A first form of verb in continuous form i.e. verb with ing is mainly used as a main verb in a sentence. But it is also used as a Gerund and a Present Participle. Their usage is different in all these cases. For example
He was walking in the street. ..........1
Walking is good for health. ...........2
I saw him walking in the street. ...........3
All the three sentences written above contain the word "walking" in them but its usage in all the three is different from one another.
In sentence marked 1. "He" is subject, "is" is auxilliary verb and "walking" is main verb.
In sentence marked 2 "walking" is Subject, "is" verb. But to become a subject in a sentence a word has to be a noun or pronoun. Walking cannot be a pronoun but it is a Noun. A verb in continuous form i.e. first form of verb + ing acting as a noun is called a Gerund. A Gerund like a noun or pronoun is used as a Subject or object in a sentence. For example
He is fond of walking.
Walking a gerund is acting as an object in this sentence.
A gerund unlike a noun or pronoun has no effect of number, gender or tense on it. It means a gerund does not change according to number, gender or tense of the sentence.
In the sentence marked 3. "I" a pronoun is Subject, "saw" is verb and "him" is an object. The word "walking" an adjective is used to describe "him". A verb used as an adjective is called Present Participle.
Barking dogs seldom bite.
In this sentence "Barking" describes noun "dogs" and acts as an adjective although it is basically a verb in continuous form.
Barking is a present participle.
Like an adjective, Present participle too has no effect of number, gender or a tense on it.
A verb acting as a noun is called a gerund. It acts as Subject, object, complement to subject or object in the sentence.
Teaching is his profession.
Teaching a verb used as Subject is a noun in this sentence.
Besides a subject a gerund like a noun is also used as an object.
For example :
He is fond of swimming.
In this sentence "He' a pronoun is subject. "Swimming" basically a verb but acting as noun or gerund is an object. Swimming is not a verb here.
I don't like smoking.
"I" a pronoun is subject, "don't like" is a verb and "smoking" basically a verb but acting as a noun or gerund is object in this sentence.
A gerund like a noun is governed by a preposition. For example:
They punished him for stealing money.
In this sentence "They" a pronoun is Subject, "punished" is verb and "him"" a pronoun is an object. "Money" is noun and "stealing" basically is a verb but describes the noun, money. It is an adjective and present participle. It preceded by preposition "for".
Women are fond of gossiping.
In this sentence "of" is a preposition. A noun follows a preposition. So gossiping a noun is a gerund. It acts as an object and women a subject.
Here are some examples of Gerund used in sentences.
Telling lies is a bad habit.
" Telling" basically a verb is a noun and gerund and acts as Subject in this sentence. It is not a main verb in this sentence. Verb in the sentence is "is".
Smoking has told upon his health.
"Smoking" in this sentence a gerund acts as Subject. "Has told upon" is a verb and "his health" is object.
Her mother likes cooking.
"Her mother" is subject "likes" is verb and "cooking" a gerund and is object in the sentence.
Baking Cakes is a tedious job.
"Baking" is a gerund and acts as subject "is" a verb and "a tedious job". is object in the sentence.
Her friend is fond of singing.
In this sentence "Her friend" is subject and "singing" a gerund is object.
The lady teacher teaches us dancing and singing.
In this sentence "the lady teacher" a noun is Subject, "teaches" is verb , "us" is pronoun and object and "dancing and singing" are nouns acting as gerund.
A noun or a pronoun used before a Gerund is always in Possessive case. For Example :
He disliked my staying there.
In this sentence "staying" is a gerund and "my" a possessive pronoun precedes it.
The Principal did not appreciate her coming late.
In this sentence "coming" a gerund is preceded by pronoun in possessive case "her".
In examination there are questions of errors of gerunds preceded by words in other forms like subject or object case. For example The sentence written above in the following form
The Principal disliked
I/ me/my coming late.
A verb in continuous form i.e. a first form of verb with ing, acting as an adjective, describing a noun or pronoun, in sentence is called Present Participle. Like adjective it is also has no effect of number, gender or tense on it.
Running water swept away standing crops.
In this sentence the words "Running" and "standing " , although basically are verbs yet act as adjectives and describe nouns "water" and "crops" respectively. So these both are Present Participle.
Flowing river changed its path.
In this sentence "flowing" a present participle acts as an adjective and describes noun "river".
The fleeing thief threw away the stolen bag.
In this sentence, the word 'fleeing" a present participle acts as an adjective and describes the noun "thief".
The acting principal chaired the meeting.
The word "acting" a present participle acts as an adjectve and describes the noun "principal".
The Present Participle is preceded by a pronoun in object case.
For example :
Someone saw him stealing my purse.
In this sentence present participle "stealing" is preceded by "him" a pronoun in object case.
The teacher caught him sleeping in the class.
The present participle "sleeping" is preceded by him, a pronoun in object case.
In examination there are questions of errors of present participles preceded by words in other forms like subject or possessive case. For example The sentence written above in the following form
The teacher caught
he/ his/him sleeping in the class.
SOME TIPS FOR DIFFERENTIATING THE THREE -
MAIN VERB, GERUND & PRESENT PARTICIPLE
1.The main verb takes auxiliary verb like is,am,are,was or were etc.
For example :
She is sitting near the fireplace.
She, a pronoun, is subject in this sentence, is an auxiliary verb and sitting is the main verb.
But it does not apply in all cases, perhaps.
Is sitting near the fireplace not risky for her?
In this sentence "is" is auxilliary verb but "sitting" used with it is not a main verb but it is a Gerund.
This is because it is an interrogative sentence and "is" is there in the beginning of the sentence to make it an interrogative sentence. Try with it by making it a simple assertive sentence. It will be
Sitting near the fireplace is risky for her.
Here is is used with risky and sitting gives clear impression that it is a gerund, a verb in continuous form used as a noun. But it in no case is the main verb of the sentence.
2. I saw her that she was sitting near the fireplace.
In this sentence sitting is a main verb.
3. I saw him sitting near the fireplace.
In this sentence "saw " is the main verb. Sitting is preceded by a pronoun in object case "him". So it is a present participle.
4. She is in the habit of sitting near the fireplace.
In this sentence "sitting" is preceded by preposition "of" so it is a noun in the form of a gerund.
5. A noun or pronoun before a Gerund is in possessive case and before a present participle is in object case.
He disliked my sitting near the fireplace.
He watched me sitting near the fireplace.
Sitting in first Sentence is Gerund and in second sentence it is present participle.
6. A Gerund expresses an activity whereas a present participle shows continuity of an action.
Drinking has affected his health.
Here drinking is expressed as an activity.
It is a Gerund.
The police caught him drinking in the hall.
Here drinking is a continuous action.
It is a present participle.
EXERCISE FOR PRACTICE.
Identify the underlined words as one of the three - Main Verb, Gerund or Present Participle.
1. I saw that she was singing a song .
2. I saw her singing a song.
3. Singing a song is her passion.
4. Reciting a poem on the stage was difficult for her.
5. When I entered the house, she was sleeping in her room.
6. Sticking of bills on the wall is prohibited.
7. When I reached there he was sticking bills on the wall.
8. I saw him sticking bills on the wall.
9. Growing not in years but in deeds is essential for a man.
10. He walking by the roadside found a coin.
MAIN VERB-. 1, 5, 7
GERUND. -. 3,4,6,9
PRESENT PARTICIPLE -
11. Employees usually want to learn the kind of skills to build flourishing careers inside their companies.
12. Generally I spend weeks thinking about it in an idle way a diversion pleasing for me that I am supposed not to do anything that I do in my daily routine.
13. Thriving on abundant resources at their disposal is the main reason that the natives are not so active in technical and professional fields.