I wonder how to distinguish words with a verb base and the -ing suffix. I have found that they fall into the following 3 classes:
1) gerundial noun (he had witnessed the killing of the birds),
2) gerund-participle form of verb (he was expelled for killing the birds or they're entertaining Jack) and
3) participial adjective (the show was entertaining)
Problems show up when I try to compare the first and the second example. Why can't I say 'he was expelled for the killing of the birds'? (with an article and therefore of)
What's the rule that I should use when dealing with gerunds like that?
There is an action in the second example, which is he was expelled for killing the birds, but in the first one, a guy didn't do any action, he just witnessed it. Maybe this is the rule?!
Kim hates writing letters
Kim hadn't been involved in the writing of the letters.
Examples above were taken from The Cambridge Grammar of the English language