Gerund Phrase Recognition Practice
 

Definition: A gerund phrase is made up of a gerund and all the words that can modify it.  The words or phrases that can modify a gerund are an adjective, adverb, and a prepositional phrase, plus it can have a direct object.

Why can it have these modifiers?

Remember that a gerund is a verb form ending in -ing.  Because it is a VERB, it can have an adverb modifying it.  Also, it can have an adverb prepositional phrase modifying it.  Besides all that, it can have a direct object, just like any action verb can have.

Why an adjective or adjective prepositional phrase modifying it?  Remember that a gerund is a verb form used as a NOUN, therefore it can have an adjective or adjective prepositional phrase modifying it.


Gerund Phrase Examples

1. The course's goal is providing students with knowledge of basic math.

  •  The gerund phrase is providing students and is used as the predicate noun in the sentence.  The gerund is providing and the direct object of that gerund is (providing whom?) students.  The prepositional phrase with knowledge modifies providing and the prepositional phrase of basic math modifies knowledge.

2. Frequently asking for funds may hinder receiving them.

  •  The first gerund phrase is frequently asking for funds.  The gerund is askingFrequently answers, when?, and thus is an adverb, modifying the gerund, asking For funds is an adverb prepositional phrase answering the question, why, asking?  This entire phrase is the subject of the sentence.
  •  There is a second gerund phrase in this sentence.  It is receiving them.  This whole phrase is the direct object in the sentence, answering the question, "may hinder what?"...receiving fundsReceiving is the gerund and funds is the direct object of the gerund.  Receiving what?...funds.


Exercise Directions: Write down the gerund phrase and then tell how the entire phrase is used in the sentence: either subject, direct object, predicate noun or object of the preposition.  (If it is object of the preposition, the preposition will be before the gerund.)

Example: The troop found different ways of raising money.
Gerund phrase as object of preposition, of what? - raising money


1. There are few people who question the benefits of encouraging teens.

2. Walking the path in the woods is good exercise.

3. The teacher ended Jim's disrupting behavior.

4. We should teach our children the necessity of helping others in need.

5. You should try singing tenor.

6. Kristin's dream was singing in the local musical.

7. Bart received an award for having perfect attendance.

8. The chorus began singing the song.

9. Some people enjoy mowing the lawn.

10. Reading the classics is my goal this summer.
 

 

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