (gerund + prepositional phrase) Performing alone is his dream. (gerund + adverb)
Gerund phrases, like gerunds alone, function as nouns in asentence. Like a noun, a gerund phrase can be a subject, aD.O., an object of the preposition, or a predicate noun.Subject Preparing for a concert takes time.Direct Object Lane began practicing his flute.Object of Before playing the music, he studiedPreposition it.Predicate His big challenge was walkingNoun onstage.
Be careful not to confuse a gerund phrase with a participial phrase. If the phrase functions as a subject, an object, or a predicate noun in the sentence it is a gerund phrase. If it serves as an adjective, it is a participial phrase.Gerund Phrase: Singing softly was difficult. (subject)Participial Singing softly, he calmed the baby.Phrase:Gerund Phrase We began singing the song. (direct object)Participial The girl singing the song is Pat.Phrase:
Identify each gerund phrase and participial phrase. Does eachgerund phrase act as a subject, a direct object, an object of apreposition, or a predicate noun?1. Singing opera, they use their voices in special ways.2. Bart received the prize for being the best tenor.3. Being the best tenor, Bart had many solo parts.4. You should try singing high C.5. Humming in the background, the chorus set a mood.6. Appearing with a professional cast was Kristen’s dream.7. Facing the audience can be the hardest part.8. Practicing day and night is a necessary ingredient for succeeding as an opera singer.9. Taking their seats, the members of the orchestra began tuning their instruments.10. Accompanying the singer, the violin section slowly played the tragic melody.
Possessives in Gerund Phrases Always use the possessive form of a noun or pronoun before a gerund.
Which is correct?11. I warned Gino about (them, their) being late.12. I don’t appreciate (him, his) talking back tome.13. (Fran, Fran’s) leaving will solve the problem.14. (Me, My) being there was a help.15. That ended (Martha, Martha’s) disrupting therehearsals.16. We are delighted by (Joe, Joe’s) sensitiveacting.17. (Him, His) continuing with the show isessential to its success.18. (Us, Our) agreeing on how the other minorroles should be handled was also important.
Identify each gerund phrase. Does each gerund phrase act as asubject, a direct object, an object of a preposition, or apredicate noun? 19. The programs goal is providing students with a variety of artistic opportunities. 20. Few question the benefits of encouraging talents. 21. The problem is obtaining the necessary money. 22. People find different ways of raising funds. 23. Asking for funds is an important activity. 24. Supporters must continue advertising the program.
Identify each gerund phrase and participial phrase. Does eachgerund phrase act as a subject, a direct object, an object of apreposition, or a predicate noun? 25. Now the group will try campaigning on a large scale. 26. Starting such a campaign is a challenging task. 27. Requesting funds and other forms of assistance from large corporations will be the first strategy. 28. Contacting firms is the director’s role. 29. Companies find different ways of being helpful. 30. Helping young artists is a worthwhile cause.