Back to the basics with regular Challenge winner, Ann Grover. Weekly lessons to help you hone your basic writing skills.
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I apologize for dumping gerunds on you all. I got a little carried away with the lesson, and using possessives + gerunds seemed relative. At the time.
So here are some simple explanations.
I wish I could make a flow chart to show how the same word is performing several functions at the same time, but since I want to aim for SIMPLICITY and UNDERSTANDING, and I want to eliminate the need to memorize hundreds of (useless) terms, I'm not going to do that.
But, be aware that a word can be a gerund... a direct object... a noun... a verbal... all AT THE SAME TIME. Kind of like your mom is a daughter, a mother, a gramma, an aunt, a sister, and a cousin. What a person calls her at any given moment, depends on THEIR relationship to her...
Same with a word. Its name / function is dependent on its relationship to the other words in a sentence.
So a very simple explanation of GERUNDS.
A GERUND is a VERB that ends in -ing and is used in the same way a NOUN is used.
Learning is essential. [Gerund as subject]
My aunt enjoys swimming. [Gerund as direct object.]
We should give praying more attention. [Gerund as indirect object]
Do you see how learning, swimming, and praying are NOUNS, even though they LOOK like VERBS? They are being used as NAMES of things... things we DO, but nevertheless, they are NAMES, and therefore, NOUNS.
Anna is learning to speak Spanish.
My aunt is swimming is her new pool.
The church is praying for Haiti.
Now, the SAME words are being used as VERBS. See they difference? Something is being done... an action. In these sentences, they are preceded by an auxiliary verb is.
A gerund is able to be preceded by an adjective. A test, if you will, to identify a gerund.
And THAT is why you use possessive adjectives with gerunds... because gerunds are nouns, NOT verbs.
Another test for gerunds...Look for the SUBJECT and VERB in the sentence. If there already is a subject and a verb (someone DOING something), then it is a good chance the -ing word is a gerund. The gerund MAY even be the subject.
Check these -
Anna's learning Spanish was cut short by her accident.
Not... Anna learning Spanish was cut short by her accident.
Subject = learning
Verb = was
My aunt's swimming is helping her lose weight.
Not... My aunt swimming is helping her lose weight.
Subject = swimming
Verb = is helping
We need to give our praying more thought.
Not... We need to give us praying more thought.
Subject = We
Verb = need
Does that help?
"What remains of a story after it is finished? Another story..." Eli Wiesel
Yes, that was EXTREMELY helpful to me. You are a very good teacher. That made it so much easier to understand. Thank you, Anja.
"God has not called me to be successful, God has called me to be faithful." Mother Teresa
"...not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back. But those who have the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep.". Brother Lawrence
Easiely understood, even for this old dog. Thanks Ann.
Putting in my two cents' worth--I've known of at least two college professors who called every -ing word a gerund. I learned the correct definition in high school, and that bugged me no end.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
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5 posts • Page 1 of 1
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