-Ing form

This topic has expert replies
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 46
Joined: 12 Sep 2010
Thanked: 1 times
Followed by:1 members

-Ing form

by mgm » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:52 am
Hello,

I am wondering if someone happens to have a handy list of rules for the Ing form of a verb.

E.g as a modifier indicating a continuing action
As a gerund with 'the' and the Ing form...

Thanks in advance for your response ...

User avatar
Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Posts: 15
Joined: 12 May 2011
Location: Littleton, CO
Thanked: 6 times
Followed by:2 members

by DominateTheGMAT » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:22 am
Others may have a handy list of rules for you, but I'd like to point out that the GMAT test makers generally aren't big fans of gerunds. In fact, Sentence Correction answer choices that contain lots of gerunds are usually incorrect, especially those containing the word "being." BEING is a red flag word, so be on the lookout for that!
Brett Ethridge
Get into the Business School of Your Choice.
Online GMAT Preparation for a Higher Score!
www.dominatethegmat.com

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 2094
Joined: 04 Dec 2012
Thanked: 1443 times
Followed by:247 members

by ceilidh.erickson » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:22 am
Here's the quick-n-dirty rule (without getting into too much formal language, which you don't really need). ING's can function as:

1. PARTS OF VERBS. It's important to note that these are never verbs themselves, but act as part of a compound verb:
I am running
I was running
I will be running


Notice that these verbs take their tense from the "is", "was", or "will be." The "running" shows that this was an ONGOING action, at whatever time it took place.

2. MODIFIERS. This is the most common usage you'll see of -ing's. These can be:

Noun modifiers: The girl running down the street is in a hurry.
Here, "running" is giving us modifying information about the girl. When there's no comma before a modifying ING, it's a noun modifier.

Adverbial modifiers: I am starting to exercise more, running two miles every day.
Here, "running" is giving us more information about the entire clause "I am starting to exercise." When an ING comes after a comma, it's an adverbial modifier.

3. NOUNS. This is the least common usage of an ING. As Dominate pointed out, the GMAT often doesn't like these. However, they can be used correctly:

Running is difficult.
Here, "running" is used as the subject.

I hate running in the rain.
Here, "running" is the object.


So, just ask yourself - what FUNCTION is the -ing performing in the sentence?
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education