Are these gerunds?
I found some resources (below) that don't seem to provide definitive answers.
This is so confusing, that if I placed itmes in the wrong category, please correct it for me!
Three types of English words ending with "ing":
can be used as adjectives.
are present activities that can describe the state of perpetrator of the activity
They are a noun form. They are not used as adjectives.
They can be transitive to a direct object. But they are non-prepositional to the object.
They can be a possession of the perpetrator.
finalized derivatives of gerunds and participles.
Cannot be transitive to a direct object, but requires a preposition
They are usable as adjectives but only due to their finalized verbal nouns.
There are two modes of gerunds:
They are verbal nouns, i.e. ones to which an aura of verbiness still clings because of the fact that a particular action or process was necessary to bring them into existence. (For more info, see here, and/or Google "verbal noun".)
No they are not gerunds, and one clear indication is that they can be pluralized, which means they are actually nouns. Gerunds refer to the act of performing the verb itself, and cannot be pluralized, nor modified by the article ("the") or adjectives. The last characteristic is another way to distinguish between gerunds and pure verbal nouns.
I was tired from shaving the wood.
Dripping occasionally is unavoidable.
I heard the tap's dripping. [Some use "tap dripping" but it is less formal.]
I look forward to your visiting my family. [Some use "you visiting ..." but it is less formal.]
Kindness is helping others in need.
Forming gerunds is simple.
Saving for the future is prudent.
I got tired shaving the wood. [participle modifying "I"]
I have plenty of wood shavings. [concrete noun modified by "wood"]
Occasional dripping is unavoidable. [pure verbal noun modified by "occasional"]
I heard the dripping tap. [participle modifying "tap"]
I was just helping. [participle that is part of the verb "was helping"]
The forming of gerunds is simple. [pure verbal noun modified by "the"]
Having savings for the future is prudent. [concrete noun]
You might want to look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund#Gerunds_in_English for more details and examples.