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"There are many ways to save the environment, like saving energy, reducing rubbish" Is the ing Form correct in this case? Is it a gerund? Or is this Form calles differently ?

  • Your examples are fine. "Saving" and "reducing" are gerund-participle verbs heading the gerund-participial clauses "saving energy". and "reducing rubbish". "Energy" and "rubbish" are the direct objects of the clauses. – BillJ Jan 18 '18 at 17:32
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    @FumbleFingers That’s a bit too imprecise for my tastes, since now you've made there be a “gerund” in To live well is hard. A gerund is a verb inflected into its -ing form and heading a verb phrase where that verb phrase happens to be standing in for a noun phrase in the larger clause. The gerund does not "function as a noun" because it still does only verb things like objects and adverbs not noun things like adjectives and prepositions. But the gerund clause can serve as a noun clause, which is different. – tchrist Jan 18 '18 at 18:23
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    @KarlG No, it's a noun phrase thing. In the prepositional phrase “like saving energy”, the word saving is clearly a verb because its object is energy. It is the verb-phase saving energy that is serving as the object of the preposition. When an -ing verb phrase is doing the job of a noun phrase like this, we call that -ing verb a gerund. But it is not being a noun in any regard; it is only, ever, and always a verb. – tchrist Jan 18 '18 at 19:08
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    @NigelJ Yes, you're right about that, but I would say "functions as a noun phrase". The thing is that gerund phrases can take determiners: “His constantly calling home bothered her.“* – tchrist Jan 18 '18 at 19:49
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    @NigelJ Oh, I don't know: I've never thought about it that way. I tend not to believe in applying Latin grammar to English. The currently popular gerund-participle term of art, while an improvement, is still something of a compromise. We have two kinds of non-finite verb phrases in English that can both alternately function as substantives or as modifiers: the infinitive phrase and the gerund-particple phrase. The heads of those phrases are still just verbs, but that verb phrase will be used where either a noun phrase or a modifier phrase is called for. It's still not a noun. :) – tchrist Jan 18 '18 at 19:57
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In a comment, BillJ wrote:

Your examples are fine. "Saving" and "reducing" are gerund-participle verbs heading the gerund-participial clauses "saving energy". and "reducing rubbish". "Energy" and "rubbish" are the direct objects of the clauses.

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