Verbals Participles, Gerunds, and Infinitives
Participles • A present participle is formed by adding –ing to the verb. A past participle is formed by adding –ed to the verb. • Sometimes a participle acts as the main verb in a verb phrase. • As a verb, the present participle is used with forms of the linking verb to be, and the past participle is used with forms of the helping verb to have. • A participle can also act as an adjective to describe, or modify, a noun, or pronoun.
Participle Examples • The robin was singing in the tree. (present participle as a main verb.) • Our cat stared at the singing robin. (present participle as an adjective.) • Tammy has tossed the water balloon. (past participle as a main verb.) • The tossed water balloon hit the sidewalk. (past participle as an adjective.
Participial Phrase • A participle phrase includes a participle and all the other words that complete its meaning. • It is used as an adjective and can appear before or after the word it modifies. • Place the phrase as close as possible to the modified word to avoid confusion. • A participial phrase placed at the beginning of the sentence is set off with a comma. • Other participial phrases may or may not need commas, depending on whether they are essential to the sentence.
Participial Phrases Examples • The girl throwing the water balloon is Tammy. • Tammy, throwing the water balloon, aimed at the target. • Running quickly after Tammy, I threw the balloon back. • Tammy, scared of getting wet, hid behind the bush.
Gerunds • You can also have a verb form ending in –ing that may serve as a noun. This is called a gerund. • It can be the subject of the sentence, the direct object, the predicate nominative, or the object of the preposition.
Gerund Examples • Flying is a skill birds must learn. (gerund acts as a subject.) • Young birds practice flying. (gerund acts as a direct object). • They can escape from dangers by flying. (gerund acts as an object of the preposition) • My favorite sport is swimming. (gerund acts as a predicate nominative).
Gerund Phrase • A gerund phrase is a group of words that includes a gerund and other words that completes its meaning. • Examples Flying in a storm takes practice. (subject). Birds learn flying in high winds at a young age. (direct object). Many birds owe their survival skills to flying away from enemies. (object of the preposition)
Infinitives • An infinitive is another verb form that may function as a noun (subject or direct object). It may also function as a adjective or an adverb. • An infinitive is formed from the word to plus a verb. • The word is not a preposition when it is used immediately before a verb. Jenny is always looking for a chance to read. (infinitive) She goes to the library once a week. (not an infinitive; the word to is used a preposition.
Infinitives Continued… • An infinitive used as a noun can be the subject of a sentence or the direct object of the verb. • To read is enjoyable. (subject). • Jenny tries to read every day. (direct object). • An infinitive phrase is a group of words that includes the infinitive and other words that completes its meaning. • Example: Jenny has decided to read all of Sue Ellen Bridger’s books this summer.
Verbal Review • Look for these words: • To + verb • words that end in –ed • Words that end in -ing
Infinitives • To + Verb • Adjective • Adverb • Noun(Subject or Direct Object) If the infinitive comes after LV—adverb AV—direct object (noun) Noun—adjective Blank or nothing—subject
Gerunds • Words that end in –ing • Always function as a noun If the gerund comes… After AV—Direct Object After LV—Predicate Nominative After Preposition—Object of the Preposition Before the main verb—Subject
Participles • Words that end in –ing or –ed • Functions as a verb or an adjective • HV or LV—verb • No HV or LV—adjective • ***Remember that past tense verbs end in –ed, so not all words that end in –ed are participles. When you see a word that ends in –ed, check to see if that word has a HV or LV in front of it. If it does have a HV or LV in front of it, then it IS A PARTICIPLE. If not, the word is NOT A PARTICIPLE.