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Gerund acts as a subject, object... But can't we say that Gerund is basically a noun.

Also, I heard a counter argument - a noun can be used for showing possession (John's chair)... But Gerund can't be used in such a manner(can it?). So, Gerund doesn't work as a noun.

So, basically, my question is that -- "What is Gerund?" In an advanced manner. Also, I would be very grateful if you could cite your sources. Thanks, in advance!

  • Your asking of this question shows no research effort. ;) – NVZ Aug 1 '16 at 11:18
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    No: put very simply, gerunds are verbs that happen to occur in places where nouns typically occur, such as direct object to a transitive verb, e.g. I regret buying this house. But "buying" is a verb not a noun, as is evident from the fact that it has a direct object, "this house" . But some words ending in ing do behave like genuine nouns, taking determiners and adjectival modifiers, e.g. She witnessed the cruel killing of the seals, and these are best referred to as 'gerundial nouns'. – BillJ Aug 1 '16 at 12:27
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In a comment BillJ wrote:

No: put very simply, gerunds are verbs that happen to occur in places where nouns typically occur, such as direct object to a transitive verb, e.g. I regret buying this house. But "buying" is a verb not a noun, as is evident from the fact that it has a direct object, "this house". But some words ending in ing do behave like genuine nouns, taking determiners and adjectival modifiers, e.g. She witnessed the cruel killing of the seals, and these are best referred to as 'gerundial nouns'.

Other fairly common names for ing words that are no longer verbs include verbal nouns and deverbal nouns. A gerund is a verb, but a deverbal noun is just a noun because the verbal properties of the gerund have been stripped from it.

  • Would it be more accurate to say that in the first example, the whole phrase "buying this house" (not just "buying") is the "[place] where nouns typically occur"? – Lawrence Jan 19 '18 at 1:40
  • @Lawrence It’s where a noun phrase occurs. The grammatical constituents there are SUBJECT + FIN.VERB + DIRECT OBJECT. Both the subject and the direct object expect noun phrases, but not necessarily nouns. For example, a lone pronoun can be used there, and it has different properties than a noun in a noun phrase would. You can also use either kind of non-finite verb phrase (infinitive or gerund) for a noun phrase. But for all those others than an actual noun, you then don't get to decorate them with quantifiers and adjectives and such, since pronouns and verb phrases don’t take those bits. – tchrist Jan 19 '18 at 2:32

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