English grammar

Module 8, Verbals and Phrases, Lesson 5:

Gerunds and Gerund Phrases

Score:
English grammar
Definition:
A gerund is a verbal that uses the present participle of a verb (the ing form) but acts as a noun. It can act as a subject, a subject complement, a direct object, an indirect object, or an object of a preposition.
Reading is my favorite activity. (gerund as a subject)
Julie's best subject is writing. (gerund as a subject complement)
Carlos really enjoys biking. (gerund as a direct object)
Maria gives singing all her attention. (gerund as an indirect object)
I got this bruise from fencing. (gerund as the object of a preposition)
Hint:
Watch out for present participles used as participles (adjectives).
Participle: Let's meet at the bowling alley. (Bowling describes alley.)
Gerund: On the weekends, I go bowling. (Bowling is acting as a noun.)
Definition:
A gerund phrase is the gerund plus its object and modifiers.
Reading mystery novels is my favorite activity. (gerund phrase as a subject)
Julie's best subject is creative writing. (gerund phrase as a subject complement)
Carlos really enjoys biking through the mountains. (gerund phrase as a direct object)
I got this bruise from fencing with my instructor. (gerund phrase as the object of a preposition)
Hint:
If you're not sure if a word or phrase is a gerund, replace it with the word something. Since a gerund is a noun, replacing it with a pronoun should work.
Playing the banjo is a skill I am learning.
Something is a skill I am learning.
Note: Because a gerund is a noun, it requires a possessive noun or pronoun before it.

Johnny's swimming has improved this last year.
Not: Johnny swimming has improved this last year.

I think that our swimming will be even better next year.
Not: I think that us swimming will be even better next year.

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar

Part 1

Directions:
Click on the gerund(s) in each sentence. Make sure not to click on participles used as adjectives or as part of verb phrases.
1.
A healthy form of exercise is walking.
2.
Studying will help you earn better grades.
3.
I bought this jacket for traveling.
4.
Sleeping is important for your mental health.
5.
My dog's barking is annoying my neighbors.
6.
Those towels are for swimming.
7.
I could no longer stand her pleading, so I gave in.
8.
Breathing is essential to life.
9.
The coyote's howling made us all turn and listen.
10.
You did well on that spelling test by focusing.

Part 2

Directions:
Click on all the words in the gerund phrase(s) in each sentence.
11.
Walking on the beach is one of my favorite things to do.
12.
When I was younger, I used to enjoy riding horses on the beach.
13.
Boycotting busses was a peaceful tactic used effectively during the Civil Rights Movement.
14.
Watching the scenery go by made the trip seem to go faster.
15.
I like washing dishes by hand better than scrubbing the floors.
16.
You must clean your room before going to the movies.
17.
The loud squawking of the parakeets woke me early this morning.
18.
We are going to try making paints out of flower petals.
19.
His favorite way to spend the evening is either relaxing in the hot tub or sitting beside the pool.
20.
We will learn to drive by practicing on the computer and driving in the parking lot.
Score: