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Phrases…. Part II: Verbals

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1 Phrases…. Part II: Verbals
Grammar Bite: Phrases…. Part II: Verbals

2 Verbal Phrases Verbals are words that are traditionally VERBS but are acting as another part of speech. Hint: For participle and gerund phrases, look to see whether the participle form of the verb comes after a helping verb. If there is no helping verb, you know it is a verbal (or poor grammar). Your next task is to figure out whether the phrase is acting as a noun or adjective…

3 Participles – What are they?
Basically, a participle is a form of a verb that acts as an adjective. Present Participles are formed by adding –ing to a verb Past Participles are (USUALLY) formed by adding –ed to a verb Participles are SNEAKY… these words look just like verbs! See the examples on the next page…

4 Participles – Examples
Present Participle as a verb: I am wearing glasses. Present Participle Phrase: Wearing glasses, she looked years older. Past Participle as a verb: I was dressed in my finest outfit for the awards dinner. Past Participle Phrase: Dressed in high heels and a long, black dress, Edna looked her best for the awards ceremony.

5 Participle Phrases A participle phrase consists of a participle and the other words that complete its meaning. Wearing a sheet with eyeholes, Troy went trick-or-treating. My neighbor owns a stray cat covered with fleas. Remember: A participle phrase looks like a verb ending in –ing or –ed, but it lacks a helping verb and acts as an adjective!!!

6 Gerunds A Gerund is a verb acting like another part of speech.
A Gerund is a present participle form of a verb acting as a noun. Present Participle verb: I am drooling. Gerund: Drooling is very rude. (Drooling becomes the noun and the subject of the sentence.) Gerunds can be subjects, direct objects, or objects of the preposition (all nouns!!!)

7 Gerund Phrases A Gerund Phrase is made up of a gerund and all the other words that complete its meaning. Gerund: Walking is good for the health. Gerund Phrase: Walking across a busy freeway is very dangerous.

8 Gerund Phrase Possibilities
Remember, a gerund (or gerund phrase), can act as a subject, direct object, predicate noun (a.k.a. predicate nominative), or object of the preposition. Exercising daily builds strength. (subject) My favorite activity is exercising. (predicate noun predicate nominative) Some people enjoy exercising daily. (direct object) What are the benefits of exercising daily? (object of the preposition)

9 Infinitives An infinitive consists of the word to followed by a verb:
to run To jump To giggle To scare HOWEVER: it is easy to confuse a prepositional phrase beginning with to with an infinitive! The difference? A prepositional phrase includes a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun, whereas an infinitive is only the preposition to followed by a verb!!!

10 Infinitives – If they aren’t verbs…
What are they? Infinitives function as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs in a sentence. Adjective: Molly made the decision to sleep. Adverb: Bears are happy to sleep. (modifying the adjective “happy”) Adverb: Patsy politely left the party to sleep. (modifying the adverb “left”) (continued…)

11 (continued…) Noun (subject): To belch is rude.
Noun (direct object): Truman tried to belch. (to belch is the object of the verb “trying”) Noun (predicate noun/ predicate nominative): Laura’s favorite activity is to belch. (to belch is referring back to the activity)

12 Infinitive Phrases An infinitive phrase, then, consists of the word to plus a verb (a.k.a. the infinitive) and the other words that complete its meaning. An infinitive may be modified by either a single adverb or a prepositional phrase, and it may have its own direct object.

13 Infinitive Phrases with Adverbs, Prepositional Phrases, and Direct Objects
To write well was Alice’s ambition. (well is an adverb describing the writing) Alice’s ambition was to write for fame and glory. (for fame and glory is a prepositional phrase) Alice wanted to write a great novel. (a great novel is the direct object of the direct object to write – it receives the writing. The writing, however, is the D.O. to “wanted”) Are you confused yet? I hope not!!!

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