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Are the participle and gerund form of a verb always technically the same and in all tenses (in the sense of spelling) or do deviations exist?

Reason is because I'm building a database and need to know if I need to store these in separate fields or if I can deduce their grammatical context from code.

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    CGEL, which many regard as the most authoritative work on grammar, groups 'both' under the term 'gerund-participials'. ACGEL has a N ... V gradience from deverbal noun (note that 'etching', 'painting' etc can pluralise) with either quite a few or an undefined number of intermediate stages. I call them all ing-forms, in line with others not happy with the ill-defined term (qv) term 'gerund' in the first place. CGEL avoid it also. Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 15:19
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    Does this answer your question? What's the difference between a gerund and a participle? (nohat's answer, line 3, though obviously CGEL and others disagree with nohat's analysis of ing-forms). Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 15:21
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    The present participle and the gerund always have the same spelling. But modern grammar doesn't distinguish the two, simply calling the ing form a gerund-participle verb. Note that there is a genuine ing form noun called a gerundial noun, not to be confused with the gerund-participle verb ing form, cf. "They were criticised for killing the seals" (verb) vs "They were criticised for the killing of the seals" (gerundial noun).
    – BillJ
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 15:25
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    The whole point of non-finite clauses (i.e. clauses headed by participles and infinitives) is to leave things inexplicit. If I say, for example, 'skating on the lake', it isn't clear who was doing the skating, how many people there were, or when the action took place. You could expand it into: I was skating, they are skating, she will be skating, and so on. Only a subsequent (or previous) finite clause resolves the issue. Don't believe anyone who tells you that tense determines the correct choice of participle -- it doesn't.
    – BillJ
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 17:20
  • Thank you @BillJ for your wonderful and spot-on comments. I just want to ask this in the context of your last comment (particularly this part when the action took place) : How is the sentence Skating on the lake, the boys heard the ice crackle different from While/When the boys were skating they heard the ice crackle? Thanking you in advance!
    – user405662
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 3:23

1 Answer 1

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Are the participle and gerund form of a verb always technically the same and in all tenses (in the sense of spelling) or do deviations exist?

Remember that verbs have different participles according to tense.

The gerund is always identical to the present participle. It is always differently spelled from the past participle.

The gerund itself has no tense because it is a noun equivalent.

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  • +1 for a succinct answer! :)
    – user405662
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 16:11

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