Gerunds and Present Participle
We know that the – ing form of verb is used in continuous tenses to show the continuity of an action
e.g. You are reading this article.
She is doing her work.
In the examples given above, the –ing form of the verbs, read and do, show that the work is
going on and in this case is always preceded by an auxiliary verb.
However, apart from showing the continuity of an action, -ing form of verb is also used as
gerunds and present participles based on the role they play in the sentence.
When the –ing form of the verb is used in the sentence as a noun, it is known as GERUND e.g.
Swimming is a complete exercise.
Smoking is a bad habit.
She likes dancing.
People love wrestling over here.
In all the above sentences, swimming, smoking, dancing, and wrestling are gerunds as they
are used as nouns in the sentence.
A gerund being a noun comes either as a subject or as an object in the sentence.
Now, observe the following sentences-
He tried to help a dying man.
They saved many drowning children after the accident.
In these sentences, dying and drowning are –ing forms of the verbs die and drown respectively.
But here, they are playing a different role.
In both the sentences, they are playing the role of adjectives. Hence, when the –ing form of a
verb plays the role of an adjective in a sentence, it is known as PRESENT PARTICIPLE.
A proper usage of words gives quality to a sentence. Hence, they should be used properly and
appropriately to make it more meaningful.
By- Heerendra Bagchi
Lingua Franca Language Academy, Indore