In this, the last of our High English grammar quizzes on nominalisation, we continue to look at nominalisation using the 'ing' form of words, or the gerund.
The gerund, or the ‘-ing’ form, of nominalisation is versatile and is applied to verbs. It is possible to use the '-ing' form as the subject of the verb, the object of the verb, or the object of a preposition. This form is very useful when we want to refer to activities in a general manner. For instance, when we want to refer to people who suffer we may use ‘the suffering’ in a collective and general way to describe people who suffer. The ‘-ing’ form is very useful when describing activities involving hobbies and sports. Generally, this form is a variation of the verb ‘to go.’ Look at these examples:
‘My brother and I love to go fishing whenever we get a chance.' Here the verb ‘fish’ is nominalised to ‘fishing’ and is used as a noun.
‘When I visited her last she had been doing the cleaning.’ Here 'clean' is nominalised to ‘cleaning’ and used as a noun.
Another facet of the ‘-ing’ form of words is that the nominalised verbs are predominantly uncountable nouns because they usually represent activities in a general way. For instance, in the ‘fishing’ and ‘cleaning’ examples we can’t say ‘two fishings’ or ‘three cleanings.’ Other such uncountable examples are ‘washing’, ‘plumbing’ and ‘cooking.’ However, there are exceptions and some nominalised verbs can act as countable nouns. Here are two examples:
‘Five people were killed in three separate shootings in the city.’
'A husband told his wife that his winnings at the race course amounted to a substantial sum.’
Just as in so many cases the negative form using ‘not’ can also be used in sentences. For instance, in the sentence ‘she asked me if I had not been skiing yesterday’ ‘not’ is used to indicate something that was not done. As mentioned earlier, nominalisation is an import element in English and it is good to learn nominalisation of words using their gerund, or 'ing' form.