Gerund and Gerund Phrase
A gerund is a verb form that becomes a noun. Whatever a noun can be in a sentence, the gerund can be as well.
- Gerunds end in ING
- Gerunds are nouns
- Gerunds can not be removed from a sentence without hurting the sentence
- Gerunds can be found anywhere that a noun can be found in a sentence
Gerunds can be the following in a sentence:
- Object of a preposition
- Predicate nominative
- Direct object
- Indirect object
***Gerunds do not necessarily use commas except in 2 cases—when a gerund is the object of an introductory prepositional phrase that is longer than three words, or it is part of an appositive. (There are grammar rules dealing with these instances.)
Remember that gerunds must end with ING! But not all ING verbs are gerunds. It all depends on how the ING word is being used.
- Swimming is very good exercise. (swimming is the gerund [verb + ING = gerund]. Swimming is the subject of this sentence which means you CAN NOT remove it without hurting the sentence.
- My besty Prudence loves to go hiking in the woods. (Why is hiking the gerund?)
A gerund phrase is a phrase that begins with a gerund. To that are added prepositional phrases, adjectives, and adverbs. Just like a single worded gerund, you can not remove the gerund phrase from the sentence. ***Remember the entire gerund phrase becomes one giant noun.
- Eating too much food can cause a person to get sick. (Eating too much food is the gerund. The gerund phrase is the subject of the sentence. If you remove the gerund, the sentence makes no sense.)
- By calling all the time, Millie made a pest of herself. (calling all the time is the gerund phrase. It is the object of the preposition BY. The reason there is a comma is because the introductory prepositional phrase is longer then 3 words, so a comma must be placed after it.)
Find the gerund/gerund phrases:
- Grinding your teeth at night will wear away the enamel that covers your teeth.
- Without going into great detail, the detective revealed who the guilty person was.
- Ms. Sumter was preparing the pie.
- Kenneth’s job is writing proposals for schools.