1.(linguistics)a noun formed from a verb (such as the `-ing' form of an English verb when used as a noun)
GerundGer"und (?), n. [L. gerundium, fr. gerere to bear, carry, perform. See Gest a deed, Jest.] (Lat. Gram.)
1. A kind of verbal noun, having only the four oblique cases of the singular number, and governing cases like a participle.
2. (AS. Gram.) A verbal noun ending in -e, preceded by to and usually denoting purpose or end; -- called also the dative infinitive; as, “Ic hæbbe mete tô etanne” (I have meat to eat.) In Modern English the name has been applied to verbal or participal nouns in -ing denoting a transitive action; e. g., by throwing a stone.
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propriété de choses (fr)[Classe...]
gerund (n.) [linguistics]
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In linguistics, the term "gerund" denotes certain types of non-finite verb forms in various languages.
In other languages, it may refer to almost any non-finite verb form; however, it most often refers to an action noun, by analogy with its use as applied to English or Latin.
The word 'gerund' in English comes from the Latin term gerundium, of the same meaning. Gerundium itself comes from the gerundive of the Latin verb gero, gerundus, meaning "to be carried out".
In English, the gerund is identical in form to the present participle (ending in -ing) and can behave as a verb within a clause (so that it may be modified by an adverb or have an object), but the clause as a whole (sometimes consisting of only one word, the gerund itself) acts as a noun within the larger sentence. For example: Eating this cake is easy.
In "Eating this cake is easy," "eating this cake," although traditionally known as a phrase, is referred to as a non-finite clause in modern linguistics. "Eating" is the verb in the clause, while "this cake" is the object of the verb. "Eating this cake" acts as a noun phrase within the sentence as a whole, though; the subject of the sentence is the non-finite clause, specifically eating.
Other examples of the gerund:
Not all nouns that are identical in form to the present participle are gerunds. The formal distinction is that a gerund is a verbal noun – a noun derived from a verb that retains verb characteristics, that functions simultaneously as a noun and a verb, while other nouns in the form of the present participle (ending in -ing) are deverbal nouns, which function as common nouns, not as verbs at all. Compare:
As the result of its origin and development, the gerund has nominal and verbal properties. The nominal characteristics of the gerund are as follows:
The verbal characteristics of the gerund include the following:
Verbs that are often followed by a gerund include admit, adore, anticipate, appreciate, avoid, carry on, consider, contemplate, delay, deny, describe, detest, dislike, enjoy, escape, fancy, feel, finish, give, hear, imagine, include, justify, listen to, mention, mind, miss, notice, observe, perceive, postpone, practice, quit, recall, report, resent, resume, risk, see, sense, sleep, stop, suggest, tolerate and watch. Additionally, prepositions are often followed by a gerund.
advise, recommend and forbid:
These are followed by a to-infinitive when there is an object as well, but by a gerund otherwise.
consider, contemplate and recommend:
These verbs are followed by a to-infinitive only in the passive or with an object pronoun.
begin, continue, start; hate, like, love, prefer
With would, the verbs hate, like, love, and prefer are usually followed by the to-infinitive.
When talking about sports, there is usually a difference in meaning between the infinitive and gerund (see the next section).
like, love, prefer
In some contexts, following these verbs with a to-infinitive when the subject of the first verb is the subject of the second verb provides more clarity than a gerund.
dread, hate and cannot bear:
These verbs are followed by a to-infinitive when talking subjunctively (often when using to think), but by a gerund when talking about general dislikes.
forget and remember:
When these have meanings that are used to talk about the future from the given time, the to-infinitive is used, but when looking back in time, the gerund.
When a to-infinitive is used, the subject is shown to make an effort at something, attempt or endeavor to do something. If a gerund is used, the subject is shown to attempt to do something in testing to see what might happen.
When the infinitive is used after 'stop' or 'quit', it means that the subject stops one activity and starts the activity indicated by the infinitive. If the gerund is used, it means that the subject stops the activity indicated by the gerund.
Or more concisely:
Because of its noun properties, the genitive (possessive) case is preferred for a noun or pronoun preceding a gerund, which is functioning as the subject of the gerund's verbal element.
This use is preferred in formal writing or speaking. In casual speech, the objective case is sometimes used in place of the possessive:
Using the possessive case with the gerund is applicable in all situations, for instance:
The verbal action of the gerund belongs, in effect, to the subject practising it; thus, the possessive is required to clearly demonstrate that relationship.
In some situations, either the possessive or the nominative case may be logical, but with slightly different meanings; but when the nominative case is used the verbal element is a participle, not a gerund:
Either of these sentences means that the student was startled because the teacher was shouting, but the first places greater emphasis on the shouting by making it the subject of the sentence, while the second places greater emphasis on the teacher and is not using a gerund.
Despite such examples of a similar construction that uses a participle instead of a gerund, using a noun or pronoun in anything except the possessive case as the subject of a gerund (He affected me going there) is incorrect in formal writing.
Insofar as there is a distinction between gerunds and present participles, it is generally fairly clear which is which. The subject or object of a preposition is a gerund. If, on the other hand, the word modifies a noun attributively or absolutely, it is a participle. The main source of confusion is when the word follows a verb, in which case it may be a predicate adjective and hence a participle, or a direct object or predicate nominative and hence a gerund. In this case, a few transformations can help distinguish the cases. In the table that follows, ungrammatical sentences are marked with asterisks, per common linguistic practice; it should be noted that the transformations all produce grammatical sentences with similar meanings when applied to sentences with gerunds but either ungrammatical sentences, or sentences with completely different meanings, when applied to sentences with participles.
|Transformation||Gerund use||Participle use|
|(none)||John suggested asking Bill.||John kept asking Bill.|
|Passivization||Asking Bill was suggested.||*Asking Bill was kept.|
|Pronominal substitution||John suggested it.||*John kept it.|
|Use as a noun||John suggested the asking of Bill.||*John kept the asking of Bill.|
|Replacement with a finite clause||John suggested that Bill be asked.||*John kept that Bill be asked.|
|Use with an objective or possessive subject||John suggested our asking Bill.||*John kept his asking Bill.|
|Clefting||Asking Bill is what John suggested.||*Asking Bill is what John kept.|
|Left dislocation||Asking Bill John suggested.||*Asking Bill John kept.|
None of these transformations is a perfect test, however.
English words ending in -ing are often transformed into pseudo-anglicisms in other languages, where their use is somewhat different from in English itself. In many of these cases, the loanword has functionally become a noun rather than a gerund. For instance, camping is a campsite in Bulgarian, Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish; in Bulgarian, Dutch, French, Polish, and Russian parking is a car park; lifting is a facelift in Bulgarian, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Hebrew, and Spanish. The French word for shampoo is (le) shampooing.
Russian language has a commonly used word "gerund", or "yerund" (ерунда) meaning nonsense, or something unimportant.
In the Molesworth books by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle, Searle included a series of cartoons on the "private life of the gerund", intended to parody the linguistic snobbery of Latin teachers' striving after strict grammatical correctness and the difficulty experienced by students in comprehending the construction.
In the new episode of Dan Vs., "The Ninja", after Dan's milk carton exploded from the ninja's shuriken, a teenager said to Dan "Drinking problem much?" and Dan complained that the sentence had no verb, just a gerund.
|Wikibooks has more on the topic of|
|Look up gerund in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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