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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Misused Words: Your VS You’re

The words Your and You’re confuses a lot of people and I know this because I see them mixed up all the time. 🙂 Therefore, I thought I would share a simple explanation of the difference between the two words:

Misused Words: Your VS You're

Your is a possessive pronoun. Example: Your book is on top of the book shelf.

You’re is a contraction of the words you are. Example: You’re a very talented writer.

Here is an example of the two words in the same sentence: You’re going to regret it if you don’t bring your laptop to class.

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If you are not sure which one is correct, just substitute the word with you are. If it makes sense then use you’re, if it doesn’t, use your.

For a silly example: _____ dog is eating the notebook!  If you weren’t sure which word to use in this sentence, try the contraction first and break it up into both words. “You are dog is eating the notebook!” Clearly this doesn’t make sense, so the correct use of the word is “Your dog is eating the notebook!”

Another example: _____ are a fast typist! Here, again, break up the contraction  into you are first. “You are a fast typist! This makes perfect sense and it is correct.

It is helpful to remember that your, as a possessive pronoun, can usually only possess nouns. For example: your book, your idea, your home, your sister) You’re (you are) contains a linking verb; thus, it usually connects with another verb. For example: you are silly, you are talented, you are going.

I hope this explanation helps!

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