Any word that ends in ‘-ing’ can be a gerund. Why do I say can be and not is a gerund? That’s because such a word can also be a present participle.
Let’s see how we can differentiate between the two.
How to Differentiate Between a Gerund and a Present Participle
The Gerund is a noun formed from a verb and hence it can be a direct or indirect object, subject or subject complement and object of preposition.
- Tina enjoys dancing more than reading.
(dancing – direct object of the verb enjoys)
- Tina gives dancing all her time.
(dancing – indirect object of the verb gives)
- Since Tina was ten years old, dancing has been her passion.
(dancing – subject of the verb has been)
- Tina’s passion is dancing.
(dancing – subject complement of is)
- Tina is devoted to dancing.
(dancing – object of preposition to)
The Present Participle, on the other hand, is used like a verb or adjective.
- Tina is dancing.
- I have a boring teacher.
- Diana is fishing.
Both have the suffix ‘-ing’ and this can result in confusion. However, paying attention to details can prove to beneficial in your quest to learn English!