Participles are wondrous works of miracles. They transform verbs into nouns or adjectives, or even adverbs.
He paints horses and lighthouses.
Present participle as noun = gerund.
Gerund related indirectly to the verb (Noun describing the consequence/product of the verb):
His paintings sell very well.
Gerund related directly to the verb (Noun describing the verb):
His painting of horses and houses is a lucrative business.
Present participle used as adjective:
All running dogs die.
/* Running Dogs is term used on traitors who collaborated with the Japanese invasion of south-east and far-east Asia. Original usage here, which was then used pejoratively by the Resistance militias on traitors. */
I found the smoking gun.
Present participle used as adverb, i.e. as a modifier to a verb. I think some people dispute this is a form of adverb, but the participle does modify the verb, doesn't it?:
He ran panting.
She eats talking.
He speaks sitting.
He was caught stealing, he was caught red-handed.
Use generalizer or specifier?
The question should not be asked whether you should use a generalizer or specifier on a participle, or leave it as default (unspecified). Do not put the horse behind the cart. First decide if you are using a verb as a verb, a noun participle, adjectival participle or as adverbial participle. Once you have decided that, blind yourself to the fact that you are using a participle, and then ask yourself if a generalizer or specifier should be used on that verb, noun, adjective, adverb.
Let's look at the word format:
- default: Formatting is not required. Jackets are also not required.
- default: He considers formatting as unnecessary. He also considers jackets unnecessary.
- generalizer: He considers any formatting extraneous.
- specifier: Your formatting is ugly.