“The different between a gerund and present participle”
This week we’re going to look at the different between a gerund and present participle. They both end in ‘ing’ and are formed from verbs. For example, ‘running’, ‘dancing’, ‘losing’. They look the same but are grammatically different.
The gerund is a noun which we form from a verb, by putting the letters ‘ing’ at the end of the verb. It is important to remember it is not a verb in the following constructions. We use the gerund commonly in these three ways:
– As the subject of a sentence (‘swimming is fun’, ‘talking’ to her makes me want to fall asleep’).
– After certain verbs. There is not rule to know which verbs, and they must be learned by practice. Some common verbs which can ONLY be followed by gerund (and never infinitive) are: enjoy, avoid, miss, suggest, understand.
– After a preposition (‘before going to work, I have breakfast’, ‘Suzy is very good at playing tennis’).
A present participle is a verb form used to modify a sentence. Again, it is the verb with ‘ing’ added to the end, but it is not a noun, Present participles have many uses, but here are some common ones:
– In the present continuous tenses. We form these tenses using the verb ‘to be’ and the present participle. In other grammatical constructions, such as the present perfect continuous, we also use the verb ‘to have’. The present participle tells us the action, and the auxiliary verbs ‘be’ and ‘have’ help construct the sentence (‘I am speaking to Laura’, ‘Michael has been reading that book for long time!’)
– As an adjective form. In the sentence ‘the film was exciting’, we use the present participle as an adjective, describing the subject. We can also use it in adjective phrases – ‘The man wearing the blue suit coughed loudly’. Here, ‘wearing the blue suit’ describes the man, so it’s an adjective phrase.
There are other uses of the gerund and present participle, but these are the most common and illustrate the difference between the two.