What is a gerund phrase?
Though the term might sound a bit intimidating, it really is simple. Here, we’ll take a close look at gerund phrases and provide several examples so you can easily recognize them and use them to create interesting sentences.
Decoding the Gerund Phrase
Time for a quick refresher: A gerund is a noun formed with a verb ending in ing. Words like swimming, tying, dreaming, eating, fishing, and drinking can all be used as gerunds.
Now that we’ve refreshed your memory, let’s take a look at the gerund phrase. A gerund phrase always follows these rules:
- Gerund phrases always start with gerunds
- Gerund phrases always include modifiers and often include other objects
- A gerund phrase always functions as a noun
- Gerund phrases are always subjects, objects, or subject complements in sentences.
Gerund Phrase Examples
In the following gerund phrase examples, the gerund is highlighted in bold and the entire gerund phrase is underlined. A brief explanation of the function of the gerund phrase follows each example.
- Blowing bubbles on a windy day is a fun activity for children.
Blowing bubbles on a windy day is the subject of the verb is.
- Piling too much laundry into a washing machine will cause it to malfunction.
Piling too much laundry into a washing machine is the subject of the verb will cause.
- Ethan narrowly avoided driving off the cliff.
Driving off the cliff is the direct object of the verb avoided.
- Eating ice cream on a hot day can be a good way to cool off.
Eating ice cream on a hot day is the subject of the verb can be.
- Jessica really enjoys bothering the neighbors with loud music.
Bothering the neighbors with loud music is the direct object of the verb enjoys.