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Grammar 17 - Verb + ing as Non-finites
'Painting' is the present participle of 'paint'.

Grammar 17 - Verb + ing as Non-finites

This is the second of four High English Grammar quizzes looking at non-finites. Non-finites are verbs that don’t depend on the person, number or the tense while finite verbs do depend on the person, number or the tense in a sentence. In this quiz we study more specifically the non-finites represented by verbs ending with 'ing' - present participles and gerunds, two important parts of English grammar.

Consider the sentence ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss.’ From the sentence we gather that a stone is described as rolling. We could describe the stone with other adjectives such as rough, smooth or round. In the sentence given in the example we understand that 'rolling' is treated as an adjective and describes the stone. 'Rolling' is formed from the verb ‘roll’ by adding ‘ing’ to its ending. Verbs such as roll + ing (rolling) are called present participles.

Present participles function like adjectives in sentences. Usually they describe unfinished actions. Present participles can be used with all the tenses in a sentence. Remember, in one of our earlier quizzes we had talked about ‘ing’ forms of verbs used with auxiliaries such as 'am,' 'are,' 'is,' 'was,' 'were,' 'be' and 'been' in sentences, and these were also called present participles. In the sentence, ‘He is seeing his father,’ ‘seeing’ is a present participle (see + ing).

We have another form of verb ending with 'ing', which is also a non-finite known as the gerund. For instance, in the sentence ‘he is confident of passing the test’ the word ‘passing’ is known as a gerund and in this sentence it functions as a noun. Though the gerund and the present participle use the same verb with 'ing' as its ending, the main difference is that the present participle functions as an adjective and the gerund functions as a noun. Gerunds can also be used to form compound nouns such as 'drinking-water' and 'sleeping-bag'.

Knowing the differences between a gerund and present participle helps in better understanding of English grammar and hence better communication. The quiz that follows takes you through gerunds and present participles.

1.
"We all make mistakes. It is human."
Choose the variation of the sentences that has used the correct verb + ing form from the following.
Make mistaking is human.
It is human to make mistakes.
Making mistakes is human.
It is humanising to make mistakes.
This is the correct form (make + ing). Options 1 and 4 use nouns for the '-ing' form which are incorrect. Option 2 does not use the 'ing' form
2.
"Assessing the situation very quickly in the room, the principal asked the student to follow him to his office."
Choose the present participle and the noun it describes in the sentence from the following.
assessing, student
assessing, room
assessing, principal
assessing, office
Assessing is the present participle formed from assess + ing. The sentence clearly identifies the principal as assessing the situation. The other options refer to the wrong nouns
3.
Choose the sentence with the correct verb + ing from the following.
The doctor is imploring Sagarika not to use ghee to prepare meals.
The doctor is telling Sagarika not to use ghee to prepare meals.
The doctor is advising Sagarika not to use ghee to prepare meals.
The doctor advised Sagarika to avoid using ghee to prepare meals.
Using is the correct verb + ing form (use + ing). The 'ing' words in other options are verbs used with auxiliaries such as 'am,' 'are,' 'is,' 'was,' 'were,' 'be' and 'been' in sentences, which are called present participles
4.
Choose the sentence with the correct verb + ing from the following.
They went around meeting all the neighbours in their colony, to canvass for the art classes.
They are going around to meet all the neighbours in their colony, to canvass for the art classes.
They are canvassing in the colony to meet all the neighbours to join the art classes.
They are trying to meet all the neighbours in their colony, to canvass for the art classes.
Meeting is the correct verb + ing form (meet + ing). The 'ing' words in the other options are verbs used with auxiliaries such as as 'am,' 'are,' 'is,' 'was,' 'were,' 'be' and 'been' in sentences, which are called present participles
5.
"Hearing the loud admonition of the teacher, the headmaster rushed in to the classroom."
Choose the present participle and the noun it describes in the sentence from the following.
hearing, headmaster
hearing, class room
hearing, teacher
All of the above are wrong
Hearing is the present participle formed from hear + ing. The sentence clearly identifies the headmaster as hearing the admonition. The other options refer to the wrong nouns
6.
"They must commend other participants' achievements. It promotes camaraderie."
Choose the variation of the sentences that has used the correct verb + ing form from the following.
To promote camaraderie is to commend achievement of participants.
To commend other participants' achievements is to promote camaraderie.
To commend other achieving participants is to promote camaraderie.
Commending other participants' achievements promotes camaraderie.
This is the correct form (commend + ing). Options 1 and 2 do not use the 'ing' form. Option 3 uses the wrong verb
7.
"Manav tells lies. It has made him unpopular."
Choose the variation of the sentences that has used the correct verb + ing form from the following.
Manav is unpopular as he tell lies.
Telling lies has made Manav unpopular.
Unpopular Manav tells lies.
Manav is telling lies and he is unpopular.
This is the correct form (tell + ing). Options 1 and 3 do not use the 'ing' form. Option 4 is used with an auxiliary verb, 'is'
8.
"Our roommates committed a lot of nuisance. They apologised."
Choose the variation of the sentences that has used the correct verb + ing form from the following.
Our roommates apologised for committing a lot of nuisance.
Our roommates apologised as they committed a lot of nuisance.
Since they committed a lot of nuisance our roommates apologised.
Our roommates committed a lot of nuisance, and they apologised.
This is the correct form (commit + ing). The other options do not use the 'ing' form
9.
"Joseph and his wife saw their friend sitting on the compound wall."
Choose the present participle and the noun it describes in the sentence from the following.
sitting, friend
sitting, Joseph
sitting, wife
sitting, compound wall
Sitting is the present participle formed from sit + ing. The sentence clearly identifies the friend as sitting on the compound wall. The other options refer to the wrong nouns
10.
"The boy started to cry, fearing that he would be expelled from the school by the headmistress on the complaint of the teacher."
Choose the present participle and the noun it describes in the sentence from the following.
fearing, headmistress
fearing, boy
fearing, teacher
fearing, school
Fearing is the present participle formed from fear + ing. The sentence clearly identifies the boy as fearing his impending expulsion. The other options refer to the wrong nouns
Author:  V T Narendra

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