We’re back with some grammar work, and this one will be quick, so get ready! I love using gerunds in my writing because I now understand how they work — and it’s time you know the secret, too.
When you see a word ending in -ing at the beginning of a sentence, it is usually:
- a gerund, a type of noun
Setting fires in windy weather is dangerous.
- part of a reduced clauses
Burning all night, the fire destroyed 50 acres of land.
Note that there is no comma after the gerund, whereas there is one after the reduced clause. Use punctuation clues to help you understand the part of speech.
When using a gerund as a subject, remember that it is singular, and therefore takes a singular verb.
Rewrite the sentences in a notebook or on a piece of paper to begin with a gerund. The first one has been done as an example.
- It is important to teach fire safety to everyone. Teaching fire safety to everyone is important.
- It is necessary to ban smoking in forests.
- It will help people understand fire to read this article.
- It was unfortunate to lose so many acres of land to wildfires.
- It’s important to study how climate change is affecting the wilderness.
- It will be expensive to train new park service employees.