So What Is A Gerund Anyway? Understanding the Parts Of Speech

Traditional English grammar divides words into eight parts of speech: verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.  There are a few more terms also often used to define words, such as articles and gerunds.


Verbs describe actions (eat, dance) or states of being (am, remain).  Every sentence contains at least one verb.


A noun is a person, place, thing, idea, or feeling.  Every sentence has a subject, which is a noun.


Pronouns replace nouns in a sentence to avoid repetition.  Examples include she, it, and them.  Pronouns can be possessive (mine, ours) or interrogative (who, what).


Adjectives describe or modify nouns.  Big, old, hungry, blue, and vague are adjectives.  Adjectives can be possessive (my cat), demonstrative (that cat), interrogative (which cat?), or indefinite (some cats).


Adverbs modify or describe verbs (he ran quickly), adjectives (the sun was very bright), or other adverbs (he ran fairly quickly).


Prepositions link nouns, pronouns, and phrases to the rest of the sentence. The preposition usually indicates a relationship in time (I swept the stairs before lunch), space (my socks are under the bed), or logic (there is no business like show business).


Conjunctions link words (I like jam and bread), phrases (do you want to wash the dishes or take out the garbage), and clauses (dinner is ready, so we should go in).


Interjections are words or short phrases added to a sentence to convey emotion.  They are often followed by an exclamation mark. Interjections are informal.

Wow!  This is great!
Hey, come on.


Articles introduce nouns.  Common articles are the, a, and an.


A gerund is a verb form that functions as a noun.  Gerunds always end in “ing,” although not every verb ending in “ing” is a gerund.  The verb is a gerund if it is acting as a noun.

I am running - regular verb
Running is good for you - gerund