A gerund is a word that ends in -ing and functions as a noun. The base word of a gerund is a verb, and therefore it expresses action or a state of being. However, since a gerund functions as a noun, it occupies some positions in a sentence that a noun ordinarily would, for example: subject, direct object, subject complement, and object of preposition. Compare the sentences in the following example sets; the first sentence of each set uses a gerund (italicized), while the second sentence uses a standard noun.
Gerund as subject:
Gerund as direct object:
Gerund as subject complement:
Gerund as object of preposition:
A Gerund Phrase is a group of words consisting of a gerund and a modifier, pronouns, noun, or noun phrase that functions as the direct or indirect object. In other words, a gerund and other modifying word together form a noun. For example: Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than what we're trying to do.
1. A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that is used as a noun.
2. A gerund phrase consists of a gerund plus modifier(s), object(s), and/or complement(s).
3. Gerunds and gerund phrases virtually never require punctuation.