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Gerunds

A verb that is used as a noun

What is a gerund?

When is a verb not a verb? When it is a gerund! A gerund is a verb that is used as a noun in a sentence. It is formed by adding -ing to the base verb.

Example:
Driving can be stressful when the traffic is heavy.

In this sentence, we take the verb drive and make it a gerund by removing the -e and adding -ing.

What role does the word driving have in the example sentence? I hope you answered "subject!" In this sentence, driving is a thing. (Remember, a noun represents a person, place, thing, idea.)

Not all words with "ing" are gerunds. Read this sentence:

Julia is adding water to the soup.

In this example, the verb adding is NOT a gerund. It does not act as a noun in the sentence. It is still a verb. The subject of this sentence is we, a pronoun. (Remember all subjects must be a noun or pronoun.) In this sentence, adding describes the action of what Julia is doing.

A verb with -ing that still acts as a verb in a sentence is called the present participle.
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