Category: Grammar

Gerunds

Raise your hand if you know what a gerund is. Sue and Roberta don’t count—we talked about gerunds at dinner the other day.

I hear rumblings from the audience. Don’t you talk about gerunds at dinner? How about Second Law of Thermodynamics? No? Clearly we don’t eat with the same kind of people; but I digress.

Once I spent a year as a high school English teacher. The previous teacher had adorned the walls with posters illustrating parts of speech. Since I didn’t have any decorations of my own, I left them up.

On the first day, one student bopped into class, looked around and exclaimed, “Oh, no, I forgot what a gerund is.”

As I greeted the others with a cheery smile pasted on my face, I secretly cringed. What in the world was a gerund anyway? I looked it up the first chance I had and sighed with relief when I discovered it wouldn’t come up in class for a few weeks.

A gerund is the noun form of a verb formed by using the “ing” ending. For example, if the verb is “to ski,” the noun form is “skiing.” Jan skis every weekend. Skiing is Jan’s favorite sport.

If English is your primary language, you use gerunds all the time without needing to know this obscure word.

I have noticed a new trend—making a verb out of a noun. Like crater. The meteor cratered the ground. Then we transition to the gerund form. Scientists noticed many craterings in the area. I scratch my head. You could have just said “many craters.” That is part of what makes English such an exciting language, and since it is my language, I will continue to go with the flow.

All this is here for the purpose of letting me get used to my new tablet. The touch pad is very sensitive, and I need to avoid touching it while I type. I am trainable and I am learning. It is a great tablet, small and handy, and much easier for carrying around than my laptop. I can fit it in my purse. My husband got it for me the other weekend, and I am delighted with it so far.

I have finished another project off my DO list. My husband is now the proud owner of a pair of green kilt socks to match his vest. I have 14 projects left out of 22. I think I am doing quite well. How are you coming with your DO list?