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



gerund (plural gerunds)

Examples (verb form that functions as a noun)

Walking is good exercise.
The baby's crying was a constant annoyance.
He most enjoyed the singing.

Examples (verb form that functions as an adverb)

Russian: Нельзя́ переходи́ть у́лицу, чита́я газе́ту. (Nelʹzjá perexodítʹ úlicu, čitája gazétu.)
One shouldn’t cross a street while reading a newspaper.

Examples (verb forms that function as parts of speech other than nouns in languages other than English)

Afrikaans: 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.)
    • 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.

Derived termsEdit





  • (file)



  1. past participle of runnen


This participle needs an inflection-table template.