ing form


at what time to used with ing form ?

asked Jul 24 '13 at 05:56 mohd New member

3 answers


I think Mohammad's question relates to 'time' or 'tense' in terms of a present participle.


Firstly, participles [past and present] are non-tensed.  This simply means that the verb form itself does not relate to any tense of itself.  Unlike the base form verb and the past simple tense verb, participles cannot take a subject.  For example, I can write:  "I go to town every day."  Here the base form verb has as its subject 'I'.  I could also write:  "The students in Grade 12 went to town yesterday."  Here the past simple tense verb has as its subject 'The students in Grade 12'. However, you can't write:  "He gone to town," or: "He going to town."  This means, in turn, that we cannot tell merely from the participle which time or tense it refers to.  In order to place the participle on the timeline, you always need a helping verb to create a verb phrase, and it is in the selection of the helping verb/s that you determine the timeline.  For example, you could write:  "He has gone to town."  Here you form the present perfect tense: helping verb [has] + past participle [gone].  The following sentence in the past perfect would have a different meaning:  "He had gone to town."  Using a specific helping verb changes the time in which we place the participle.  So, for my first point, I'm pointing out that a participle is not a tense.


Secondly, participles have other uses too.  Both past and present participles can be used as adjective - the former with a passive meaning; the latter with an active meaning.  For example:  "The freezing chicken looks funny."  Here the present participle is, indeed, used as an adjective - an active one because the chicken is still freezing.  If the action has ended, you might write:  "The frozen chicken looks funny."  Here the past participle is used as a passive adjective.


Thirdly, the present participle can also be used as a gerund.  A gerund is NOT a noun - if it were, it would be called 'noun'.  It is a special part of speech that is BOTH verb and noun and the same time.  In other words, a gerund [the form is a present participle] simultaneously has qualities of a noun and a verb.  For example, you could write:  Running regularly is healthy for you.  Here you modify the gerund by using an adverb [as you would do for a verb].  You could also write:  Regular running is healthy for you.  Here you modify the gerund by using an adjective [as you would for a noun].  You could also replace the gerund with a pronoun which means that it fulfills the function of a noun.  In addition, a gerund can also take an object [as a verb does].  For example, you could write:  Studying English is enjoyable.  Here 'English' is the direct object of the gerund.  One could go on and on about this, but I think the essentials have been pointed out.

link comment answered Jul 25 '13 at 14:26 Ahmad Barnard Expert

In addition, it can be used as an adverb.

He came running.

Present participle as an adjective as Lewis Neidhardt mentioned.

Running water is pure. 

link comment answered Jul 25 '13 at 11:02 Z. A. Jazley Expert

Good morning, Mohd,


There are two basic ways to use the -ing form of a word.


First, you can use it to indicate that something is ongoing and happening at the present moment.  For example:

My son is eating cereal. (Right now, while I type this, he is eating.)

We are living in Germany.  (Right now my home is in Germany.  It has been for a little while in the past and will continue for a while in the future.)


Second, we use -ing to create a gerund.  This is a noun based on a verb.

For example:

Dancing is my favorite pass-time.  ("Dancing" is a noun. It is the thing I enjoy.)


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Jul 24 '13 at 06:48 Neznayou New member

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