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Gerund, Infinitive, Participle

Dr Richa
24/02/2018 0 0
1. Consider the following examples:

i. The frightened cat scratched my eye.

ii. Running seems tiresome at first.

iii. Sometimes I like to swing and sometimes I like to slide at the park..

In all the above three sentences the verbs (in bold) are not being used as verbs but as another parts os speech. These are called Verbals.

2. Participles , Gerunds & Infinitives are three types of Verbals:

i. A participle is a verbal that acts as an adjective. In other words, a participle is a form of a verb that acts as an adjective. For example :

a. The crying woman left the movie theater.

b. The frustrated child ran away from home.

ii. Depending on the form of the verb, the participles can be present, past or perfect. For example:

a. The dancing bears escaped from their cages : Present participle modifying bears.

b. I gave some peanuts to the neglected monkeys : Past participle modifying monkeys.

c. Having killed the bull, the matador faced the audience: Perfect participle modifying matador.

iii. A gerund is a verbal that acts as a noun. It always ends in -ing. For example:

a. Running is great exercise

b. Most people enjoy eating.

c. Note the difference between: My hobby is hiking

d. Litmus tests for gerunds: Tennis is good exercise.

e. The wheel was a good idea and John is hiking.  Can you put a noun there?

f. Playing is good exercise. Swimming was a good idea.

iv. An infinitive is a Verbal that appears with the word “to” and acts as a noun, adjective, or adverb. For example, To err is human (noun), The best way to survive his boring lecture is to stab yourself. (Adjective), I am taking neurology this semester to understand human brain (adverb).

There are two types of infinitives in English:

a. Present infinitive (only “to” + verb)

b. Perfect infinitive (“to have” or “to have been” + past tense version of the verb)

c. Present: I like to debate. To play with matches is wrong.

d. Perfect: He pretended to have lost her number. To have been mentioned would have been enough.

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