Participles, Gerunds and Infinitives
Playing solitaire is a one person game.

Participles, Gerunds and Infinitives

This English Language quiz is called 'Participles, Gerunds and Infinitives' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at middle school. Playing educational quizzes is a fabulous way to learn if you are in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade - aged 11 to 14.

It costs only $12.50 per month to play this quiz and over 3,500 others that help you with your school work. You can subscribe on the page at Join Us

To begin with, a participle is a verb that can be used as an adjective. It is also known as a verbal. In short, a verbal is the name given to a verb when it is used in a form other than as a verb. There are three different types of verbals. These include the participle, the gerunds and the infinitives. Each verbal will be found in a phrase, i.e., participle phrase.

Now let’s learn a little about each.

PARTICIPLE

First we have the participle which is created by adding to the root word of a verb. For example, to play becomes playing, or to walk becomes walked. The verbals have changed the verb by adding either an “ing,” an “ed” or the past tense ending of a word such as to go would be “went.” The participle can then act as either the main verb in a verb phrase or it can act as an adjective to describe or modify a noun or pronoun. For example, “The fisherman caught a fish” shows the participle as the main verb. However, if written as, “The caught fish struggled,” the participle becomes an adjective describing what kind of a fish it was, i.e., “caught.”

A participle is always part of a phrase. Looking at the above examples, “The fisherman caught” is one phrase while “The caught fish” is another phrase. Each of these are therefore, a participle phrase.

In a complex sentence, if the participle phrase comes at the beginning of the sentence, it is always followed by a comma. For example, “Running for office, the candidates gave their best speeches.”

GERUND

A gerund is a verb that can act as a noun. It is formed by adding “ing” to a verb. Once the “ing” has been added, the word can act as a subject, direct object, the object of a preposition or a predicate noun. For example, in the sentence, “Skating is my favorite activity,” the word “skating” is the direct object. Now if we rework the sentence to read, “My favorite activity is skating,” skating then acts as the predicate noun.

[Note: A word that ends in “ing” can either be a verb, a participle or a gerund. It all depends upon how and where the word is being used.]

How do you determine if the word is a verb, a participle or a gerund? First find the word that is the simple subject and then what the simple verb is. Then see how the subject and verb are being used. If the verb is being used as a noun, then it is a gerund. If it is being used as an adjective, then it is a participle.

Let’s look at the following three sentences.

Kelly and Angie are swimming. (In this case, “swimming” is a simple verb.)

Kelly and Angie enjoy swimming. (In this case, “swimming” is shown as a noun and is, therefore, a gerund.)

The swimming pool they go to is always crowded. (In this case, “swimming” is being used as an adjective to describe what kind of pool it is so it is a participle.)

INFINITIVES

An infinitive is a verb that has the word “to” in front of it. It points to the root verb. For example, “He likes to run after school.” Another example of an infinitive is, “She hates to play the piano.”

An infinitive can act as a noun (To interfere would cause more trouble.), an adjective (he had a car to rent [to rent describes the car]) or as an adverb (everyone stopped to laugh [to laugh modifies stopped as it tells why everyone stopped]).

Hopefully you now have a pretty good handle on what a participle is, a gerund and an infinitive, as well as how to determine if the word is just a simple verb. So, this quiz will challenge you to see if you can determine if each of the following ten sentences is that of a simple verb, a participle, a gerund or an infinitive. If you are ready, then begin!
1.
The burned roast made Ellen’s friends laugh even louder.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence there are three words that could be verbs, i.e., “burned,” “made” and “laugh.” None of these have the word “to” in front of them so we know this sentence does not contain an infinitive. This also eliminates a sentence that contains just a simple verb. As none of the words contain an “ing” we can also quickly determine that this sentence does not contain a gerund. That leaves us with only one option. This is a sentence that contains a participle. So let’s look at which of the possible verbs is acting as an adjective. We see that the word “burned” is describing the roast so that is our participle and Answer (b) is correct
2.
Smiling is a frown turned upside down!
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence there are three words that could be verbs, i.e., “smiling,” “is” and “turned.” None of these have the word “to” in front of them so we know this sentence does not contain an infinitive. This also eliminates a sentence that contains just a simple verb. Now let’s see if one contains an “ing” and it does. In this case, “smiling” is not being used as an adjective so it is not a participle. It is being used as a noun evidenced by the verb “is” coming after it. “Smiling” in this sentence is a gerund making Answer (c) correct
3.
Walking is an easy exercise for most people.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence there are two words that could be verbs, i.e., “walking” and “is.” Neither of these have the word “to” in front of them so we know this sentence does not contain an infinitive. This also eliminates a sentence that contains just a simple verb. Now let’s see if one contains an “ing” and it does. In this case, “walking” is not being used as an adjective so it is not a participle. It is being used as a noun evidenced by the verb “is” coming after it. “Walking” in this sentence is a gerund making Answer (c) correct
4.
Ally eats a piece of chocolate every day.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Locating the verb we find “eats”. Right away we can see that it does not have a “to” in front of it so it cannot be an infinitive and it doesn’t end with an “ing” or an “ed” nor is it used as a noun or an adjective. In this sentence, “eats” is a simple verb. Answer (a) is correct
5.
How long can you live without water?
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Locating the verb we find “live”. As it does not have the word “to” in front of it, it cannot be an infinitive. The verb also does not end with an “ing” or an “ed” nor is it used as a noun or an adjective. In this sentence, “live” is a simple verb. Answer (a) is correct
6.
Caroline likes to sew all of her own clothes.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence we can quickly see that it contains a verb with the word “to” before it, i.e., “to sew.” Knowing this, we can immediately rule out the simple verb, the gerund and the participle. This sentence is an example of an infinitive. Answer (d) is correct
7.
The creaking stairs made her jump in fear.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence there are three words that could be verbs, i.e., “creaking,” “made” and “jump.” None of these have the word “to” in front of them so we know this sentence does not contain an infinitive. This also eliminates a sentence that contains just a simple verb. We can quickly dismiss “made” and “jump” as neither of them contains an “ing” so that leaves us with “creaking.” Now we need to determine if it is a participle or a gerund. Again looking at our word, we see that it is not being used as a noun so it is not a gerund. However, it is being used as an adjective as it describes the stairs, i.e., “creaking stairs.” Therefore, Answer (b) is correct
8.
Matthew pulled over to read the map.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence we can quickly see that it contains a verb with the word “to” before it, i.e., “to read.” Knowing this, we can immediately rule out the simple verb, the gerund and the participle. This sentence is an example of an infinitive. Answer (d) is correct
9.
The freezing rain kept them indoors all day.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence there are two words that could be verbs, i.e., “freezing” and “kept.” Neither of these have the word “to” in front of them so we know this sentence does not contain an infinitive. This also eliminates a sentence that contains just a simple verb although the verb “kept” does act as the verb of the sentence. However, “freezing” does not act as a verb nor is it being used as a noun so it is not a gerund. It is, however, being used as an adjective as it describes the rain. Therefore, “freezing” is a participle making Answer (b) correct
10.
Playing solitaire is a one person game.
Simple verb
Participle
Gerund
Infinitive
Looking at this sentence there are two words that could be verbs, i.e., “playing” and “is.” Neither of these have the word “to” in front of them so we know this sentence does not contain an infinitive. This also eliminates a sentence that contains just a simple verb. Now let’s see if one contains an “ing” and it does. In this case, “playing” is not being used as an adjective so it is not a participle. It is being used as a noun evidenced by the verb “is” coming after it. “Playing” in this sentence is a gerund making Answer (c) correct
Author:  Christine G. Broome

© Copyright 2016-2019 - Education Quizzes
TJS - Web Design Lincolnshire
View Printout in HTML

Valid HTML5

We use cookies to make your experience of our website better.

To comply with the new e-Privacy directive, we need to ask for your consent - I agree - No thanks - Find out more