Read the following sentence:-
Swimming is a good exercise.
The word swimming is formed from the Verb swim, by adding –ing. It is, therefore, like a Verb.
We also see that swimming here stands for the action of swimming. It is used as the Subject of the Verb is. It, therefore, does the work of a Noun.
The word swimming is, therefore, both like a verb and a Noun. In other words, it is a Verb-Noun or Gerund.
A Gerund is a word that is partly a Noun and partly a Verb.
NOTE: A Gerund is a Verbal Noun; a Participle is a Verbal Adjective
Other examples of Gerunds are:-
1. Singing gives me happiness.
2. She likes dancing.
3. Walking is good for health.
4. He likes playing cards.
5. Reading is my hobby.
In sentences 1, 3 and 5, the Gerund is used as the Subject of a Verb.
In sentences 2 and 4, the Gerund is used as the Object of a Verb.
Both the Gerund and the Present Participle end in –ing. Then what is the difference between the two?
1. The Gerund has the force of a Noun and a Verb; it is, therefore, a Verbal Noun.
2. The Present Participle has the force of an Adjective and a verb; it is, therefore, a , Verbal Adjective.
1. Skipping is a good exercise.
2. Sita loves singing.
3. He likes reading novels.
4. The boys like playing football.
1. See that girl skipping there.
2. See that child singing.
3. I met a boy reading a novel.
4. I saw the boys playing football in the stadium.