English edit

Etymology edit

From Latin gerundium, from gerendus (which is to be carried out), future passive participle (gerundive) of gerō (carry, bear).

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: jěr'-ənd, IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒɛɹənd/, /-ʌnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛɹənd, -ɛɹʌnd

Noun edit

gerund (plural gerunds)

Examples (English, verbal noun)
  • Walking is good exercise.
  • The baby's crying was a constant annoyance.
  • He most enjoyed the singing.
Examples (Russian, adverbial)
Нельзя́ переходи́ть у́лицу, чита́я газе́ту.
Nelʹzjá perexodítʹ úlicu, čitája gazétu.
One shouldn’t cross a street while reading a newspaper.
Examples (Afrikaans, adverbial)
Daardie vent stap al lesende die straat oor!
That fellow is crossing the street while reading!
  1. (grammar) A verbal form that functions as a verbal noun. (In English, a gerund has the same spelling as a present participle, but functions differently; however, this distinction may be ambiguous or unclear and so is no longer made in some modern texts such as A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language and The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language)
    • 1991, Edward Johnson, The Handbook of Good English, page 208:
      Compounds in which gerunds are the second element look exactly like compounds in which present participles are the second element, but different principles of hyphenation apply.
    • 2002, Dan Mulvey, Grammar the Easy Way, page 25:
      Like any noun, the gerund functions as a subject, direct object, indirect object, object of the preposition, or predicate nominative. The gerund phrase is made up of the present participle ("-ing") and can contain an object and/or a modifier (and sometimes many modifiers). The gerund is a verbal noun.
    • 2005, Gary Lutz, Diane Stevenson, The Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference, page 55:
      Gerunds and gerund phrases are always nouns, so they are always predicate nominatives when used as complements. Do be careful to distinguish progressive-tense verbs from gerunds used as subjective complements.
  2. (grammar) In some languages such as Dutch, Italian or Russian, a verbal form similar to a present participle, but functioning as an adverb to form adverbial phrases or continuous tense. These constructions have various names besides gerund, depending on the language, such as conjunctive participles, active participles, adverbial participles, transgressives, etc.
    • 2013, John Butt, Carmen Benjamin, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish, Kindle edition, Routledge, →ISBN:
      The Spanish gerund is quite unlike the English -ing form (‘walking’, ‘replying’, ‘saying’, etc.), which can function as a gerund, a present participle, a noun or an adjective; and it is also unlike the French form ending in -ant, which covers the functions of both the Spanish gerund and the adjectival form in -ante, -(i)ente discussed at 19.4.

Hypernyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Dutch edit

Pronunciation edit

Participle edit


  1. past participle of runnen

Declension edit

Inflection of gerund
uninflected gerund
inflected gerunde
predicative/adverbial gerund
indefinite m./f. sing. gerunde
n. sing. gerund
plural gerunde
definite gerunde
partitive gerunds