Overview of Gerunds

Overview of Gerunds

A gerund is a verb ending in “ing” that functions as a noun or noun phrase in a sentence.

Because gerunds function as nouns, they can be either the subject or the direct object in a sentence.

The subject of an action verb performs the action, while the direct object receives the action. For linking verbs (such as “is,”) the subject is the person, place, or thing being described. The linking verb connects the subject to more information about the subject.

If either the subject or the direct object is a verb ending in “ing,” then you know it’s a gerund.

In the above sentence, the gerund “reading” is the subject of the linking verb “is.” “Is” connects the gerund “reading” to more information about reading (it’s fun).

On the other hand, the gerund phrase in this example (“eating candy”) is the sentence’s direct object. “Eating candy” receives the action of enjoyment.

To learn more about gerunds, review WriteLab’s Guide.


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