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Gerund and Present Participle

What’s the difference between gerund and present participle?

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Well, the gerund is a noun made out of the present participle of the verb, to put it briefly.

PP: "I am baking the bread."
Gerund: "I am doing the baking."
PP: "I feel good when I'm running."
Gerund: "Running makes me feel good."
PP: "If the boss catches me loafing, I'm out if a job."
Gerund: "Loafing is a good way to get fired."

And with that last... I had better get to work :)

speedwell2 February 13, 2004, 8:45am

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"Of," not "if."

speedwell2 February 13, 2004, 8:55am

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right as you are, how can you help the junior middle school students make sense of it? and there are other differences, such as in "a walking man" and "a walking stick". Hope to get your insightful ideas on how to make the students grasp this easily.

samuelmo August 16, 2004, 6:01am

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Oh, well. I think that most kids grasp in a general sense that a verb is an "action word," an adjective is a "describing word," and a noun is a "person, place, or thing."

So a gerund could be explained in very basic terms as a verb ending in "ing" that takes the place of a noun (but you need to check to make sure it is not taking the place of an adjective becuase that is something else). Any other cases (I can't think of any offhand) where the verb form doen't end in "ing" can be treated as exceptions that don't violate the underlying rule.

speedwell2 August 16, 2004, 8:31am

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Quirk in his A Comprehensive Grammar of English Dictionary objects the distinction between gerund and present participle. For reasons of his objection, you can check in his dictionary. but i myself consider it useful, though not necessarily necessary, to cling to this distinction, for it can make us more clear. and the differences do exist in "he is interesting" and "he is interesting us"; "he is washing" and "his job is washing"; "a sleeping boy" and "a sleeping bag". As a matter of fact, i have just graduated from a normal university in China and is trying to write a handbook for my students, hoping that it will facilitate their understanding of the English grammar in a pleasant and clear way. Thank you very much for your instructions. and any further help will be heartfeltly appreciated.

samuelmo August 17, 2004, 12:04pm

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It is A Comprehensive Grammar of English Language

Anonymous August 17, 2004, 12:06pm

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I think Quirk would also stress the importance of capitalising the word "I".

Honestly, you pretend to be educated and yet you type like a five-year-old.

Ronald McDougal August 17, 2004, 12:22pm

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Ronnie, you pretend to be a free citizen of a civilized country and yet your manners are those of a barbarian. Why, pray tell?

speedwell2 August 17, 2004, 2:42pm

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i`m ruslan
i`m trying learn english, and everything is ok, exept Gerund and Participle 1. What a difrence benween them?
Please explain me

alien23 October 28, 2004, 2:25am

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I want to know diffrence between present participle &gerund

fahimeh November 17, 2004, 1:05am

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MISHEL November 25, 2004, 6:42am

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Further discussion of the difference between gerund and participle may be found here:

speedwell2 November 25, 2004, 9:13am

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Yes     No