Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grammar-licious: Making Grammar Fun - February

Let's talk about gerunds, those identifiable words with –ing tails. The recipe for a gerund is simple: take a verb, attach –ing and then use it as a noun. Baking is not required. Did you catch that? Baking is not required. A gerund is born!

How simple was that? And that’s all there is to it. Okay, well, not so much. The rule is: every gerund ends in –ing, but not every word that ends in –ing is a gerund.

A gerund always functions as a noun, so you’ll find them as subjects, objects, and subject complements.

Examples are always great, with some details, so here you go:

As the object of a preposition:
Before brushing her teeth, she washed her face.
After reading the details, he could make a decision.

Object of a verb:
She loves playing in the mud.
He enjoys climbing up the tree.

Subject of a verb:
Writing is difficult.
Winning is fun.
Since she was four, dancing has been her passion.

Subject complement with a linking verb:
Her complaints were making him crazy.
His favorite hobby is drawing landscapes.

After a preposition (a verb after a preposition must be a gerund):
Please water the plant before leaving.
Wash your hands before eating.
We are sharing information about writing.

This month’s recommended grammar book is: The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed by Karen Elizabeth Gordon.

I like finding ways to remember the ‘rules’ and hope you can find something helpful. It’s my hope the monthly grammar techniques and usage examples will make grammar a lot less frightening and potentially enjoyable (can you imagine?) for you.

If you have grammar topics you’d like to see covered, please leave a comment or email me!

(originally published in The TWC Spotlight for December,2008)

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At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl said...

Excellent blog! Great stuff to keep on file for those 'duh' moments I get. LOL

I just have to ask though, why doesn't the word GERUND end in ING like 'gerunding'. That would make sense to me. I'm just saying.


At 6:51 PM, Blogger Lisa Haselton said...

Words are a lot of fun, aren't they? What we think makes sense, just isn't the way it is. :)

I have so many examples hidden away in my brain, unwilling to come forward at the moment so I can share! Grrr.



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