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What Are Gerunds? (with Examples)A gerund is a noun formed from a verb. All gerunds end -ing. For example:
- swimming the lake
- running a mile
- drinking a beer
More Examples of GerundsBelow are some more examples of gerunds (shaded) with their roles as nouns explained:
- Acting is fun. (Gerund as the subject of a sentence)
- Playing football is fun. (Here, football is the gerund complement of the gerund playing.)
- Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing. (Sir Ralph Richardson, 1902-1983) (Acting is a gerund as a subject. The gerunds keeping and coughing are objects of prepositions.)
- Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. (Kahlil Gibran, 1883-1931) (Two gerunds, both subject complements)
- I love acting. It is so much more real than life. (Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900) (A gerund as the direct object of the verb love)
- You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans. (Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004) (A gerund as the object of a preposition)
- I like to play blackjack. I'm not addicted to gambling, I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle. (Mitch Hedberg, 1968-2005) (Two gerunds, both objects of prepositions)
- Picking rotten apples from the floor is a great way to get stung by a wasp.
- Running the tap will clear the air pocket. (This is a gerund.)
- Can you fix the running tap? (This is a present participle as an adjective.)
- The tap was running for an hour. (This is a present participle used to form the past progressive tense.)
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(In this example, a large group of people is the gerund complement of keeping.)