Verbals and Verbal Phrases
What is a Verbal A verbal is a verb that acts as a noun, adjective, or adverb. The three kinds of verbals are: gerunds, participles, and infinitives.
Gerund A gerund is a verb acting as a noun.
To form a gerund add “ing” to the end of a verb. A gerund can be a subject, P.N., D.O., I.O., or O.P. Ex. Learning is fun. The gerund is “learning”. I can easily replace it with a different noun, such as Ms. Berger *Ms. Berger is fun.
Gerund Phrase A gerund phrase is a gerund plus all of its modifiers (adjective, prepositional phrases, etc.). Learning about English is fun. The gerund phrase is “learning about English”.
Participles Participles can be plain old adjectives and predicate adjectives. Thinking students make me happy. The participle is “thinking”. It describes the students. I can easily replace it with a different adjective such as courteous. *Courteous students make me happy. A participle is a verb that acts like an adjective. A participle can end with an “ed” (past participle) or an “ing” (present participle).
Participial Phrases Participial phrases are participles and all modifiers and complements. Ex. I saw students thinking about English. The participial phrase is “thinking about English”.
Infinitive An infinitive is a verb that begins with “to” and is acting as a noun, adjective, or adverb. Ex. I love to eat. The infinitive is “to eat”. It answers the question “What do I like to do?” Therefore, it is a direct object.
Infinitive Phrase An infinitive phrase is an infinitive and all of its modifiers and complements. Ex. I love to eat ice cream. The infinitive phrase is “to eat ice cream”. The four words together function as the direct object of the sentence.
More Infinitive Phrases
Ex. We are here to learn English. The infinitive phrase is “to learn English”. It answers the question “Why am I here?” Therefore, it is an adverb infinitive phrase.
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