Verbals

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What Are Verbals? (with Examples)

A verbal is a verb form which functions as a noun or an adjective. In English, there are three types of verbals:

Verbals (Participles)

A participle is a verb form which functions as an adjective.

There are two types of participles: the present participle (ending ing) and the past participle (usually ending -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n).

Here are some participles being used as adjectives:
The VerbThe Present ParticipleThe Past Participle
To bakethe baking breadthe baked bread
To printthe printing documentthe printed document
To lowerthe lowering prices the lowered prices

Here are some real-life examples: Often, a participle will head up a participle phrase which functions as an adjective. In the examples below, all participles are in bold and the participle phrases are shaded. Read more about participle phrases.

Verbals (Gerunds)

Even though gerunds look like present participles (i.e., they also end -ing), a gerund is a noun not an adjective. Here are some examples of gerunds (shaded): A gerund will often appear in a gerund phrase. A gerund phrase consists of a gerund, its object, and all modifiers. For example (gerunds in bold with the gerund phrases shaded): Read more about gerund phrases.

Verbals (Infinitives)

An infinitive is a verb form (often preceded by to, e.g., to dance, to sing) which can function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. For example:

An infinitive as a noun: Compare it to this: An infinitive as an adjective: Compare it to this: An infinitive as an adverb: Compare it to this: Read more about infinitives.

An infinitive will often appear in a infinitive phrase. An infinitive phrase consists of the infinitive and any objects and modifiers. For example (infinitives in bold with the infinitive phrases shaded): Read more about infinitive phrases.

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See Also

What are participles? What are past participles? What are present participles? What are participle phrases? What are gerunds? What are gerund phrases? What are infinitives? What are infinitive phrases? Glossary of grammatical terms