The Participle and the Gerund

The Participle and the Gerund:

The Participle:

(1) A Participle or a Verbal Adjective is a word that is formed from a Verb is used as an adjective; as,

I have got running shoes. I saw a child crying in the house.

Here running and crying are Participles. They are formed from the Verbs run to cry respectively. But they are us as Adjective qualifying the Nouns shoes and child respectively.

(2) There are three kinds of Participles:

(I) Present Participle- It is formed by adding ‘ing‘ to the Verb, going, weeping, sleeping, coming, and denotes an unfinished action; as,

Give me a writing exercise book.

(II) Participle- It is formed by adding d, ed, t, en, ne to the Verb and denotes a completed action; as,

He was taken to the hospital.

(III) Perfect Participle- It is formed by putting having or having been before the Past Participle form of the Verb; as,

Having done my duty, I came home.

(3) The Participle should not be left unattached in a sentence. It should be clearly indicated to which Noun or Pronoun it is related.

Digging the earth, a rupee was found.Digging the earth, I (You, he, it, etc.) found a rupee.
Playing in the field, a ball hit him.Playing in the field, he was hit by a ball.
Hoping to get an early reply, yours sincerely.Hoping to get an early reply, I am, yours sincerely.
Lying in the bed, a serpent stung him.Lying in the bed, he was stung by a serpent.

Exceptions- The use of Participles in impersonal constructions even without a Noun or Pronoun to which they are related is permissible; as,

  • Roughly speaking, his age cannot be less than sixty.
  • Taking into consideration his age he was let off.
  • Strictly speaking, he is not guilty.
  • Regarding your proposal, I have nothing to say.

The Gerund:

(1) A Gerund or a Verbal Noun is formed from a Verb that is used as a Noun. It always ends in ing; as,

Riding is a good exercise. Seeing is a blessing.

Here the Gerunds Riding and Seeing are formed from the Verbs Ride and See and do the work of Nouns.

(2) Like a Noun, a Gerund can also be used as a subject, an Object or a Complement of a verb; as,

  • Drinking is a bad habit. (Subject)
  • I hate drinking. (Object)
  • He is fond of drinking. (Object of the Preposition)
  • Seeing is believing. (Complement)

Note- In form there is a close similarity between a Gerund and a Present Participle because both end in ing. But the difference between them is that one is used as a Noun, while the other is used as an Adjective; as,

  • Writing makes a man perfect. (Gerund)
  • Give me a writing exercise book. (Present Participle)
  • Drinking is a bad habit. (Gerund)
  • Where is my drinking cup? (Present Participle)

(3) The following are the forms of a Gerund-

PresentReadingBeing read
PerfectHaving readHaving been read

(4) Verbal Nouns are generally preceded by the article the and followed by the Preposition of; as,

  • The hunting of wild animals is bad.
  • The proof of the pudding lies in the eating of it.

(5) As a Gerund is a Noun, the Noun or Pronoun preceding it should be in the Possessive Case; as,

I dislike you smoking.I dislike your smoking.
I insist on him doing his duty.I insist on his doing his duty.

Exceptions- (I) Possessive noun or pronoun is omitted when it is definitely evident from the context.

I thank you for your having come.I thank you for having come.
The police have started their making enquiries.The police have started making enquiries.

(II) In Passive Voice, Possessive Case is rarely used before a Gerund; as,

How do you like Rajender Babu being elected President the second time?

(III) If the possessive form of a Noun is impossible or inconvenient, the ordinary form may be used with a Gerund; as,

Upon my application being granted, I will leave for home.

(6) When the infinitive does the work of a Noun, it can ace the Gerund; as,

GerundThe Infinitive
Lying is a sin.To lie is a sin.
Doing is learning.To do is to learn.

Note I- But after the following Verbs only Gerunds should be used-

Avoid, dislike, dread, enjoy, hate, intend, recollect, remember, rest, stop, prevent, prohibit, insist, persist, succeed, etc; as,

  • It is difficult to avoid making mistakes. (Not avoid to make)
  • I dislike smoking a pipe. (Not to smoke)
  • He enjoys singing on harmonium. (Not to sing)
  • He intends going to Delhi. (Not to go).

Note II- A Gerund is also used after certain phrases like-

it is no use, it is not good, is worth; as,

  • It is no use telling a lie. (Not to tell)
  • This sight is worth enjoying. (Not to enjoy)
  • It is no good counting your chicken before they are hatched. (Not to count)

(6) Some Important Distinctions:

  • He stopped singing. (He ceased to sing)
  • He stopped, singing. (He was singing when he stopped)
  • I heard her sing. (She sang and I heard her when she started)
  • I heard her singing. (I heard her song which she was already singing)
  • I remember seeing him. (in the past)
  • I rememeber to see him. (in the future)
  • Being ill, I could not see the Headmaster. (As I was ill, I could not see the Headmaster).
  • I could not see the Headmaster being ill. (I could not see the illness of the Headmaster).

Infinitive Mood of VerbEssay on The Value of Youth Festivals
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Kinds of VerbEssay on Science and Health
The Position of the ArticleSocial Changes in Modern India– NIOS

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