Grammar Tip: What is a Gerund?

I am so glad you asked! 🙂 This funny sounding word has a simple explanation.

Grammar Tip: What is a Gerund?

Image by ArtsyBee (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

A gerund is a verb form with the “ing” added to it and functions as a noun. Many times (but not always), a gerund is preceded by a possessive noun or a possessive pronoun.

Some Examples:

Reading is Janice’s favorite hobby. (Reading is the gerund and is used as a noun/subject of this sentence.)

I like writing. (Writing is the gerund and is used as a noun/direct object of this sentence.)

Jackie is afraid of falling down the stairs. (Falling is the gerund and used as a noun/object of the preposition “of” in this sentence.)

Andrew is a huge fan of my cooking. (Cooking is the gerund and used as a noun/object of the preposition “of” in this sentence. It is also preceded by the possessive pronoun “my.”)

That’s all!

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Grammar Tip: Than and Then

Today I am going to teach you the difference between than and then.

Grammar Tip: Than and Then

Image by ArtsyBee (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Than is a subjunctive conjunction and used for comparisons.

For Example: Today I wrote 2 pages more than yesterday.

For Example: Joan’s speech was longer than any of the others.

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Then is an adverb that denotes a period of time.

For Example: Michelle went to her editor’s office and then went home.

For Example: Brendan wrote a short story and then he wrote a poem.

Then can also be used as an adjective that, according to dictionary.com, denotes “being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated.”

For Example: “The then editor,” the then President,” etc.

Finally, then can be used as a noun to denote “since that time.”

For Example: Noelle has not been back to my office since then.

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>>>>>>To remember the difference between the two words, keep in mind that when dealing with comparisons use than; when dealing with time use then.

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Misused Words: Affect vs Effect

The misuse of affect and effect is very common. Here is a brief explanation of how to use these words correctly.

Image by ArtsyBee (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Image by ArtsyBee (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Affect is a verb meaning to change or influence.

For Example: Jan’s touching speech affected everyone in the room.

For Example: Zoe does not want to affect anyone’s opinions regarding the proposed membership changes.

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Effect is a noun meaning a cause or result.

For Example: Hiring an editor will have a positive effect on your writing career.

For Example: I couldn’t believe the effect her behavior had on her sister.

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Grammar girl has a great trick for remembering the difference between the two. She calls it the RAVEN trick. This is how she explains it: “Because raven has the letters A-V-E-N in it, and those also stand for Affect: Verb      Effect: Noun (You can read the whole trick here.)

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