Gerund and Participle

Gerund and Participle are verbs which are used in different ways and according to use they have different meanings. The present participle has the same form as that of the gerund, but the difference is in how they are used.

What is Participle?

A participle is a verb which is used as an adjective or verb by its conjunction with the auxiliary verb (also called as helping verbs). It is used to modify a verb, verb phrase, noun or noun phrase.

Types of Participle

Participles are divided into two categories: Present participle and Past participle.

Present Participle

Each present participle ends in ing every time. For example, singing, going, walking, jumping etc.

Past Participle

In the case of past participle, all regular verbs end in ed but, for irregular verbs they considerably vary. For example in the case of bring and ring, their past participles brought and rung are very different from each other, even though both of them have the same pattern for present participle which ends in ing.

Use of Participles

Participles can be used in three different ways: as multipart verbs, as adjectives or as nouns.

1- As Multipart Verbs

A verb can have as many as four parts, with a combination of auxiliary verbs. For example:

  1. They ate Mangoes.  Ate= Simple past tense+ no participle
  2. She was washing dishes. Was= auxiliary verb + washing= present participle
  3. He has been watching TV since morning. Has= auxiliary verb+ been= past participle+ watching= present participle
  4. She should have been doing work that mom left for her. Should and have = auxiliary verbs+ been= past participle+ doing= present participle

2- As adjectives

For example The crying baby, the bleeding gums, the broken glass, the bruised face.

In above examples crying, bleeding, broken and bruised are verbs which are used as adjectives and help describe nouns, which in this case are the baby, gums, glass, and face.

3- As Noun

Present participles can also sometimes function as nouns. Whenever they function as a noun, they are called a Gerund. As a noun, they can function as subject, object (direct or indirect), the subject complements as well as object of prepositions.  A Gerund generally means “the act of doing that verb”.

Function Examples
Subject

Singing is a relaxing activity.

Singing= subject of the verb activity

Complement

What he really likes is traveling to far-off places.

Traveling = complement of the verb is.

Direct object

Sarah hates cooking.

Cooking= direct object of the verb hates.

Indirect object Liza gave dancing all of her energy and time.

Dancing= indirect object of the verb gave.

Object of a preposition

Henry walked out of the office without saying a word.

Saying= object of the preposition without.

Difference Between Gerund and Participle

Participle and gerund are verbs which are used in different ways and have different meanings. Present participles can also function as nouns. Whenever they function as a noun, they are called a Gerund.

Description Gerund

Participle

About is a form of a verb used as a noun is a form of verb used as an adjective or as a verb in conjunction with an auxiliary verb
Use

can only be used as a noun

can be used as a noun, adjective as well as multipart verbs.

Examples

Singing is a relaxing activity.

Sarah hates cooking.

Liza gave dancing all of her energy and time.

Henry walked out of the office without saying a word.

They ate Mangoes.

She was washing dishes.

He has been watching TV since morning.

She should have been doing work that mom left for her.

 

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