Verb forms used as other types of word

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When a verb form such as a gerund is used as a noun, or an adjective or such as a past participle is used as an adjective like:

 

The dripping of the tap

The crying child

The newly promoted worker

 

is this conversion or just that the gerunds and participles have multiple roles?

2 answers


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This is a great question!  Your last two example phrases definitely contain participial adjectives (crying and promoted), but I am less than 100% sure about the first one.  I am quite sure that dripping is a gerund here; for example The dripping of the tap annoyed him -  dripping is the subject of the sentence.  But if it were modified to read The dripping tap annoyed him, then dripping becomes a participial adjective.  I am reasonably confident that, as expressed in your example phrase, dripping is a gerund.  Here is a useful reference: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-participle-and-a-gerund.htm.  And perhaps other experts will weigh in here.

link answered Apr 16 '13 at 12:20 Shawn Mooney Expert

That's a great link, thank you. Any ideas whether this is conversion of a verb form?

Hannah MaceApr 16 '13 at 12:40

Yes, the verb drip is converted to a gerund (the dripping of the tap) or to a participial adjective (the dripping tap).

Shawn MooneyApr 16 '13 at 14:28

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I agree with Shawn's analysis of  'dripping' being a gerund, as well as the rest of his answer.

link comment answered Apr 16 '13 at 13:44 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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