roles of the gerund or gerund adjuncts?

< Previous | Next >

Ivan_I

Banned
Russian
I'd like to know the name by which this phenomenon goes by in grammars. In Russian grammars it is called "functions of the gerund". I mean this:

After making this statement the minister said he was not going to reconsider his decision. (a time-related function)
Besides being extremely unpopular this policy may lead to a complete failure of all their efforts. (an additional circumstantial modifier function)
It can be done by sending deputations to MPs. (an adverbial modifier of manner function)
and others.

I want to read about it in English grammars. What do you think it is called?
 
Last edited:
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I cannot spit out a name, Ivan - if it exists, the chances are I once knew it, but now it is long forgotten. :)

    Still, I think you should focus on the prepositions that precede the gerund because they are the ones that change the meaning... For instance, I remember something about 'coordinating with', which does not feature here :)
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Are these gerunds? To me they're present participle phrases, all relating to verbal functions.

    A gerund is a full-blown noun, and can attract definite or indefinite articles, be the subject of verbs, etc. Using the words you've chosen, we might create examples:
    • The house was three years in the making (= construction).
    • The boy claimed that an extra-terrestrial being stole his homework (= creature).
    • According to psychics, a sending is a materialised object. (I'm not even sure of this one: very rare.)
    To summarise, a present participle can be:
    1. Part of the verb - He was singing a song (= he sang).
    2. An adjective - She kept a singing bird in a cage (= a melodious bird).
    3. A noun (or gerund) - I love her singing (= her style of voice).
    All your examples are type 1 and can be replaced by the related finite verbs:
    • After he made this statement the minister said...
    • This policy is extremely unpopular, and may lead to ...
    • It can be done if we send deputations to MPs.
     
    Last edited:

    Grumpy Old Man

    Senior Member
    The gerund is used in all your examples because of a preposition. All prepositions require the gerund.

    He is interested in learning Chinese.
    I look forward to seeing you.
    We talked about solving the problem.


    GOM
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish/AE
    I'd like to know the name by which this phenomenon goes by in grammars. In Russian grammars it is called "functions of the gerund". I mean this:

    After making this statement the minister said he was not going to reconsider his decision. (a time-related function)
    Besides being extremely unpopular this policy may lead to a complete failure of all their efforts. (an additional circumstantial modifier function)
    It can be done by sending deputations to MPs. (an adverbial modifier of manner function)
    and others.

    I want to read about it in English grammars. What do you think it is called?
    It depends on whom you ask. Some call it gerunds, some non-finite or -ing verbs, and CGEL calls them gerund-participle (because there is no morphological distinction between them, and they play the same function).

    So, call it
    Functions of _______ (and pick your term: gerund, non-finite verb, -ing verb, gerund-participle).
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    I think you are misunderstanding me. It's not a question about the gerund versus the participle.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish/AE
    I think you are misunderstanding me. It's not a question about the gerund versus the participle.
    but you called it "functions of the gerund" in your language.; in English, some will tell you that often times, there is no distinction between the gerund and the participle; it's the same verb. In any event, you need to be more precise as to what you are asking.
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    but you called it "functions of the gerund" in your language. In any event, you need to be more precise as to what you are asking.
    I stand by it now as well. Yes, functions of the gerund.
    1 (a time-related function)
    2 (an additional circumstantial modifier function)
    3 (an adverbial modifier of manner function)

    and others.

    I can't be more precise otherwise I wouldn't have asked.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish/AE
    I stand by it now as well. Yes, functions of the gerund.
    1 (a time-related function)
    2 (an additional circumstantial modifier function)
    3 (an adverbial modifier of manner function)

    and others.
    I don't know Russian, but "gerund" in English was originally borrowed from Latin. In Latin, the gerund and the participle are morphologically distinct, each its own morphemes. That's not the case in English, where the same -ing morpheme appears in both words. Since you can't rely on morphology, English has to use syntactic markers/functions to tell one from the other. If the -ing comes with an article and an of-prepositional phrase, you have a gerund: the running of the bulls. If the -ing directly modifies a noun, it's a participle: running man. Either way, "running" is the same word. Everywhere else (After making this statement, besides being extremely popular, she is singing now, etc. ), some argue that it's impossible to tell the "gerund" from the "participle" precisely because it's the same word, so they call just it gerund-participle, or -ing word, etc. Nonetheless, some still use the term "gerund" for your examples. If that suits you, then look up "functions of the gerund." Just keep in mind that not everyone will use that term.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish/AE
    Do you see any participles in my first post?
    If you are asking me, in my use, no, I don't see any "participles" and I don't see any "gerunds." What I see is the "gerund-participle," for the reasons stated above. But that's just me.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Do you see any participles in my first post?
    Keith does:) There is no definitve authority that says "This set of terms describing grammar is the only correct one" and I refrain from commenting on nomenclature because there are different sets of terms. I learnt one set when I was at school but since then I have come across many newer sets of terms that often don't agree. This one gerund-participle is a common area for disagreement :(
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    Keith does:) There is no definitve authority that says "This set of terms describing grammar is the only correct one" and I refrain from commenting on nomenclature because there are different sets of terms. I learnt one set when I was at school but since then I have come across many newer sets of terms that often don't agree. This one gerund-participle is a common area for disagreement :(
    Which ones are participles in my examples?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Ivan, start looking at the answers we give. I think it should be clear to you that there are four or five highly intelligent people answering here who are giving you conflicting solutions. This should indicate that there is no definitive answer.

    "If you have a disease for which there are multiple remedies, it's because none of them work." I agree with Julian Stuart's #13. Final answer.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I studied English for many hours a week from the ages of 5 to 18, and then studied French and German to degree level. In all that time I never learnt, heard or used the word "gerund". (I first heard of it in Latin lessons, as SevenDays mentions in #10.) For me there is the English present participle (the part of a verb which ends in -ing) that may function as... Oh, why am I going all over this again? Read #3.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I have studied English grammar to degree level and forgotten most of the terminology :D But I was also taught to distinguish between gerunds and participles. Gerunds look like and function as nouns. All examples here are gerunds and not participles.* Of course, both gerunds and present participles are ing-forms...

    * Statement made without checking really.
     
    Last edited:

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    I don't speak Russian, but If I understand your question correctly, Ivan, it sounds as if you're asking if we use the *gerund to denote different specific situations like location, motion/direction, time, circumstance, as seen in some languages that use cases to denote such 'functions', ...Latin for instance.

    *Gerund/present participle/noun-verb or whichever terminology you prefer to use for the verbal "-ing-form" .

    The short answer is no. In English grammar it's not time or location or some other context that will dictate the correct usage of the present participle/ gerund but it's the position of the word in the sentence, (syntax or grammatical function) i.e. is the word the subject, the object of a preposition, an adjective or other modifier and so forth. There are some good examples above.
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    It's all about different approaches to the issue. It's not me who made the issue up.
    I studied English for many hours a week from the ages of 5 to 18, and then studied French and German to degree level. In all that time I never learnt, heard or used the word "gerund". (I first heard of it in Latin lessons, as SevenDays mentions in #10.) For me there is the English present participle (the part of a verb which ends in -ing) that may function as... Oh, why am I going all over this again? Read #3.
    But I simply can't accept that the first one is a participle whatever reasons you come up with. It's clear that it's a gerund.
    Smoking is bad.
    He stood there smoking.

    But I was asking about a different issue, after all, the lack of an answer is also an answer.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I have been made to think whether the initial examples contain gerunds:

    After making this statement - making is a gerund
    Besides being extremely unpopular this policy - the policy being unpopular - being is a participle
    done by sending deputations - sending is a gerund

    Not that it matters a lot...
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    But I was asking about a different issue, after all, the lack of an answer is also an answer.
    If you feel that we haven't addressed your question, maybe you could try to explain it in a different way. You question may be rooted in a usage of grammar that is common in Russian but not in English, which is what I suggested above (in comment #19). It's still not clear to me exactly what you're asking.

    Again, the verbal '-ing form' (to keep it generic) in English has different 'functions' if you will, but seen from the perspective of sentence analysis. It may be the subject, the object of a preposition, a complement, an appositive, etc. There are many online sources for you to read and practice this concept, i.e. https://webapps.towson.edu/ows/exercises/Gerunds_Ex6.aspx
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It may help if we established what we are talking about:

    The building of the house took three months. - verbal noun - modified only by adjectives (Usually uncountable -rare in plural)
    Building the house took three months - gerund - modified only by adverbs - uncountable
    I told the people building my house to be careful. - participle as an introduction to a reduced relative clause.
    The building blocks fell over - adjective - probably a gerund used attributively.
    The building collapsed - common noun.
     

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd like to know the name by which this phenomenon goes by in grammars. In Russian grammars it is called "functions of the gerund". I mean this:

    After making this statement the minister said he was not going to reconsider his decision. (a time-related function)
    Besides being extremely unpopular this policy may lead to a complete failure of all their efforts. (an additional circumstantial modifier function)
    It can be done by sending deputations to MPs. (an adverbial modifier of manner function)
    and others.

    I want to read about it in English grammars. What do you think it is called?
    Are you asking for the names of the semantic functions of the clauses, such as temporal, locative, manner and so on?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Have you read the Wikipedia article (Transgressive (linguistics) - Wikipedia)?

    "In Russian, the transgressive (called ...) is considered a participial form, which functions adverbially." In other words, it is an adverbial participle (i.e. a verb form that does not decline).

    Unfortunately, if you translate examples from Russian into English, they will describe what in English grammar are called participles and gerunds.
    The only way you can discuss the difference between what we call the Russian participle (which declines) and the Russian gerund (which does not decline) is in the Russian forum.

    As mentioned above, English has no gerund form, which belongs to Latin. You can discuss the grammar by using the term gerund, which strictly speaking only applies to Latin, but can be widened to a discussion of other languages.
    So there are two "gerunds" in Seeing is believing.

    In English terminology we talk about the -ing participle, which does not help you in discussing the linguistic term transgressive.
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    It may help if we established what we are talking about:
    I agree with Paul's list in #23 almost completely. The only exception is that I don't use the term "verbal noun". For me his example 1 is also a gerund, and I see no fundamental difference between examples 1 and 2. I note that M-W (usual caveat applies) defines gerund as a verbal noun.

    Example 3 involves a reduced relative clause: "the people who were building my house" - clearly a participle.

    Going by Keith's #3, I understand that he would count only Paul's example 5 as a gerund. For me, that interpretation is incorrect. It is an independent noun there, and may be etymologically related to the verb but that's as far as it goes. For me, a gerund is a participle in a context where it functions as a noun. Looking at WRD, that's what the Random House definitions say. The Collins definition, however, is capable of being understood in Keith's way.
     

    Grumpy Old Man

    Senior Member
    It may help if we established what we are talking about:

    The building of the house took three months. - verbal noun - modified only by adjectives (Usually uncountable -rare in plural)
    Building the house took three months - gerund - modified only by adverbs - uncountable
    I told the people building my house to be careful. - participle as an introduction to a reduced relative clause.
    The building blocks fell over - adjective - probably a gerund used attributively.
    The building collapsed - common noun.
    Your terminology is what I am used to and I agree with you completely. I have always been amazed at some people calling a gerund a noun. For me, a gerund is neither a complete noun, nor a complete verb, but a little bit of both. Nouns don't have tenses. The gerund has two tenses and can even be used in the passive voice: She wasn't exactly crazy about having been seen in his company.

    GOM
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I see no fundamental difference between examples 1 and 2.
    It is slight:
    The careful (adj.) building of the house took three months. :tick:
    The carefully (adj.) building of the house took three months.:cross:
    Carefully (adv.) building the house took three months. :tick:
    Careful (adv.) building the house took three months. :cross:

    The gerund retains a verbal aspect, while the verbal noun does not, this can be seen in

    careful building (v.n.) will result in a fine house.

    carefully building (ger.) will result in a fine house.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top