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Halardfan
Mar 9th, 2011, 05:26 PM
Like a lot of native English speakers my knowledge of English grammar is actually pretty weak.

I'm working my way through a grammar test, and I find it really hard to identify a gerund in a given sentence, as opposed to a present participle.

At the moment, in that section of the test, its complete guesswork for me.

So, does anyone have a trick for identifying what is or is not a Gerund?

Super Dave
Mar 9th, 2011, 05:36 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund

Sally Struthers
Mar 9th, 2011, 05:41 PM
gerunds are used as nouns (subject, direct object, indirect object, object of the preposition) while participles are like adjectives. (describing words)

like:

They picked swimming for their afternoon activity.

Swimming is used as a direct object which needs to be a noun form so swimming is a gerund.

on the other hand:

The man, swimming mightily, drowned after being caught in the powerful current.

swimming here is a participle, which describes the man

Participles usually have a comma in front of them too between the participle and the word they are modifying. Gerunds will not unless they are at the end of an introductory prepositional phrase or adj/adv clause

Olórin
Mar 9th, 2011, 05:46 PM
Yes they don't really teach English grammar properly in UK schools. Trying to (re)learn the grammar of a language you already speak fluently is hard.

I found it was actually easier to learn the grammatical principles of foreign languages like French, Latin and then reapply the principles back into English; where applicable. That's not very useful advice to help with your test I realise but just though I'd share my personal experience.

Curcubeu
Mar 9th, 2011, 05:48 PM
We in school repeated this topic nearly every school year... :lol:

(English first foreign language)

azdaja
Mar 9th, 2011, 06:13 PM
yeah, gerund = noun (running), participle = adjective (a running man).

Bismarck.
Mar 9th, 2011, 06:21 PM
If you study other languages, it gives you such a boost grammar-wise with respect to English. Even at high-level secondary education, the level of grammar tuition and instruction in this country is poor and a lot of my friends who are studying either form of English (lang or lit) struggle with basic constructions.

Halardfan
Mar 9th, 2011, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the help. :)

Most native speakers learn English by being immersed in it from day one. Its just naturally evolves. Whereas other methods focus on the building blocks of language and how they fit together.

I think a balance is best...a knowledge of the basics of grammar is good, but I think it can drain all the fun out of learning a language if taken too far.

I have found learning to speak basic Japanese easier than trying to learn grammar rules in English! Grammar makes me fucking angry! :)

*JR*
Mar 9th, 2011, 06:50 PM
Thanks for the help. :)

Most native speakers learn English by being immersed in it from day one. Its just naturally evolves. Whereas other methods focus on the building blocks of language and how they fit together.

I think a balance is best...a knowledge of the basics of grammar is good, but I think it can drain all the fun out of learning a language if taken too far.

I have found learning to speak basic Japanese easier than trying to learn grammar rules in English! Grammar makes me fucking angry! :)

According to the BNP, you'll all be speaking Arabic etc. soon enough. :p

Halardfan
Mar 9th, 2011, 08:26 PM
According to the BNP, you'll all be speaking Arabic etc. soon enough. :p

The BNP are delusional.

Lin Lin
Mar 9th, 2011, 10:40 PM
Is this really from an english speaker?:unsure:
Funny:lol:

Halardfan
Mar 9th, 2011, 11:16 PM
Is this really from an english speaker?:unsure:
Funny:lol:

Most of the people I asked away from this board had never even heard of a Gerund. That includes a teacher!

Of course, all those people use Gerunds regularly. But it just comes naturally and is not something that had to directly learn, or ever really think about.

*JR*
Mar 9th, 2011, 11:28 PM
Most of the people I asked away from this board had never even heard of a Gerund.

Maybe because we haven't (yet) fought a war with those buggers. :armed:

BTW, is there a Gerundian Liberation Front that you're aware of? :scratch:

Lin Lin
Mar 10th, 2011, 03:33 AM
Most of the people I asked away from this board had never even heard of a Gerund. That includes a teacher!

Of course, all those people use Gerunds regularly. But it just comes naturally and is not something that had to directly learn, or ever really think about.

Really?I think I was taught that in 2 two years when I started english study:lol:

McPie
Mar 10th, 2011, 04:43 AM
I hate grammars :lol:

ElusiveChanteuse
Mar 10th, 2011, 04:52 AM
I thinking me is an boy.:)
Luck nice!:wavey:

Alizé Molik
Mar 10th, 2011, 05:48 AM
The lack of any understanding about how English works is one of the problems I have with the way it is taught throughout the English speaking world. The fact that most adults have trouble identifying or naming parts of a sentence and different constructions is worrying. How can we expect people to be well spoken if they are never instructed in how to do so?

In regards to the gerund, I think the clearest description I've come across is a "verbal noun". That is to say, a noun which still has some characteristics of the verbal action it represents but without tense or person.

Mary Cherry.
Mar 10th, 2011, 09:39 AM
I am one of those English folk who has no idea what a gerund is. I'm about to read the Wiki link posted.

On the bright side I do know the difference between your and you're, something which a horrifying number of English speakers do not.

nevetssllim
Mar 10th, 2011, 10:04 AM
I am one of those English folk who has no idea what a gerund is. I'm about to read the Wiki link posted.

On the bright side I do know the difference between your and you're, something which a horrifying number of English speakers do not.

That really annoys me. :o And me to instead of me too...

Bismarck.
Mar 10th, 2011, 06:45 PM
That really annoys me. :o And me to instead of me too...

And the growing trend of people saying "should of" instead of "should have".

Halardfan
Mar 10th, 2011, 07:27 PM
The lack of any understanding about how English works is one of the problems I have with the way it is taught throughout the English speaking world. The fact that most adults have trouble identifying or naming parts of a sentence and different constructions is worrying. How can we expect people to be well spoken if they are never instructed in how to do so?

In regards to the gerund, I think the clearest description I've come across is a "verbal noun". That is to say, a noun which still has some characteristics of the verbal action it represents but without tense or person.

I think it's of less importance to many native speakers, because we acquire English in a different way to many non-native speakers.

It happens as a natural evolution, by reading books, watching TV, interacting with friends and family. Rather than learning about verbs etc from the ground up, as we did when I studied French at school.

Mary Cherry.
Mar 10th, 2011, 10:22 PM
And don't get me started on apostrophes :sobbing:

Lin Lin
Mar 11th, 2011, 12:24 AM
:lol:

It's as easy as pie:spit:

ArturoAce.
Mar 11th, 2011, 06:18 AM
Just look for an -ing word used as a noun. One of the more easier things to identify, imo. I would never know what a participle is, if I never took Spanish class. :lol:

Lin Lin
Mar 11th, 2011, 07:37 AM
Just look for an -ing word used as a noun. One of the more easier things to identify, imo. I would never know what a participle is, if I never took Spanish class. :lol:

:eek:Really?:unsure::lol::lol:

SELVEN
Mar 11th, 2011, 07:51 AM
Chinese teachers teach English grammars from junior high school to senior high school ,it costs more than 6 years.But still tiny part of the students could use grammars very well.:(

Lin Lin
Mar 11th, 2011, 07:55 AM
Chinese teachers teach English grammars from junior high school to senior high school ,it costs more than 6 years.But still tiny part of the students could use grammars very well.:(

poor guy:hug:

SELVEN
Mar 11th, 2011, 07:58 AM
poor guy:hug:

I know you are a graduate of Peking university.:rolleyes:

ElusiveChanteuse
Mar 11th, 2011, 09:02 AM
I know you are a graduate of Peking university.:rolleyes:
:eek: A BombShell!!!

McPie
Mar 11th, 2011, 10:22 AM
:lol:

It's as easy as pie:spit:

but the pie never said that it's easy :haha:

Ellery
Mar 11th, 2011, 01:29 PM
I know you are a graduate of Peking university.:rolleyes:

GOAT Lin Lin :eek: